Registering a death

Registration of Deaths

Deaths which have occurred in Scotland should be registered within the statutory period of 8 days from the date of occurrence.

You will need to arrange to start the Death Registration process by phoning 0300 100 1800 or visiting any contact centre or library contact centre.

Who can register a death?

  •  Any relative of the deceased. A relative, which includes a relative by marriage, a civil partner and anyone related to the civil partner of the deceased.
  • Any person present at the death. This could cover a whole range of descriptors such as friend, district nurse, neighbour etc.
  • The deceased’s executor or other legal representative. When a person representing a firm of solicitors or a bank, attends or contacts the office to register a death, they should present to the registrar written authority from the executor. The informant’s qualification should be shown in the register as ‘for executor’.
  • The occupier of the premises where the death took place. The occupier includes a governor, keeper, matron, superintendent or other person in charge of a prison, hospital or other institution. In regard to a house, it means any person living there. If an Informant as Described at 1-4 Cannot Attend or Contact Registration Office.
  • Any other person having knowledge of the particulars to be registered may register the death. This may include the deceased’s partner or former husband, wife or civil partner.
  • A funeral director responsible for arranging the deceased’s funeral may act as informant on behalf of any persons listed in 1-4 where requested to do so

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)

This certificate will be produced by the registered medical practitioner who was attending to the deceased and will be forwarded directly to the registration office of your choice.

Around 12% of MCCDs will be randomly selected for review by the Death Certification Review Team prior to the death being registered to ensure the accuracy of the certificate details. However if this happens the Registrar will explain the process to you.

How do I register a death?

Death registrations are carried out remotely and if necessary, in-person at a Registration office. A remote death registration is carried out by telephone or during an online call.

The following information will be required for the deceased:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Usual residence
  • Occupation
  • Details of marriage(s) and or civil partnership(s)
  • Full name and occupation of Father/Parent
  • Full name, maiden name (if appropriate) and occupation of Mother/Parent
  • Full name and address of Doctor

You will also be asked for additional information which does not appear on the register entry but is gathered for statistical purposes.

The following documents will be helpful in completing the death registration: 

  • Deceased’s Birth Extract (if available)
  • Deceased’s marriage/civil partnership extracts (if applicable)

During your appointment the registrar will ask you to confirm the accuracy of the information given and you will be asked to provide a signature for the register entry, to confirm its accuracy.

Remote Registration

During a remote registration appointment the registrar will create a template of the entry and either read this back to you, or send a draft to you via email to confirm the accuracy of the information given. 

On confirming the accuracy of the entry the registrar will ask you how you usually sign your signature. This will be added to the entry followed by the word “(Transcribed)”.

What happens after the registration has been completed?

You will receive one copy of the abbreviated death certificate free of charge.   

The registrar will send a scanned copy of the Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14) to your funeral director to allow funeral arrangements to be made.  If you have not decided on a funeral director the registrar will offer to email or post a copy of the Certificate of Registration of Death to you. 

You will be given the opportunity to purchase any full death certificates you may require at a cost of £10 each. These documents can be given to you if you are in the registration office, or posted to you if your registration is being completed remotely.

Tell Us Once

The Tell Us Once Service allows you to report a death to several government departments, agencies and the local authority in one contact including Department for Work and Pensions and different services within the council. You tell us which departments apply and we send off notification for you. You must register the death first.

To use the service the following documents are helpful, if you have them:

  • national insurance number
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • blue badge

Full details are available on the government website.

Funeral Support Payment

Funeral Support Payment is available to people who are paying for a funeral, are on certain low-income benefits or tax credits and are the nearest relation to the person who has died. Applications can be made up to six months following a funeral. 

Find your nearest registration office

Registration enquiry

Telephone: Monday to Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-12noon

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800