Registering a Death

Since the COVID-19 pandemic registering a death in Scotland has changed. It it is now completed by phone, so there is no requirement to attend a registration office. 

The doctor will issue their paperwork (Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death Form 11) directly to the registrars. This will include your contact details. The registrars office will contact you to confirm they have received this, and then arrange a formal appointment time to complete the registration by phone.

You’ll need to tell the Registrar the following information:

  • Their full name, occupation and postal address
  • Their date and country of birth
  • The full name and occupation of their father and the full name and maiden name of their mother
  • Whether they received a pension or an allowance from public funds.
  • The full name, occupation and date of birth of their surviving widow, widower or civil partner (if applicable)
  • Their National Health Service medical number

The Registrar will then send to you by post free of charge:

  • A Social Security registration or notification of death certificate for use in obtaining or adjusting Social Security benefits.
  • An abbreviated extract (i.e. excluding cause of death and parentage details) of the death entry.
  • You can obtain a full extract of the death entry for a fee (£10 each). You may need these to get information about the person’s assets, this could include pensions, insurance policies, savings and bank accounts

The Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14), will be sent directly to us from the registrars, this is required by us so the funeral can go ahead.

Please be aware that the registration process may vary – for example, if a death has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal – we’ll guide you through things if this is the case.

The Tell Us Once Service

During the registration process the registrar will also explain the Tell Us Once service. This is where you or the registrar will let all Government departments know of the death, this makes it much easier to inform all of these departments. The registrar can complete with you or they will give you a unique reference number, which you have to use within 28 days, to complete the service yourself either online or by phone. If you do not use the Tell Us Once service you will have to notify all the relevant organisations yourself.

You may find the information booklet below useful.

Download What to do after a death in Scotland

Death Scotland cover