Registering a death

One of the first things you might need to do after someone has died is to register the death. 

You can register a death if you:

  • are related to someone who died
  • were there when the person died
  • are an executor or solicitor of the person who has died
  • lived with the person who died, if they died at home
  • are the funeral director and have agreed to register the death with the family’s permission

If you are none of the above, but no one else can register the death, you can register the death as long as you:

  • know the details of the person who has died
  • have the right documents

Further information is available from the Scottish Government.

What is the process for registering a death?

Before you can register a death, the Registrar's office must be in possession of a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11, MCCD). The GP or certifying Doctor is responsible for sending this. They should email the document to the Registrar in the local area as identified by the informant (the person who registers the death).

If the informant’s contact details have been included with the MCCD when it was sent, the Registry Office will be in touch with this person to begin the process of registering the death. This will normally be within 2 to 3 days of receiving the form.

If the informant’s details have NOT been included, the informant will need to make contact with the Registry Office themselves to begin this process.

Please note a death can now be registered at any chosen registration office in Scotland.

What will the registrar need to know?

When you have the telephone appointment with the registrar, they will ask:

  • the full name, usual address and occupation of the person who has died
  • their parents’ full names and occupations
  • the name and address of their GP
  • details of their birth and any marriages or civil partnerships, if these are known (if any relevant life events took place outside of Scotland, the registrar may ask for a digital copy of any important documents)

Glasgow Registrars

You can contact Glasgow Registrars:

What happens next?

When registration is complete, the registrar will email an electronic copy of the certificate of registration of death to your chosen funeral director. The funeral director will receive a paper copy of the certificate. This certificate is necessary before a burial or cremation can take place.

An abbreviated death certificate will be posted to you. You can request a copy of the full extract if you wish to do so (a charge will apply). Some services will request a copy of the full death certificate when you are contacting them.

Tell Us Once is an optional service to notify government departments of the death. For example benefits, state pension, passport, driving licence or Blue Badge. The registrar will provide a reference number to complete the process by telephone or online.