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Registration of Death

How a Death is Registered

Any death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within 8 days by the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The law allows a death to be registered in any registration district in Scotland. You will find a list of our local registrars on the Orkney Islands Council website. If the death has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, the procedure is slightly different, we will advise you accordingly concerning this.

Who may go and Register a Death

The death can be registered by: Any relative of the deceased, any person present when the person died, the deceased’s executor or other legal representative, the occupier of the property where the person died, or, if there is no such person, anyone else who knows the information to be registered.

Registering a Death

New arrangements for the certification and registration of deaths in Scotland were introduced on 13 May 2015. This included the establishment of an independent review service run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

What Documents should I take to the Registrar?

You should take with you:

  • The medical certificate of cause of death;
  • The deceased’s birth and marriage certificate;
  • The deceased’s NHS medical card;
  • Any documents relating to the receipt of a pension or allowance from government funds.

Provided you have the medical certificate of cause of death, do not worry if any of the other documents are not available as the registrar can still proceed to register the death.

When the registration is complete the registrar will give you, free of charge:

  • A certificate of registration of death for production to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium; (Form 14)
  • 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.

List of Registrars within the Orkney Islands