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Registering a death

Information on how to register a death.

Death Registrations can be completed by a face to face appointment at our Bathgate or Livingston Office or over the telephone at request.

Please note the timeline for all death registrations to be completed is 8 working days.

Once we have received the Medical Cause of Death Certificate  (Form 11) from the medical professional a member to the registration team will contact the next of kin to book an appointment.

What you need for the appointment : 

It is handy if you  have copies of the deceased's birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates. 


Information on Medical Reviews selected at random

Medical Review

A new system of medical scrutiny of deaths was introduced in Scotland from 13 May 2015.

This will mean that when you attend the Registrar's office to register a death your certificate may be selected at random for review by the Medical Reviewer.

If a level 1 review is selected you may experience a delay in registering the death of up to 1 working day, however, if a level 2 review has been selected this could mean a delay of up to 3 days. The Registrar will let you know when you attend the office if your certificate has been selected and if so will contact you when the review has been completed.

If a level 1 review takes place the Medical Reviewer will check the Medical Certificate Cause of Death and speak to the certifying doctor. The registrar will contact the informant once the review is complete.

If a level 2 review,takes place, in addition to the usual process for a level 1 review the Medical Reviewer will check aspects of the person's clinical record. A level 2 review will normally be completed within three working days and the registrar will contact the informant once the review is complete.

The Medical Reviewer may also request that a death is automatically referred for review if it matches the criteria specified by the Medical Reviewer. This is called a 'For Cause' review and will be carried out on an ad hoc basis when the criteria has been met.

We do not anticipate that these reviews will cause significant delays for the majority of families when making funeral arrangements as Medical Reviewers know that families will be anxious to proceed with arranging the funeral and will do all they can to minimise delays.

Please also see Certification of Death Act

What information will the registrar ask for

The registrar will need you to know the following information about the person who has died.

  • Full name and last occupation.

  • Date and country of birth.

  • Usual home address.

  • Father's full name and occupation.

  • Mother's full name (including maiden name) and occupation (if appropriate).

  • If the person was married, widowed or divorced details of all previous marriage(s), wife's maiden name(s), and their occupation(s), 

  • If the person was in a civil partnership, their partner's full name(s), maiden name(s) and occupation(s).

  • NHS number

  • Date of birth of surviving husband, wife or civil partner.

Doctor's name and surgery address.

Who can register a death

A death can be registered by:

  • Any relative of the deceased

  • Any person present at the death

  • The deceased's executor or other legal representative

  • The occupier, at the time of death, of the premises where the death took place.

If there is no person as above, anyone having knowledge of the particulars to be registered.

What if the Death Occurs Abroad

You should register the death according to local regulations in the country the death occurred and obtain a certificate of death.

Registration Services can assist in providing a reference number for the Tell Us Once Service to cancel various provisions by Department of Work and Pensions, Passport Office, DVLA etc 

This can be arranged by appointment by calling 01506 281897.


Purchasing Full Death Extracts

A full death extract can be purchased at the time of registration, this may be required for settling any personal business of the deceased including insurance policies and private pensions. At the time of registration and up to one month this will cost £10.00 or £15.00 thereafter.


Tell Us Once Service

Tell Us Once (opens new window) service notifies the government departments and local authority services that need to be made aware of a death.

You can use the service;

  • At the same time as you register the death
  • Online (the registrar will give you a reference number)
  • Over the telephone (the registrar will give you the number to call and a reference number)

The Tell Us Once service is normally contacted by the deceased's next of kin, or the person dealing with their estate. If you wish to act on their behalf you must get their permission first.

The information will be treated securely and confidentially.

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.

The payment can help towards burial or cremation fees, some travel costs, and other expenses such as funeral director fees, a coffin, or flowers.

Normally, applications can only be made up to six months following a funeral. Clients can now apply late if the reason for the delay in applying is due to COVID-19.

How to contact Social Security Scotland

Check if you are eligible for a payment, and apply online at

You can also apply over the phone by calling 0800 182 2222 and requesting a call back.

For general enquiries, Social Security Scotland is now offering a web chat service between 8 am - 6 pm Monday to Friday, which can be accessed at

There is also a new online document upload function for clients to send in evidence to support an application, which can be accessed at