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Register a death

A death occurring in Scotland must be registered within eight days.

When someone dies in Scotland, you can register their death anywhere in Scotland. No burial or cremation can take place until the death has been registered.

Death registrations can be carried out with customers remotely over the telephone. A telephone appointment is perhaps more convenient for you and your appointment can be done in the comfort of your own home. A Registrar will phone you on the day and time of your appointment to go through the registration process. Alternatively, if you would prefer to come into an office, you can register a death at a face-to-face appointment at one of the following offices: Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes or Kirkcaldy.

To register a death you will need:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by a doctor or hospital or the serial number

Please have the following documents available if possible:

  • Deceased person's birth certificate
  • Their marriage certificate(s)
  • Their medical card
  • Documents required for the Tell Us Once Bereavement Service (see below)

Telephone Appointments: Once the appointment is booked please take a picture/scan of the documents required and email these to with a note of appointment date, time and office.

Face-to-Face Appointments: Please take these documents with you to the appointment.

Once you register a death, you will be issued with:

  • A free abbreviated death certificate
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14) - This is needed by the Funeral Director so the funeral can go ahead

Due to the introduction of the ‘Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011’, the death you are registering may be selected for medical review and you may not immediately be able to complete the death registration. You can still make provisional funeral arrangements while the medical review is underway, however, the funeral cannot take place until the medical review has been completed. The Registrar will explain the review process and timescales in more detail at your appointment. You can read more about the medical review process by visiting

When you are registering a death, the Registrar will be able to help you with advice about the certificates you might need, and about other Council services.

You can also use our bereavement service Tell Us Once which informs many departments of both local and central government when someone has died. This service is usually carried out at the death registration appointment. To use this service, please have the following information available:

  • Deceased person's National Insurance number
  • Their passport or passport number (if they had one)
  • Their driving licence or driving licence number (if they had one)
  • Surviving spouse's National Insurance number
  • Their Blue Badge

This can be a difficult time for you and we all want to make things as straightforward as possible, so please ask if we can help in any way.


There is no charge to register a death. However, if you would like a full death certificate, which shows the cause(s) of death, this costs £10 at the time of registration.

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Contact Us

If you are unable to book your appointment online then please telephone 03451 55 00 77.