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Register a death

When to register a death

A death must be registered within 8 days of its occurrence.

If the death took place in Scotland it can be registered at any registration office in Scotland, by appointment.

Death Registrations may be carried out in the district of North Ayrshire by:

  • face to face appointment
  • over the phone

Find out more by reading the Directions for the Registration Service.

In order to register the death it is the responsibility of the GP, or Hospital Doctor (if death occurred in hospital) to email Form 11 Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to the Registrar in the local area as identified by the informant.

It helps the process if contact details of the informant, for example family member, or if not available Funeral Director, are included with the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. If no contact details are included, it would then be the responsibility of the informant to contact the Registration Office to start the process of registration.

The original Medical Certificate of Cause of Death should thereafter be posted to the office of the Registrar by the GP, or Hospital Doctor.

Once the email version of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is received by the registration team the process of registration can begin. A member of the team will normally contact you within a couple of days of receiving the paperwork.

Please be aware it may take more than one phone call with the informant to finalise the registration process.

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

You will need

The following documents are needed to register a death:

  • the medical certificate of cause of death (Form 11) issued by the doctor
  • if available, the birth certificate of the deceased
  • if available and applicable, the marriage or civil partnership certificate of the deceased
  • the deceased's medical card - if not available, the name of the deceased's registered doctor

Don’t delay registering a death if all these documents aren’t available. The registration can take place with just the medical certificate of cause of death.

Once the death is registered

There’s no fee to register a death. After registration the registrar will issue:

  • an abbreviated death certificate
  • a certificate of registration of a death (Form 14) – this can be issued to the informant for them to hand to the Funeral Director or it can be emailed directly to the funeral director by the Registration Office.

The registrar will notify the council tax department and the electoral registration office of the death.

A full death certificate, if required, can be purchased and used for the deceased’s personal business including insurance policies and building society accounts. It may also be used to close bank accounts.

How to obtain a full death certificate

If you would like a copy of the death certificate, we can provide this for £10 up to one month after the death has been registered. Thereafter, the cost is £15.

If postage is required, this will be calculated for you and the total cost will be given to you by a member of the Registration Team.

Please note: we only accept card payments.

Tell Us Once

The Tell Us Once service can notify all relevant organisations of someone’s death.

You can watch a summary of how the service works below:

To use this service, you will need the deceased's National Insurance Number along with the following, where relevant:

  • Passport/ Passport Number
  • Driving Licence
  • Blue Badge
  • spouse's National Insurance number (if applicable)

We can notify the relevant organisations and government/ council departments if the deceased was:

  • in receipt of benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions
  • in receipt of benefits from the council 
  • a War Pensioner
  • receiving care from the Health and Social Care Partnership
  • a council tenant
  • subject to Personal Taxation
  • on the Voter's Roll
  • a library member

This service is normally used by the deceased's next of kin (closest relative by blood or marriage to the deceased) or the person dealing with their estate. To act on this person’s behalf you must get their permission first.

The information you give will be treated securely and confidentially. The organisations we contact will use the information to update records, end services, benefits and credits as appropriate and resolve any outstanding issues.

They may use the information in other ways, but only as the law allows. Our privacy statement tells you how we will use and protect the information you provide when you use the Tell Us Once service.

Deaths, burials and cremations outside Scotland

More information

Contact Registrations




01294 310000 

01770 600338 - Arran Office


Registration offices