Births, deaths and ceremonies

Frequently asked questions:

Aberdeen City Council are now in a position to resume birth registrations.  

As birth registrations had been suspended from late March until 29 June, there is high demand for this service.  We appreciate your understanding and patience at this time.  

Once you have provisionally booked your appointment, a Registrar will call you to gather some more information and to confirm your booking.  

Do not attend until you have spoken with a Registrar and had your appointment confirmed. 

There will be strict social distancing measures in place to keep staff and customers safe. This includes limiting the number of customers in the Customer Service Centre at any given time through an appointment only system, hand sanitiser provided at the entrance and in the Registrar rooms and signs directing customers to stay 2 metres apart.  

There will be protective screens in the Registrar rooms where you will need to interact with staff.   Payments are restricted to card only so that cash is not handled.  The Registrar’s rooms will be cleaned after every registration takes place, so the area is ready for the next customer.


 

If you have not been able to register the birth of your child as yet due to coronavirus, you can still make a claim to receive Child Benefit.

If this is your first child, fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.  If you haven’t registered the birth because of Covid 19, add a note along with your claim.

If you already claim Child Benefit, you can complete the form or add your baby’s details over the telephone on 0300 200 3100. You will need your National Insurance number or Child Benefit number. See Government website for more information.

After registration of a birth, form EC58 is given to you to enable the child to be registered with the National Health Service.

If you have not been able to register the birth of your child as yet due to coronavirus, you may wish to have a discussion with your medical practice and advise that you will not be able to provide a form EC58 until the birth is registered. It may be possible to make an interim arrangement, such as to register the child as a ‘temporary resident’, until the birth is registered and the EC58 is issued.

Following the introduction of the UK Emergency Coronavirus Bill on 26 March 2020, registrars now undertake death and still birth registrations by telephone. Face to face still birth registrations and face to face death registrations have been suspended until further notice. 

During the pandemic period the opening hours for telephone death registrations are;  Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

Please call Aberdeen Registrars on 01224 522616 to make a telephone appointment.

If you would like to use the Tell Us Once service, which is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go, we will take additional information from you by phone and complete the Tell Us Once process as normal.

Services are taking place at Aberdeen Crematorium with national social distancing rules for funerals being applied. A maximum of 20 people will now be able to attend a funeral service at Aberdeen Crematorium and at graveyards and these are no longer limited to just ‘close family’. 

Cremations will continue and may be booked through the normal channels described below.

With regard to burials and/or memorial facilities, initial enquiries to be made by telephone or email; 01224 522485 or e-mail burials@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Find out more about the Scottish Government guidance.

Find out more about burials and cremations.

The contact details of individuals or a ‘lead member’ of a household attending funeral services at Aberdeen Crematorium or at any of the city’s cemeteries will be collected from Wednesday 15 July by Aberdeen City Council, helping to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service.  

This measure is in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance. Test and Protect is being applied in a range of community settings – from hairdressers to restaurants – and forms part of the national effort to suppress COVID-19 and support the country to return to a more normal way of life.

Anyone providing contact details are advised that their details will be destroyed after 21 days in line with Data Protection. 

People have the right to refuse to give details.  However, we would ask individuals to bear in mind that the contact details of individuals or a ‘lead member’ of a household attending funeral services at Aberdeen Crematorium or at any of the city’s cemeteries will be collected from 15 July by Aberdeen City Council, helping to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service.  

Anyone providing contact details are advised that their details will be destroyed after 21 days in line with Data Protection. 


 

The Scottish Government’s latest guidance allows for cremation authorities to open for all services in addition to funeral services, for example, to view the book of remembrance or for ashes to be collected by individuals.
 

The crematorium reception and book of remembrance area is open at the following times:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am-4pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: Closed

The Books of Remembrance can also be viewed online

A maximum of 20 people will now be able to attend a funeral service at Aberdeen Crematorium and at graveyards and these are no longer limited to just ‘close family’. 
 

At all times, social distancing guidelines must be complied with. This will require attendees, Funeral Directors, officiants, and staff to maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres from other persons unless they are members of the same household.

The numbers attending funeral services and any other easing of restrictions will be constantly reviewed in line with government guidance.
 

Yes, the Garden of Remembrance at Aberdeen Crematorium is open to the public. We ask that social distancing guidelines are respected. 
 

Following an announcement by the First Minister on September 22, the following restrictions now apply to all marriage and civil partnership ceremonies:

The existing maximum number of attendees is 20 (not including the registrar and any necessary interpreter) remains in place. Children under 12 are also included in the maximum number of attendees

Outdoor ceremonies can continue, within the limitation on numbers and with existing measures such as appropriate distancing remaining in place

Marriage and civil partnership registrations should only take place in private dwellings where it is not possible for them to take place in a public place, because for example:

  • A party to the marriage or civil partnership is seriously ill
  • Disability prevents such a party from attending a ceremony or registration at a public or outside venue.

Where a ceremony or registration does take place at a private dwelling, the number of attendees should be kept to the absolute minimum (the couple, two witnesses and the registrar, as well as an interpreter, where one is needed).  Physical distancing between households should also be observed.

Please contact Aberdeen City Registrars on 01224 522616 if you have any queries or need to make any changes to your marriage/civil partnership.

You can hold a wedding or civil partnership ceremony outdoors in any of the parks in Aberdeen.  Further details including the charges, can be found at weddings, functions and photo sessions parks. Due to the current restrictions, we are not taking bookings for rooms in the Grant Room or Town House at present.

Marriages and Civil partnership ceremonies may be booked with the Registrars by telephone on 01224 522616.  A short risk assessment will be required to be undertaken by the Registrar.

Any further changes will depend on health protection advice.

 

Following a recent policy decision, marriage/CP ceremonies are allowed in outdoor spaces at a private dwelling.

There are a number of conditions which must be fulfilled to allow such ceremonies to go ahead (which align outdoor ceremonies at private dwellings with outdoor ceremonies at public venues):

  • The ceremony must observe physical distancing
  • Numbers should be kept to the minimum possible
  • A maximum of 20 people can attend
  • This maximum includes the couple, witnesses, children, guests and carers supporting attendees at the ceremony, as well as any professionals such as photographers employed by the couple
  • It does not include the registrar or celebrant, and any necessary interpreter.
     

The definition of a private dwelling includes self-contained, self-catering and other private hire holiday accommodation.  The use of private hire exclusive use premises (such as castles and historic houses) for ceremonies will depend on the arrangements in place. 

If the venue is managed and regulated, with venue staff to ensure that the relevant guidance, including this guidance and statutory hospitality guidance is followed, then the ceremony or registration will comply with the applicable regulations and guidance.  The venue would not be classified as a private dwelling and indoor marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships could proceed there under this guidance
 

From September 14, up to 20 people can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception taking place in hospitality premises, such as a hotel.  This number includes the couple, guests (including children) and third-party suppliers (such as a photographer), but does not include venue staff or third-party catering staff.
The venue must be able to safely accommodate those attending, with physical distancing in place.

It is only possible to hold a reception at a private dwelling if the rules on social gatherings at home are fully complied with.  This means: 

  • The reception must be held outdoors 
  • It must consist of no more than 6 people 
  • These people must come from no more than 2 households 
  • These numbers do not include children under 12 years of age. 


 

The new restrictions do not place any new limitations on travel, so for example earlier restrictions in the Aberdeen and surrounding area preventing travel to and from marriages/civil partnerships have not been reintroduced.  Travel is not currently restricted in this way.

At this time, Scottish Government is strongly advising against car-sharing.  People should only share a vehicle with those from their own household or extended household.  If they have no other option, they should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely.

Generally, indoor live performance of music to an audience is not advised but Scottish Government guidance for marriages and civil partnerships advises that if musical instruments require to be played, only those instruments that do not require to be blown into should be played.  An organ can be played, but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.  
 

If a marriage or civil partnership has to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, authority has been given for the notice period to be extended without new notices being submitted, providing the marriage is to take place before 31 December 2020.  All fees will be transferred to the new date.

Where a couple has already submitted notice to be married and cannot re-arrange their ceremony to take place by 31 December 2020, new Marriage Notice Forms must be submitted within 3 calendar months of the re-scheduled date. Providing a refund has not been requested, all fees paid will be transferred to the new date and no additional fee will be payable.

Should you wish to cancel a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible on 01224 522616 and you will be entitled to a full refund.

To ensure the health and safety of all attending the celebrant or registrar will ensure physical distancing measures take place.  To minimise the chance of exposure to COVID-19, any potential participant in a ceremony or other attendee who has symptoms or is self-isolating should not attend.  If either party, the witnesses or anyone else attending the ceremony shows clear symptoms of COVID-19 on the day, the marriage or civil partnership will not go ahead.  Any person who is shielding should continue to follow Scottish Government guidance on shielding. 

At indoor weddings, face coverings should be worn by all parties including witnesses and guests. Following an announcement by the Scottish Government the couple are no longer required to wear face coverings for the duration of their marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration but must wear a face covering whilst getting to the ceremony room.

In addition, to assist with contact tracing where a potential outbreak of COVID-19 is linked to specific premises, venues hosting gatherings such as marriages and civil partnerships will be required to collect minimal contact details from attendees at such gatherings.  This includes name and contact details. Where people are attending as part of a household, details can be recorded for a single ‘lead member’ of the household rather than every member.  This information will support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service and form part of the effort to suppress COVID-19 and support the country’s return to a more normal way of life. 

The full Scottish Government guidance on Test and Protect can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

If your marriage is to take place in Aberdeen, you can now give notice of marriage or civil partnership to this office if;

You have a minister/celebrant etc. arranged to deliver your ceremony in Aberdeen and require the Registrar's service to produce a schedule document permitting the ceremony to take place.

OR

You have an existing booking to be married with Aberdeen Registrars, in our office or by one of our Registrar's in a third-party venue.

AND

Your planned date of marriage is between 29 days and three months ahead of the arrival of your notice forms and documents at the Registrar’s office.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus restrictions that are in place, it does not guarantee that your ceremony will proceed in the place or with the number of guests that you may have expected or planned.

If you wish to proceed, please refer to the National Records of Scotland for further advice on how to give notice.

Please note, original copies of the form and supporting documentation must be posted to this office.  The Registrars will not accept forms or documents that are submitted to them by any other means.

Please post notices to: Registrars Office, Business Hub 3, Ground Floor South,  Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

If you are in any doubt as to what forms and documents apply to your circumstances, please contact this office on 01224 522616, where one of the Registrars will be happy to help you.

Request for historical certificates are only be available via our online service at present. 

Aberdeen City Registrars are now in a position to arrange British Citizenship Ceremonies for candidates who have received their ceremony invitation from the Home Office.  If you have received your letter inviting you to arrange your ceremony, please email the registrars office – registrars@aberdeencity.gov.uk with the following information; 

  • Your Full Name 
  • Your Home Office Reference Number 
  • The date you received your letter from the Home Office  
  • The contact telephone number to reach you on. 

We will contact you to arrange your ceremony.  Your patience is appreciated as we will be dealing with candidates in date priority order meaning you may not hear from us straight away 


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