Coronavirus (COVID-19)

View updates on coronavirus and council services.

Registrars services - Coronavirus

On this page you can view update on registration services during coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are currently seeing unprecedented demand due to recent easing of ceremony restrictions. All registration requests are reviewed and prioritised. We appreciate your patience during this period.

Registration availability

The health, safety and wellbeing of our clients and colleagues is of the highest priority.

In order to minimise unnecessary travel and face to face contact all registration services are now primarily provided by telephone.

Telephone appointments are available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

To enquire about the registration process please call 01467 468 468 or email registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Registration of birth

The birth registrations process consists of three stages.

Stage 1 - email to request registration

New parents should email registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk to request birth registration. A scan or photograph of the A4 birth confirmation form issued by the hospital should be attached to this email, along with contact details for the parents. A registrar will contact you to schedule the telephone registration appointment. 

Stage 2 - telephone registration

During this phone call, the registrar will collect and verify all relevant information relating to the registration. If the baby’s parents are unmarried, both parents should participate in this telephone call. If you are unable to be in the same location, your registrar will be able to initiate a conference call to two separate telephone numbers.

Stage 3 - document review and signing appointment

At an agreed time, the parent(s) will visit a registration office to briefly review and sign the register page in a safe and efficient manner.

Registration of death

Registration of Death is provided by telephone call with a registrar.

Appointments are available on weekdays between 8:45am to 5pm. To book an appointment to register a death, please call 01467 468 468 or email registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

If you are in possession of a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), please arrange for this to be scanned and emailed to registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Your undertaker will be able to advise you on all aspects of the above process. However, if you have any questions relating to registration of death please call your local registration office for immediate assistance.

Registration of marriage and civil partnership

In order to register your intent to marry or civilly partner, you must complete and submit the following documentation:

  1. Marriage notice forms (M10's)(pdf 239KB) or civil partnership notice form (CP10’s) (pdf 741KB)
  2. Marriage: additional information sheet (doc 59KB) or civil partnership: additional information sheet (doc 46KB)
  3. Supporting documentation as detailed in: guidance to marriage in Scotland leaflet - RM1 (pdf 72KB) or registering a civil partnership in Scotland (RCP1) (pdf 123KB)

Note that the above applies to all marriage and civil partnership ceremonies, irrespective of denomination. Whether you are to be married by a minister, registrar or other belief body celebrant, the procedure is the same.

Submission of notices

Please follow the following procedure when submitting notice to marry or civilly partner:

  1. Complete the above forms and gather the necessary supporting documentation.
  2. Scan (or photograph) these documents and email them to registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
  3. Immediately post marriage or Civil Partnership notice forms to the following address:
    Aberdeenshire Registrars
    Registration Office
    25 Gordon Street
    Huntly  
    AB54 8AN 

Do not post supporting documentation at this stage.

A registrar will subsequently contact you to arrange payment by telephone, and to schedule an appointment to review supporting documentation. A review of physical documents is a requirement prior to issuing a marriage schedule.

Notice period

By law, a marriage ceremony may take place a minimum of 29 days after marriage notices have been submitted. If notices are submitted separately, this 29-day period follows receipt of the second set of notices.

Marriage and civil partnership notices are normally valid for a 90-day period. However, where a marriage or civil partnership is delayed due to coronavirus, registrars have the authority to extend the notice period free of charge. Please contact your local registrar’s office to discuss.

Request for special dispensation to marry or civilly partner

In very specific circumstances, couples may require special dispensation to be married or civilly partnered within the 29-day period. For more information, please contact your local registrar’s office to discuss.

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

All ceremonies – whether religious, civil or belief-body ceremonies - must comply with the full range of Scottish Government guidelines which are intended to provide for the safety of all persons present.

In order to ensure that their marriage ceremony adheres to the current safety guidelines, couples planning marriage should discuss restrictions with their chosen ceremony officiant and with the parties responsible for the ceremony venue.

If in doubt, please contact your local registrar who will be happy to offer advice and signposting, irrespective of the ceremony denomination.

Current general restrictions placed on the provision of ceremonies are as follows:

Scottish restrictions on marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Restrictions around marriage and civil partnership remain fluid. This section will be updated as information is available regarding changes coming into force.

Aberdeenshire is currently at protection Level 0.

From Monday, 19th July 2021:

  • The maximum number of persons permitted to attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony is increased to 200

Indoors

  • In all venues, physical distancing for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies will reduce to 1 metre
  • Face coverings remain mandatory for all guests and participants other than the wedding couple, and the person carrying out the ceremony

Outdoors

  • Groups of up to 15 people will not need to distance from one another (sitting or standing), but will need to maintain 1m distancing from other groups
  • Mingling and dancing within a group of up to 15 people is now permissible
  • The couple can receive or greet guests and move between groups, but should remain at 1m distance from groups outside their own group of 15
  • Guests can also be served drinks and canapés without needing to be seated

Everybody attending a ceremony must act in accordance with current social distancing guidelines, including musicians, photographers and venue staff.

Please take the time to review the Scottish Government guidance for wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations, receptions and celebrations.

This guidance applies to all marriage and civil partnership ceremonies irrespective of denomination.

If a ceremony officiant identifies non-compliance with these guidelines which may lead to COVID-19 transmission or any other risks - whether due to venue suitability or the conduct of those present - they may refuse to conduct (or complete) the ceremony.

Aberdeenshire Registrars appreciate that this continues to be a time of uncertainty for couples and we are happy to provide advice and reassurance upon request. Please contact us by telephone or email if you have any questions or concerns regarding your ceremony.

Ceremony venues

  • The person responsible for the ceremony venue is responsible for ensuring full compliance with all ceremony restrictions
  • Ceremony attendance must be limited in proportion with the size of the venue, in order to accommodate 1m distancing between all each household groups at all times
  • The venue must give consideration to incorporating social distancing to all aspects of the ceremony, from the arrival and seating of guests to the ceremony, signing of the register, and departure from the venue
  • The venue is required to ensure Track and Trace information is collected from all attendees - this information will support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service
  • Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are allowed in outdoor spaces at a private dwelling, such as a back garden, providing they meet the conditions laid out in the Scottish Government guidance
  • Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies may not take place inside a private dwelling, unless is not possible to take place in a public place because, for example, a party to the marriage or civil partnership is seriously ill or disability prevents such a party from attending a ceremony at a public venue. In circumstances where such dispensation is required, our registrars will liaise with the National Records of Scotland as a priority to provide more information to you
  • Where couples or venues have specific questions relating to venue compliance, please email the Environmental Health team at environmental@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Please take the time to review in full the Scottish Government guidance for those responsible for venues.

Civil ceremonies

Registrars may officiate civil ceremonies anywhere in Aberdeenshire, and we are happy to liaise with venues to ensure ceremonies complaint with current restrictions imposed upon marriage ceremonies.

In addition, we have access to a range of large ceremony venues throughout Aberdeenshire with appropriate space to accommodate socially distanced ceremonies.

Couples considering a non-religious marriage ceremony should contact our team directly to discuss their ceremony. We will be happy to meet you by telephone or Skype meeting to answer any questions you may have, offering you experienced advice, guidance and reassurance on all aspects from the choreography of the event, order of ceremony, script and any other personal features designed to ensure that your marriage ceremony is as perfect as can be.

Citizenship ceremonies

We are pleased to confirm the reintroduction of British citizenship ceremonies in the following formats:

  • Private ceremony - a socially distanced ceremony held in one of our ceremony suites; attendance to private ceremonies will be limited to registrar, citizenship applicant and invited members of the applicant’s immediate household
  • Virtual ceremony - a short ceremony held via a Microsoft Teams virtual meeting. Applicants may attend from home using a laptop, tablet or smartphone; on completion of the ceremony, citizenship certification is sent to the applicant’s home address via registered post

Traditional 'group' citizenship ceremonies remain unavailable.

Booking a citizenship ceremony

Citizenship ceremonies may be booked by phoning any of our registration offices. Alternatively, you may email registars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk for assistance. We will be happy to call you back at a convenient time.

In order to book a British citizenship ceremony, you must first be in possession of an invitation letter issued by the Home Office. If you wish to make an enquiry regarding this invitation letter, please contact the Home Office directly.

View more information on the British Citizenship application process.