Coronavirus (COVID-19)

View updates on coronavirus and council services. If you are affected and need assistance, please visit Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub.

Registrars services - Coronavirus

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

If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can have this information translated for you via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the online British Sign Language interpreting service.

Registration of birth

Please contact your local registration office to make arrangement to register the birth of your child.

The health and safety of our clients and customers is of the highest priority. In order to minimise extended ‘face to face’ contact and due to the ongoing requirement for social distancing, the birth registrations process takes place in three stages:

  1. 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.
  2. A telephone registration will take place at an agreed time, wherein 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.
  3. A document review and signing appointment will then be scheduled. During this brief face to face appointment, the parent(s) will visit a registration office to briefly review and sign the register page.

Registration offices throughout Aberdeenshire are available by appointment, solely for the purpose of document check and signing. All other registration enquiries continue to be handled by telephone. If you have any questions regarding the registration process, please do not hesitate to call your local registration office.

Registration of death

Deaths may be registered via 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 your local registration office.

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 100KB) or civil partnership notice forms (CP10’s) (pdf 529KB)
  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 100KB)

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
    Deeside Office
    Bridge Street
    Banchory
    AB31 5SX

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.

Restrictions on 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:

Attending a ceremony

  • The maximum number of people allowed to attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony is 20
  • The maximum number includes children under 12, however, it does not include the registrar or celebrant, or an interpreter
  • There is no limitation on numbers of households that may be present
  • This maximum figure applies to all ceremonies, whether indoors or outdoors
  • Two-metre physical distancing must in place between members of all households or 'bubbles' throughout the ceremony
  • All guests attending an indoor marriage or civil partnership service in a place of worship or wedding venue is required by law to wear a face covering - limited exceptions may apply; please discuss this with your registrar
  • Please note that one of the above exceptions applies to the couple, who are not required to wear face coverings for the duration of their marriage or civil partnership ceremony
  • All participants and attendees should practice good hand and cough hygiene before, during and after the ceremony
  • Any person suspected to have COVID-19 or is self-isolating should not attend ceremonies
  • If either party to marriage, witnesses or anyone else attending the ceremony shows clear symptoms of COVID-19 on the day, the marriage or civil partnership should not go ahead
  • Quarantine rules may apply for some people travelling into Scotland, including for the purpose of attending a marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration, view further guidance on restrictions relating to international travel
  • The person officiating the marriage ceremony - whether minister, registrar or celebrant - may only proceed in full compliance with the above restrictions

Ceremony venues

  • As of Friday, September 25, indoor marriages and civil partnerships in private dwellings are now restricted
  • Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies should only take place inside a private dwelling, 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 at a public venue
  • If you believe you may need to have a marriage or civil partnership in a private dwelling, please contact your local registrar, who will work with NRS as a priority to provide more information to you
  • 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 attending a ceremony section
  • Ceremony venues must be large enough to accommodate two-meter distancing between each household group - ‘bubble’ - at all times
  • The person responsible for the venue must therefore incorporate 2m distancing when seating guests, and ensure space is sufficient for overall choreography of ceremony - including the signing of the register
  • Venues hosting gatherings such as marriages and civil partnerships, including facilities provided by local authorities, will be required to collect Track and Trace information from all attendees - this information will support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service
  • The person responsible for the marriage ceremony venue is responsible for ensuring full compliance with all ceremony restrictions

View Scottish Government guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership.

Where couples or venues have specific questions relating to venue compliance, please email the Environmental Health team at environmental@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Civil ceremonies

Couples considering a non-religious marriage ceremony should contact our team directly to enquire about civil marriage. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have, offering experienced advice, guidance and reassurance.

When planning your civil marriage ceremony, you registrar will be happy to meet you by telephone or Skype meeting to discuss the order of ceremony, script and any other personal features designed to ensure that your marriage ceremony is as perfect as can be.

Our team has access to a range of venues located throughout Aberdeenshire which are large enough to accommodate socially distanced ceremonies. However, Registrars may officiate civil ceremonies anywhere in Aberdeenshire, subject to risk assessment and compliance with restrictions currently imposed upon marriage ceremonies.

To discuss local options and prices please contact your local registrar.

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.