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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 availability

The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is of the highest priority.

In order to minimise the need for travel and face to face contact, registration services are now primarily provided by telephone.

Weekly document checking and signing appointments are available at Registration offices throughout Aberdeenshire. These brief appointments are solely for the completion of Birth and Marriage registration.

To enquire about any aspect of the registration process please email registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call your local registration office.

Registration of birth

The birth registrations process takes place in 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, email registrars@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or 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
    Area Office
    Bellwood Road
    Aboyne 
    AB34 5HQ

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

From Friday 8th January 2021 new restrictions are placed on marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.

From Friday, 8th January 2021:

  • Attendance to ceremonies is limited to 5 persons – this includes: the couple, two witnesses and a ceremony officiant
  • A sixth person may only be permitted if required to provide a formal interpretation service

Please view the stay at home guidance (the Life events section) on the Scottish Government website for further information.

Ceremony venues

  • 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
  • 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 or 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 above

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.