National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

NRS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

NRS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Latest updates

Registration of Deaths and Still-births

NRS understands that this is a very distressing and difficult time for bereaved families. We have been working closely with the Scottish Government and local authorities to introduce a system which will allow registrars to take ‘remote’ registration of deaths, by telephone or electronic means. This system is now live and further information is available from our Registering a Death page or contact your local registration office direct, to arrange an appointment.

Ordering a Certificate

Following the recent announcement by the UK Government introducing strict new measures to tackle COVID-19/ Coronavirus (23 March 2020), our buildings are now closed and our staff are working from home.

We are therefore unable to process any certificate orders as we do not have access to our secure certificate paper or official seal. We are in the process of arranging full refunds for any orders which we have not been able to complete.

We understand that there may be very urgent cases where official confirmation of an event taking place is required. If this is the case, please use our contact form on ScotlandsPeople selecting ‘Certificates and Copies’ and one of our team will respond directly.

Information Regarding Registration Services

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, most registration offices in Scotland are closed to members of the public.

Please be aware that during the period of the pandemic, registration offices may be operating with reduced registration staff. We ask for your patience when trying to make contact with an office. For public health reasons, registration staff will be prioritising the registration of deaths and still-births. Marriages and civil partnerships will not take place during the pandemic period, and most birth registrations will be postponed.

Local services

Registration of births

Registration of births has been temporarily suspended whilst registration offices are closed to the public. An announcement about the commencement of birth registrations appointments will be made as soon as advice is received that it is safe to re-open registration offices and conduct registration appointments in person.

Registration of Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Following advice on the prevention of public gatherings from the UK and Scottish Government, and to help delay the spread of Covid-19, a decision has been taken that marriages and civil partnerships will not take place in the pandemic period.

A marriage may not proceed in Scotland without the issue of a Schedule. Registrars have now been instructed to stop the issue of Schedules for marriages and civil partnerships. NRS will take advice about when it is safe to lift this restriction.

During the period when the restriction on issuing Schedules is in place, registrars have been instructed not to process any forms M10 (Marriage Notice – Scotland) received.

If you have already lodged notice of your intention to marry, or to register your civil partnership, you should contact the local authority for the area where you lodged notice to discuss how you wish to proceed.

NRS Services

Marriages and Civil Partnerships:

If you have an urgent query about a marriage or civil partnership, please email: marriage@nrscotland.gov.uk.

Change of Name: 

If you would like advice on how to have a change of name recorded, please email: namechange@nrscotland.gov.uk. Please be aware that no change of name requests can be processed until our normal service has resumed.

Re-registration of a Birth or Still-birth:

If you would like advice about the re-registration of a birth or still-birth, please email: reregister@nrscotland.gov.uk. Please be aware that no re-registration applications will be processed until our normal service has resumed.

Gender Recognition:

If you would like general advice about the gender recognition process or how the birth registration process works in Scotland, please email: grusupport@nrscotland.gov.uk.

Services which will not be available:

  • Corrections to register entries
  • The issue of Multilingual Translation Aids
  • Letters confirming the status of someone after a check of national indexes (To Whom it May Concern Letters).

More Information

Which NRS services can I use during this closure?

We will continue to deliver a number of our services including:

  • Statistical publications: NRS is reviewing its data gathering and release practices, and focussing efforts on priority statistics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Users and stakeholders will be advised of any changes as soon as possible. The latest information on publication dates and further information including contact details is available on our statistics publication page.
  • Historical and Legal documents: if you have any enquiries related to historical or legal documents held in our archives (which are not held on our ScotlandsPeople website) please contact us via email.
  • Scottish Register of Tartans: You can currently apply to register your tartan online via your account and submit enquiries via email. We are registering approved tartans on our website but we are currently unable to issue tartan certificates related to recently approved registrations. We will issue these as soon as we can.
  • ScotlandsPeople: our online services are available as usual.
  • General enquiries: Contact us by email
  • NRS Learning Services: Teachers, pupils and learners of all ages and stages can access and engage with our online resources via the Learning section of the NRS website. The resources available at Services for Schools and Scottish Archives for Schools are designed to support the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and National Qualifications. If you have any enquiries, contact us by email.
  • Enquiries: We will endeavour to respond to all enquires. Due to current circumstances, we may not meet normal timescales for response and our normal access to our records may be limited, which will impact on the copies which we can provide at this time.