Coronavirus: Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Coronavirus: Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships
29 June 2020

In line with guidance from the Depute Registrar General and the Scottish Government, registration services will be provided in Orkney from Monday 29 June 2020 subject to the following restrictions:

Registration of birth

From 29 June 2020, registration of birth is reintroduced in Orkney. This includes those births that have not been able to be registered to date due to the COVID-19 restrictions on birth registration.

A Registrar will contact all parents to arrange an appointment for parents to visit the Kirkwall Registration Office to register the birth.
The Kirkwall Registration Office will be opened on a limited basis to allow for this essential service to resume. All other enquiries will continue to be handled by telephone in the first instance.

Please call the Senior Registrar on the undernoted telephone number to discuss registering the birth of your child.

Registration of death

Deaths may be registered meantime via telephone appointment only with a Registrar in Kirkwall. Please call the Senior Registrar on the undernoted telephone number.

Submission of marriage or civil partnership notices

Marriage and civil partnership notice forms are now being received. For further information, please call or email the Senior Registrar whose details are undernoted.

Scheduling marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

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

Notice period

Normally marriage and civil partnership notices are valid for a 90-day period. However, if a marriage or civil partnership is delayed due to COVID-19, please contact the Senior Registrar on the undernoted telephone number to request that the notice period is extended. There is no charge for this function.

Special dispensation to marry

In exceptional circumstances, couples may require special dispensation to be married or have a civil partnership within the 29-day period. For more information, please get in touch with the Senior Registrar to discuss.

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can resume in accordance with Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 route map. Ceremonies must adhere to the government guidelines.

Venue:

  • Ceremonies must take place in an outdoor location.
  • Physical distancing measures must be in place at all times.

Attendees:

  • Up to eight people, from a maximum of three separate households may attend the ceremony.
  • This is to allow all parties (who may not be part of the same household prior to marriage) and witnesses to attend.

This limitation does not include the registrar or celebrant or any necessary interpreter.

It is hoped that Phase 3 of the COVID-19 route map will see the reintroduction of indoor ceremonies.

We are available to provide support and information to all couples considering a marriage ceremony. Please contact the Senior Registrar to discuss.

Citizenship

Group citizenship ceremonies have been cancelled for now. Please contact the Senior Registrar if you wish to enquire about completion of the naturalisation process.

Extracts, certificates or searches

Requests for extracts, certificates or searches will only be accepted over the telephone. There may be a delay in processing requests until normal service has resumed. All orders will be provided by post. You will not be able to collect these in person.

Home-based Registrars

The Home-based Registrars in North Ronaldsay, Papa Westray, Westray, Sanday, Stronsay, Eday, Stromness, Hoy and Flotta will NOT be undertaking any registrations until further notice due to current COVID-19 restrictions at present. Anyone on those islands requiring a registration service should contact the Senior Registrar, in the first instance, for advice.

The above restrictions will be kept under review and may be subject to further change in accordance with legislation or guidance.


If you have any queries, or need further advice, please call the Senior Registrar on 07860448271 or 01856886333. Email: chief-registrar@orkney.gov.uk.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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