How to become a registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

As a registrar, it would be your job to collect and record the details of all births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships in your area. You could also perform marriage, civil partnership, citizenship and naming ceremonies at register offices and other venues.

In this job your main duties would include:

  • interviewing parents and relatives after a birth or a death
  • completing computerised and paper records
  • issuing birth or death certificates
  • informing the coroner (or procurator fiscal in Scotland) if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
  • collecting statistics to send to the General Register Office
  • taking payment for copies of certificates
  • keeping accurate records
  • performing civil ceremonies.

You could also be employed as a celebrant, conducting civil ceremonies such as marriages, civil partnerships and civil funerals without the responsibility of registering births and deaths.

You could be employed by a local council, or you could work independently (see the Association of Independent Celebrants for information). If you share humanist beliefs, you could also become an officiant or celebrant of the British Humanist Association.

  • Association of Independent Celebrants
  • British Humanist Association

What qualifications and experience will employers look for?

To become a registrar, you will need experience of dealing with a wide range of people, and you should be computer literate. You may find it useful to have some experience of public speaking. A driving licence is also useful.

Employers look for a good standard of general education and will usually prefer you to be qualified to at least GCSE standard or equivalent.

Doctors, midwives, ministers of religion, funeral directors and anyone working in the life assurance industry are not allowed to become registrars.

What further training and development can I do?

You will be trained on the job by your employer in registration law and procedures. You may also be trained in customer care and dealing with bereavement.

In Scotland, after around two years’ experience in the job, you can take the Certificate of Proficiency in the Law and Practice of Registration, which is jointly awarded by the General Register Office for Scotland, the Association of Registrars in Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Written by admin

Founder and editor of, a mother of two wonderful children, wife and journalist.
  • Dippy552

    can you apply if your convicted of fraud