Registrars collect and record births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages and civil partnership details.

What does a registrar do?

As a registrar, your job is to collect and record 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.

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 work independently. 

What do I need to do to become a registrar?

You need experience in management, of handling budgets and knowledge of relevant legislation and legal processes. You also need excellent customer service, public speaking and IT skills. You might get this from working at managerial level in a registrar’s department, local council or private sector company.

You may be able to start as a deputy registrar and, with experience and on-the-job training, progress to a registrar position. You need a good general standard of education and excellent customer service skills.

Each local authority sets its own entry requirements, so check with them for exact details.

A driving licence is usually required.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Literacy
  • Patience

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You would be based at a local register office, and may also attend marriages in various locations such as hotels, stately homes and civic buildings. In some remote areas, you may be based at home or in a local post office and work when needed.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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