Registration Services Updates

Updated 8 August 2020

New rules on face coverings

From 8 August wearing a face covering will be compulsory at our Bathgate and Livingston Registration Offices.

Everyone attending an indoor marriage or civil partnership service in a place of worship or wedding venue will be required by law to wear a face covering.

In addition, children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a face covering.

How to arrange a Ceremony in West Lothian

Following the announcement by the First Minister on 14 July 2020 we are working to ensure that our team are prepared to offer our service in line with the government's requirements.

From July 15 onwards, further relaxations of the lockdown rules on marriage and civil partnership will begin:

  • The maximum number of people allowed to attend a marriage or civil partnership will be 20, with physical distancing in place and where venues are able to allow that number to attend safely
  • This figure sets marriage and civil partnership on a different footing from wider gatherings (where household and number restrictions remain); the maximum attendance of 20 people does not include any limitation on numbers of households, but does include the registrar or celebrant, any interpreter and so on
  • The maximum figure encompasses all those at the ceremony, including children, carers supporting any attendee, photographers, musicians or any other person employed by the couple, and so on
  • This figure also applies to both outdoor and indoor ceremonies (where venue capacity allows the ceremony to take place safely).

These restrictions are a legal requirement for all ceremonies regardless of who is conducting the ceremony and where they are taking place about.

These restrictions will be reviewed again towards the end of July.

The current numbers we are able to hold with the registration offices for ceremonies are as follows -

  • Livingston Office  12 people (including the couple and witnesses)
  • Bathgate Office 8 people (including the couple and witnesses)


  • To minimise the chance of exposure to COVID-19, we advise that any potential participant in a ceremony or other attendee who has symptoms or is self-isolating should not attend
  • If either party, the witnesses or anyone else attending the ceremony shows clear symptoms of COVID-19 on the day, the marriage or civil partnership should not go ahead
  • Any person who is shielding should continue to follow Scottish Government guidance on shielding
  • Any person who becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home, and advised to follow guidance on what to do when you develop symptoms
  • Attendees should continue to practice good hand and cough hygiene (including the handling of rings and other objects, such as those associated with hand-fasting, and so on)
  • Face coverings can be worn as a desirable, precautionary measure by parties, witnesses and guests at an indoor ceremony (additional guidance on face coverings is available at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: staying safe and protecting others)
  • The ceremony or registration should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time. The content of a ceremony or registration should be limited as far as reasonably possible to the elements required for the marriage or civil partnership to be validly constituted under the law of Scotland
  • For the purpose of Track and Trace you will be required to provide Name Address and Contact details when arriving at the venue

Birth Registration

As we have now significantly reduced the backlog cases for registering births our Registration Offices are now able to book appointments to register the birth of all babies born between March 2020 and NOW. 

Registration for all births will be partially completed remotely over the telephone and appointments made with either our Civic Centre or Bathgate Offices. Please contact our offices on 01506 281898 or 01506 282914 to arrange an appointment.