Register of Deeds

This guidance provides advice and information about the registration of deeds in this division of the Books of Council and Session.

This register functions as a repository for the safe keeping of traditional deeds.

Registration in the Register of Deeds is voluntary. There’s usually no legal requirement to register deeds.

Register a deed using the Books of Council and Session (C&S1) form on our online services portal. If you don't have an online services login, you can use the PDF form (115KB).

You can post your deed to us or present it in person at our Edinburgh customer service centre.

Purpose of registration

You can register deeds for:

  • preservation
  • preservation and execution

Registration for preservation means we’ll retain the deed for safe keeping. After we register the deed, we will send you an extract that you can use in the place of the original.

If your deed contains a clause where the parties consent to ‘registration for preservation and execution’, your extract will contain a warrant that grants authority for lawful execution. This extract will be equivalent to a decree from the Court of Session, and can be used as the basis for summary diligence in certain scenarios.

What we can register

The most commonly registered types of deeds are wills, leases and minutes of agreement.

We can only register original paper documents that are in self-proving form. We can’t accept electronic documents or copies of original documents.

'Self-proving' means that the deed has been appropriately signed by the granter and a witness.

We can register documents in languages other than English if they’re accompanied by a certified translation.

We won’t register self-proving documents where doing so is not in the public interest or is otherwise objectionable. For example, we won’t register documents that appear to:

  • determine or confer a legal right where no such right can exist
  • relate to a court process or judicial determination where that is not the case
  • contain defamatory statements

We won't register such documents even where they're in self proving form or sworn before a notary public.

Signing a deed

A deed that is to be registered should be signed by the granter and witnessed.

The Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 explains how a deed should be signed by a granter so that the self-proving standard can be met. A granter should sign using either:

  • the full name by which the granter is identified within the deed presented for registration, or in the testing clause (or equivalent) that appears in the deed
  • a surname, preceded by at least one forename. The forename can be expressed in full, or with an initial, abbreviation or familiar form

Your deed won’t be accepted if the signature doesn’t conform to these standards.

In certain circumstances under the 1995 Act, it’s acceptable for a granter to sign a deed in a way that does not fit either of the two styles described above. However, according to the 1995 Act, documents signed like this are not self-proving. We therefore can't accept them for registration, unless the self-proving status has been established in court proceedings and a certificate to that effect is attached to the document.

A deed that is to be registered should also be witnessed. Witnesses should also sign in one of the two styles set out above.

There are a small number of exceptions to these rules about signing. See sections 6(3) and 7(6) of the 1995 Act for more information.

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable signatures 
Acceptable Not acceptable
J Smith Johnny
John Smith Smith
Johnny Smith An 'X'
  A thumbprint

The requirements for wills are a little different. While wills must be signed by the granter and witnessed on the last page, each sheet of paper that makes up the will must also be signed by the granter.

What to include

C&S1 Form

You must include a C&S1 Form with any application for the registration of a deed effecting or evidencing a notifiable transaction in terms of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

While the form is only mandatory for notifiable transactions, we recommend all applications for registration in the Books of Council and Session include a C&S1 Form.

Where it’s not clear from the terms of the deed that the transaction is not notifiable, it’s important that you confirm the position on the application form.

Find the C&S1 form on our online services portal. If you don't have an online services login, you can use the PDF form (115KB).

You should include the following in your C&S1 form:

  • your agent’s name and address
  • the correct FAS number, which will determine where we send your extract and invoice
  • the number of extracts you require
  • an indication of whether the deed is just for preservation, or for execution as well

Coloured plan

You’ll need to provide a copy of the coloured plan within the deed and additional duplicate copies for each extract you request.

Execution clause

If you are registering a document for preservation and execution, you’ll need to include an express agreement in the document to registration for that purpose. This is often called a ‘clause of consent’.

Fees

We charge £10 for the registration of a deed and issue of an extract in the Register of Deeds.

The fee goes up by increments of £12 for each additional deed and extract. For example, two extracts will cost £22, and three will cost £34. This includes VAT, which is chargeable on the second and subsequent extracts.

If you require more than one extract, let us know in your application for registration.

There is an exception to the usual fee for registration in this register for parental rights agreements. We are required to issue two extracts of this type of document, which is reflected in the £22 fee. You should pay this fee by including a cheque with your application.

You don’t need to include pre-payment for other types of deeds. We’ll send you an invoice with your extracts.

Submit a deed

You can personally present a deed for registration at our Edinburgh customer service centre.

Alternately, you can post a deed to us at:

Registers of Scotland
Meadowbank House
153 London Road
Edinburgh
EH8 7AU
DX 555400 Edin 15

We suggest you use secure mail services when sending valuable documents to avoid any losses in the post.

Contact

Email cajr@ros.gov.uk