Register of Deeds submission checklist

When reviewing your application to submit paper deeds for the Register of Deeds, check:

  • that the deed is an original document
  • the information in the application form matches the information in the deed
  • if the deed needs Land and Building Transaction Tax, you’ll need to tell us if a return has been made or not
  • that all parties are named in full including their full address
  • that all involved sign on the last page of deed text
  • you’ve signed the deeds appropriately - learn more about signing deeds below
  • that annexations to documents (such as plans or schedules) are:
    • docquet
    • referred to in the document.

If any of the above bullets have not been fulfilled, we may need to reject the deed.

By far the most common cause for rejection is in relation to how deeds are signed. Deeds must be signed in accordance with the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995.

The section below covers the key points.

How to sign appropriately


When signing a deed, the initials or forename must go before the surname.

For example, John Smith or J. Smith.

If your signature does not follow this format, you’ll need to explain in the deed at the place of signing that this is your standard signature.

A signature that is only initials will not be accepted anywhere in the deed.


A witness must follow the same signing rules described above.

Who needs to sign

To avoid rejection, make sure all parties to the deed have signed the deed, ensuring the witnesses are named in full, including their full address and postcode.

Where an individual is signing on behalf of companies or other corporate bodies (charities, etc) they should state what capacity they’re signing (such as director, authorised signatory etc).

What else needs to be signed

The following need to be signed by all parties:

  • photographs
  • drawings
  • plans

How to sign

There are specific rules about how deeds need to be signed depending on whether the parties to the deed are:

  • individuals
  • companies
  • other entities.

Read more in-depth registration guidance from RoS about signing deeds.


The subscriber (the person signing the deed) must sign Scottish wills on every sheet of paper.

A will from outside Scotland can be registered with a cover letter from a solicitor who practices in the jurisdiction where the will was created.

This letter needs to state that it conforms to the law of that country.

Wills that comply with the rules of their country are registrable as long as they’re in English.

We can register documents in languages other than English if a certified translation accompanies them. The document will be subject to legal review.

Qualified Electronic Signature

Certain types of deeds can be registered electronic documents if they’re signed by a qualified electronic signature.

The rules for signing these are different than for paper documents outlined above. Find out more about Qualified Electronic Signatures.

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