How To Register With A Doctor

Whether you've just moved out of your family home for the first time, are moving to university or moving to a new location, it's likely you'll need to register with a GP practice. 

1) Find your GP Surgery 

First of all, find your nearest practice and phone to ask if they are accepting new patients. If you are under 16 you should be registered by your parents or carers, but you do have the choice to have a different doctor than the rest of your family.  

You can also register with a GP on a temporary basis if you are staying somewhere for less than 3 months. You can also register temporarily if you move around the country and have no permanent address. 

2) Fill out the forms 

If they are accepting patients, contact the practice to ask how they would like you to register. You will be asked to fill out a registration form which will include questions such as your name and address, your date of birth, and if you are moving to a different GP practice the name and address of your previous GP. 

You can download the form before visiting the surgery and have it completed in advance. Some practices might let you email the form to them, but check directly with the practice you want to register with, so you can make sure you're doing it in the correct way.

Some GP surgeries will also ask to see proof of your identity. For example, they may ask to see: 

  • photo identity, such as your passport or driving licence 
  • proof of your address, such as a recent council tax bill or utility bill. 

If you don’t have your ID on you that’s okay, most surgeries will allow you to take the form home to fill out, and you can bring your ID with you when you come back to the practice to hand your form in. 

3) You're good to go! 

If you are accepted then you’ll then be assigned a GP and can make appointments for that practice. If not, you will need to register with another GP practice in your area instead. 

Why not read our advice on going to the doctor? Or share your experiences of health services in Scotland?

Find out more on the NHS Inform website.