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Frequently Asked Questions - Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates


If we're not married, does the baby's father have to be with me to register the birth?

If baby's natural parents are not married to one another at the time of the baby's birth and baby's mother want's baby's father's particulars to be entered into the register, both parents need to attend to register the birth.

If we are not married at the time of baby's birth and we subsequently marry one another, does the father have to adopt his own child?

NO - A new birth certificate showing the mother's married surname can be obtained on re-registration of the child's birth. (There is no time limit for this facility, and no charge, but certified copies of the new entry can be obtained for the statutory fee).


How soon can we get married?

Anybody wishing to marry in a Register Office, Approved Premise (e.g. Hotel) Church or Chapel (excluding Church of England or Church in Wales) must give Notice of Marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which they live. (please ask at your local Register Office with regard to residential qualification).

A minimum of 15 clear days' notice is required to be given by both parties to the marriage. A Notice of Marriage is valid for 12 calendar months from the date of the giving of the Notice. (Please note that there is no longer available the facility to get married by 'Special Licence").

How much does it cost to get married and what documents do we need to produce?

See Planning To Get Married for details of costs. Local fees apply for weddings in Approved Premises and details can be obtained from the Register Office for the district in which the Approved Premise is situated.

The documents that you will need to produce are:

  • Current British Passport or
  • Current Driving Licence (Photo Licence preferred) or
  • Valid Birth Certificate

If one or both of the parties to the marriage has been through a form of marriage previously, (in any country), documentary evidence of his/her eligibility to marry must be produced.

For example:

  • Death Certificate of former spouse
  • Decree Nisi Absolute in the case of a divorce

(In some circumstances, proof of residency will also be required).


Can the death be registered at any Register Office?

No the death must be registered in the district in which it occurred. However, facilities are available to attest a Declaration at any Register Office in England and Wales for transit to the Register Office for the district concerned.

Do I get the original Death Certificate?

NO - the 'original' certificate is the entry in the Death Register, which is completed in ink and remains in the Register Office as a record, for perpetuity, from which subsequent certified copies can be obtained when required. These certificates, which are available at the time of registration, and later, are certified copies of the entry and can be obtained for the statutory fee. (£11)