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Changes to Register Office services due to coronavirus

Changes to Register Office services due to coronavirus

Temporary changes to how you register births and deaths, citizenship ceremonies, marriages and civil partnerships, and how to get certificates, due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Births 

You can register a birth from 8 June 2020. Check Register a birth for more information. 

You can claim Child Benefit or Universal Credit before a birth is registered. For advice and guidance see Child Benefit or Universal Credit

Group citizenship ceremonies

Group citizenship ceremonies are not currently taking place, but we can hold private ceremonies for £140.

If you had a citizenship ceremony postponed, we'll contact you to rearrange a new ceremony date.

We're not taking new bookings for citizenship ceremonies at this time. You have 6 months to book your citizenship ceremony from when you receive an invitation from the Home Office.

Deaths and still births

We're only registering deaths and still births by phone.

See register a death to make a phone appointment. 

We’ll take your contact details, and a registrar will call you to register the death or still birth as soon as they're available. You’ll be able to ask questions when they call. They’ll ask if you want to use government’s Tell Us Once service on GOV.UK. 

We need the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to register a death. The hospital or GP can send the MCCD to us. If you have the MCCD, take a photo of it and send it to us by email, we'll tell you how when you call us. 

After you’ve registered the death, we’ll send you any death certificate that you have ordered and paid for, by post. 

Marriage and civil partnerships

Notice appointments

From 22 June 2020, you can give notice for a marriage or civil partnership due to take place within the next 3 months.

See give notice section of our  guide to planning your marriage or civil partnership ceremony to book an appointment.  Don't visit the Register Office unless you have an appointment.

If you already have an appointment that's after 22 June, you can attend. Check your confirmation email to make sure you bring the right documents to your appointment. 

If your ceremony's more than 3 months away, don't contact us yet. You must give notice at least 28 days before the date of your ceremony.

We don't know when venues will reopen for weddings or civil partnership ceremonies. If you've booked a place of worship or an approved venue for your ceremony, check with them before contacting us to arrange your notice appointment. 

If you decide to give notice and your venue doesn't reopen in time, you'll need to give notice again when you have a new date for your ceremony. Check Guide to planning your marriage or civil partnership ceremony for information about fees.

Ceremonies for weddings and civil partnerships 

Ceremonies for weddings and civil partnerships can take place from 4 July. 

Government guidance says ceremonies should be restricted to 30 people. Some venues may allow fewer people because of social distancing measures. Contact your venue to find out how this will affect your ceremony.

If you have a ceremony booked at The Old Council House in July or August, we'll contact you to discuss your options. 

If you want to cancel a ceremony that's due to take place on or after 4 July:

  • fill in the refund form to get a refund of your ceremony fee, notice and booking fees are non refundable 
  • send it to register.office@bristol.gov.uk

It can take up to 8 weeks to process a refund.  

Postponed ceremonies

If your marriage or civil partnership ceremony has been postponed and your legal notice has expired, you'll need to give a new notice. This applies even if the new date is for the same venue.

Certificates

Family history certificates

We’re not providing copies of family history certificates at the moment. 

Getting your certificate

If you urgently require a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate apply online stating the reason for the urgency. All birth, death and marriage certificates will be posted to you.  You will not be able to collect them at the Register Office.