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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 deaths and still births, marriages and civil partnerships, and how to get certificates, due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Marriage and civil partnerships

Notice appointments

You can give notice for a marriage or civil partnership.

Not all venues have reopened 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 booking 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 the costs section of our guide to planning your marriage or civil partnership ceremony for information about fees.

Designated Register Office appointments

We can still offer Designated Register Office appointments. 

If you're travelling from outside the Bristol district, you should:

  • only come to your appointment if it's essential
  • call us first on 0117 903 8874

Ceremonies for marriages and civil partnerships 

Ceremonies for marriages and civil partnerships cannot take place up to and including 28 March 2021, except in exceptional circumstances. This is because of government coronavirus restrictions.

If you have a ceremony booked on or before 28 March, we’ll contact you to rearrange it. 

If you want to hold a ceremony in exceptional circumstances, for example if one of the couple is seriously ill and not expected to recover, email register.office@bristol.gov.uk. Ceremonies will be limited to 6 people.

The General Register Office has said that wedding and civil partnership ceremonies can take place from:

  • 29 March, with up to 6 attendees, including the couple
  • 12 April at the earliest, with up to 15 attendees, including the couple
  • 17 May at the earliest, with up to 30 attendees, including the couple
  • 21 June at the earliest, with no limit on attendees

These dates are subject to change, depending on government restrictions.

We're not taking new bookings for ceremonies or registrars until 1 October. This is so we can prioritise rescheduling ceremonies that were cancelled or postponed. 

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.

Cancel a ceremony

Email register.office@bristol.gov.uk to cancel a ceremony and ask for a refund of the ceremony fee. The notice and booking fees are non refundable.

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

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 we call you. 

We’ll send you any certificate that you order and pay for or by post. 

Certificates

Family history certificates

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

Getting your birth, death or marriage or civil partnership certificate

Birth, death and marriage certificates will be posted to you.  You will not be able to collect them at the Register Office.

If you require a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate urgently, apply online stating the reason for the urgency.