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Correcting errors in a registration

How can I correct an error in a birth registration?

Corrections to a birth registration can only be made when the information is wrong (eg a mistake was made when recording a parent’s occupation).

You cannot apply for a correction to show new information if circumstances change after you have registered your child’s birth (eg you change your name after getting married again).

However, you can apply to re-register the birth if the natural parents get married at a later date.

How can I correct an error in a death registration?

You can’t change a death certificate once it has been issued, but you can apply to get a note added to the original entry in the death register.

You can then get an updated certificate issued that shows this note.

Corrections to a death registration can only be made when the information is wrong (eg a mistake in spelling a person’s name).

What corrections can be made to a marriage registration?

Corrections can only be made when the information in a marriage register is wrong (eg a mistake was made when recording a person’s occupation).

You cannot apply for a correction to show new information if circumstances change after the marriage.

You’ll need to find out if the mistake was made when entering information in the marriage register or just on the marriage certificate. To do this contact:

  • the register office where your civil marriage took place or
  • the officer who was responsible for registering your religious marriage or the person who is responsible now

What if the mistake is only on the marriage certificate?

If the details in the register are correct, and the mistake was made when copying the details from the register onto the certificate, you can request a new copy of the certificate.

What if the mistake is in the original registration?

You’ll need to apply to the Register Office for the district where the marriage took place to make this correction. Upon production of suitable evidence and payment of the fee this will be referred to the General Register Office for consideration.

The original information will always be shown in the marriage register. After the correction has been authorised, a note will be added to the margin of the register. This will explain what the correct information is and when the correction was made.

We will help you in this process at Dudley register office by sending the information to the General Register Office on your behalf. We can take copies of original documents for you so that you do not have to post important documents.

If you’re unsure who to apply to, email register.office@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.

Where do I apply to?

You have to apply for a correction to the register office where the event was registered.

We will help you in this process at Dudley register office, and if necessary will send the information to the General Register Office for consideration upon production of suitable evidence and payment of the appropriate fee. We can take copies of original documents for you so that you do not have to post important documents.

If you’re unsure who to apply to, email register.office@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.

Who can apply?

The following people can apply for a correction to a birth registration:

  • the mother
  • the father (if his details are on the certificate)

If you are applying to change a child’s name and both parents are named on the certificate, both must sign the application form.

The child named on the certificate may be able to apply for a correction if their parents aren’t available.

Anyone can apply to correct a death entry. However, the General Register Office will usually need a letter from the person who gave information for the death to be registered before considering a correction.

Either of the two people who married each other can apply for a correction to a marriage registration.

How do I remove the wrong father’s details from a birth record?

It’s not always necessary for the named father to take part in the correction process. The General Register Office can correct the entry if 2 of the following people apply to have it changed:

  • the mother
  • the natural father
  • the man named on the birth certificate as the father

At least 1 of these must sign the application form.

You need to provide the contact addresses for the mother, the man named as the father on the certificate and the true biological father (if he took part in a DNA test).

How do I prove the wrong father is on the certificate?

You’ll need to prove that the man named on the certificate is not the child’s natural father. You must send in a DNA test record from an approved tester or a court order that either says:

  • the man named on the certificate is not the father or
  • who is the true biological father  

How do I to apply?

You will have to apply for a correction at the register office where the event was registered.

We are happy to help you in this process at Dudley register office by sending the information to the General Register Office. We can take copies of original documents for you so that you do not have to post important documents.

If you’re unsure who to apply to, email register.office@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.

You will need to download an application form and bring it completed with the relevant information to Dudley register office with the appropriate fee for us to consider the application for you. We will then advise you if the paperwork needs to be submitted to the General Register Office for permission to correct the registration or whether it is one we can authorise locally. Any correction to a marriage entry needs to be authorised by GRO before it goes ahead at a register office or at any religious building.

https://www.gov.uk/correct-birth-registration

https://www.gov.uk/correcting-a-death-registration/how-to-apply

https://www.gov.uk/correct-marriage-registration

How can I prove the registration is wrong?

You’ll need to show that the information given at the time of the registration was wrong. You must send in documents with your application that show what the correct information should have been. These documents should be valid or dated around the time your child was born for a birth registration or around the time of the death for a death registration.

For a marriage correction the documents should have been valid at the time of the marriage or just before. You can’t use documents from after the date of the marriage to make a correction to a marriage entry.

Documents you can use include a:

  • passport
  • photocard driving licence
  • bank, building society or credit card statement
  • letter from a hospital or doctor
  • letter from a government department

If you cannot send in proof, corrections cannot usually be made.

How do I witness a correction?

If the correction is being made at Dudley register office, you will need to arrange an appointment with us once we have permission to proceed. When you come in you will witness the correction and sign the note made in the register.

You can say on the application form if you want to witness the correction, sometimes you do not have to attend.

There must always be 2 witnesses to a correction to a marriage record - they can be either:

  • the people who got married
  • nominated by the people who got married

Witnesses don’t have to have been at the original marriage. However, they do need to know about the information that’s going to be corrected.

Will I have to make a statutory declaration?

If you are applying to correct a serious mistake (eg in the name of a person), you may asked to make a ‘statutory declaration’ about the correction. This means you have to make a legal statement in front of someone like a judge or solicitor that they must sign (sometimes called ‘attesting an oath’).

If you make a statutory declaration, you will not have to witness the correction.

You may have to pay a fee for a statutory declaration

What will it cost?

There are two statutory fees for corrections:

  • Corrections that can be authorized locally at the register office cost £75

  • Corrections that have to be authorized by the Registrar General cost £90

  • If you want a new certificate showing the correct details, you will need to pay the statutory certificate fee, currently £10 each.

Where can I get further advice?

If you want further help and advice on applying to make a correction, email register.office@Dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373 or contact the General Register Office for England and Wales.

How long do applications take?

There is not a set time for how long applications will take. Your application will be processed as quickly as possible. If it is a minor correction that can be authorised locally, we can usually do this quite quickly if you have suitable evidence of the error. If your application has to be sent to the General Register Office and there are no problems with your application, you should receive a reply within 5 working days. If they ask you for more information, each further reply from them may take up to 20 working days.

In exceptional circumstances applications may take longer to process.

How do I change a name?

If you are wanting to change a forename or surname to something different to the names that appear on your birth certificate it may be possible to do this with a change of name deed which can be done at Dudley Register Office. 

Do you need to contact us?

Email register.office@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons

Do you need to contact the General Register Office?

GRO Casework Team
PO Box 476
Southport
PR8 2WJ

corrections.re-reg@ips.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 1837