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Correcting errors in a registration

When registering a birth, marriage, civil partnership or death you will be asked to check that the information has all been recorded correctly by the registrar before you sign the register confirming it to be accurate. Once signed a legal record is created that cannot be changed other than by the legal correction process. If afterwards you notice that there is an error in the information recorded, it may be possible to get it corrected, however you will need to pay the statutory correction fee and supply suitable evidence to request a correction.

  • There are two statutory fees for the consideration of corrections:

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

    • Corrections that have to be authorised 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.

    The consideration fee is non-refundable should the correction not be authorised.

  • If you want further help and advice on applying to make a correction, email register.office@Dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 815373 Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons

    or if the event to be corrected occurred outside the Dudley Borough please contact the register office for that district or the General Register Office for England and Wales.

    General Register Office
    GRO Casework Team
    PO Box 476
    Southport
    PR8 2WJ

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

Where to apply

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 can retain your 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

Birth registration

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.

Death registration

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.

Marriage registration

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

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

Correction to 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.

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

Wrong father’s details

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.

You will need to prove that the man named on the certificate is not the child’s natural father. A paternity correction can only be made when evidence is provided, such as a DNA test report from an approved tester, a court order or some other form of conclusive evidence, to show that the man named on the certificate is not the natural father of the child.

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

https://www.gov.uk/get-dna-test

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. The names on the original birth certificate cannot be changed unless there is an error in the registration.

Before a child's first birthday, parents can change their child's forename(s) in the birth registration. A statutory fee is payable for this service and for a new birth certificate, if required. The form you need to complete will depend on whether or not your child has been baptised. Full details, including the relevant forms, are available from Dudley Registration Services. Please note that it is not possible to change your child's surname by this method.

Correction to 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

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.

If the details in the register are wrong 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. If the correction is 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.

Upon payment of the consideration fee, we will send your application and evidence to the General Register Office. We can take copies of original documents for you so that you can retain your important documents. This process can take a few weeks. We cannot make the correction until authorisation has been received from the Registrar General.

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.

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

 

Correction to death registration

You cannot 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).

You will need to complete an application form, pay the appropriate consideration fee and submit suitable evidence of the error to the register office where the death was registered.

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

Errors following a Coroner's inquest

If there is an error in a death registration following a Coroner's inquest you will need to refer to the Coroner for this to be corrected. Paperwork from the Coroner will be required for this type of correction.

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 cannot 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.

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 state 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 do not have to have been at the original marriage. However, they do need to know about the information that is going to be corrected.

Statutory declaration

If you are applying to correct a serious mistake (eg in the name of a person), you may be 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.

Processing time

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 20 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.