Coronavirus - changes to registration services

This page was updated on 6th January 2021. Keep checking this page for further updates.

We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and many of you have questions. We will continue to update the situation as and when we receive further government guidance. 

Death registrations

From 6th April 2020, face-to-face registration have been suspended. Until further notice, we will be registering deaths and still births over the telephone.

During this emergency period we have introduced a new process:

  • Your GP surgery, hospital or hospice will send us an electronic copy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), along with the next of kin contact details
  • Our registrars will then call the next of kin to complete the registration over the telephone - we aim to complete this within 3 days working days of receiving the certificate to avoid delays to any arrangements
  • Following registration, the necessary certificates for burial or cremation will be issued electronically to the relevant organisation/authority. This process will reduce the need for documents to be posted or hand delivered in person at a register office or elsewhere
  • Death Certificates can be purchased with payment over the telephone and will be posted to the next of kin.

If you are aware that the coroner has been involved or you have not heard from us after 3 days of the doctor sending us the Medical certificate cause of death, you can:

Birth registrations

Birth registration appointments have now resumed at Wigan Life Centre and Leigh Life Centre. You must book an appointment and attend on time for your registration.

If there is no appointment available please try again the following day.

Birth re-registrations remain suspended. We will not be offering birth declaration appointments.

Please note that registering your newborn will not be required within the normal 42 day limit.


From 6th January 2021, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to six people. The six people includes your photographer. Anyone else working is not included.

Ceremonies should only take place in exceptional circumstances. For example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. 

We are carefully following government guidance as it is issued and will continue to update our webpages as soon as we have any further updates.

Notice of marriage appointments

From 6th January 2021, notice of marriage appointments will only take place for ceremonies that are booked for the end of February and March. This will be reviewed regularly and we will continue to update our webpages as soon as we have further updates.

If your ceremony is within 3 months or if your original ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 and you are required to give a new notice, please contact the registrars team to arrange an appointment. We will take into consideration the date of your ceremony as a priority.

For anyone who is due to be legally married abroad and requires a certificate of no impediment - you will need to contact the registrars team.

Copy certificates

If you are ordering a certificate online, it will be posted to you. You will NOT be able to collect your certificate in person.

Citizenship ceremonies

British citizenship ceremonies can now re-start with a limited service to keep everybody safe. This means that until further notice, all our citizenship ceremonies will be offered on an individual basis.

We are unable to conduct public group ceremonies at this time. Ceremonies will be resuming in August.


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