Coronavirus - changes to registration services

This page was updated on 13th April 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.

Ceremonies

Following the government announcement on 22nd February, we are working towards recommencing wedding ceremonies on 29th March.

We will be following the roadmap and guidance set by central government on the easing of the restrictions.

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Current national restrictions remain in place and there are no changes for marriages and civil partnerships prior to 29th March whereby only Ceremonies in exceptional circumstances are permitted.

  • From 29th March - Ceremonies will resume with a maximum of 6 people, this includes the couple, so 4 guests.  If your ceremony is at Wigan Life Centre then it would be a maximum of 2 guests, who would act as your witnesses.
  • From 12th April - Ceremonies will continue with up to 15 people. However, social distancing rules still need to be maintained and the guest numbers will be determined by the size of the venue.

Ceremonies at the Lodge in Mesnes Park can permit 8 people in total including the couple, so 6 guests.

Ceremonies at Wigan Town Hall can permit 14 people in total including the couple, so 12 guests.

Ceremonies at Leigh Masonic Hall can permit 15 people including the couple, so 13 guests.

Ceremonies at an Approved Venue please check with the venue as to how many people can be accommodated in line their room size and social distancing.

  • From 17th May – Ceremonies will continue with up to 30 people. However, social distancing rules still need to be maintained and the guest numbers will be determined by the size of the venue.

Ceremonies at the Lodge in Mesnes Park can permit 8 people in total including the couple, so 6 guests.  

Ceremonies at Wigan Town Hall can permit 14 people in total including the couple, so 12 guests. 

Ceremonies at Leigh Masonic Hall can permit 15 people including the couple, so 13 guests.

Ceremonies at an Approved Venue please check with the venue as to how many people can be accommodated in line their room size and social distancing.

  • From 21st June - No legal limit on attendees (subject to government guidance)

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.

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 8th March 2021, notice of marriage appointments will only take place for ceremonies that are booked within 3 months.

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

From Monday 12th April we are resuming our Premium (same day) copy certificate option. This option is for collection only within 2 hours, Mon-Fri, if ordered before 3pm. Certificates ordered after 3pm will be available from 10am the following working day. The cost for this service is £35 per certificate.

Citizenship ceremonies

Virtual Citizenship Ceremonies will be introduced from Wednesday 17th March. All our Citizenships will be virtual and offered on an individual basis. New British Citizens will be invited to their individual ceremony by the Registration Office, the ceremony will then be conducted via Microsoft Teams.

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