Frequently asked questions about corrections and re-registrations

​Do I have to re-register a birth?

If the natural parents' have married since the child's birth, yes you are legally required to re-register the birth. If you wish to add the father's details where they are currently left blank, then the only way you can do this is by re-registration.

Why do I have to apply for a correction instead of just getting it changed there and then on the certificate?

For counter fraud purposes, it is the law that evidence must be produced to show the correct information before the incorrect information can be made correct. A department of the General Register Office, itself under Her Majesty's Passport Office, is tasked with reviewing evidence and authorising or rejecting applications for correction.

Why do I have to pay for a correction?

At the time of completing the registration, the person who came to register signed to say that all the details in the registration were correct. The statutory fee (set in law) associated with corrections aims to cover the costs associated with processing corrections.

Can I can ask for the correction to be carried out without us attending in person?

For most corrections to registrations, yes. You can send the completed correction application form with original supporting documents directly to the Registrar General. Make sure that on the application form, you select the option that you are happy for the correction to be carried out in your absence. Unfortunately this option is not possible in a small number of instances – the General Register Office will advise you accordingly.

What evidence do I need to provide?
Who can apply for the correction?

Births: The mother and/or father.
Deaths: A relative of the deceased, someone who was present at the death, or the person who registered the death.
Marriages: The couple who were married.

What does the certificate look like when the correction has been completed?

The incorrect information will still show on the certificate, however a note will be added at the end of the certificate to state that you have corrected the incorrect information to the correct information. This is the standard way that corrections are applied to registrations and certificates in England and Wales; essentially it leaves a clear audit trail of what has been changed.

Last updated: 15 January 2024