Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Registration Service

Our offices, including those in libraries, are open as normal for birth registrations and notices of marriage or civil partnership appointments.

We are experiencing a high volume of demand for these appointments. Availability is updated continuously on our online system, please continue to check this.

You can arrange telephone appointments for death and stillbirth registrations using our online booking system.

If you have a ceremony booked and are not able to find an appointment which allows for the 28 day waiting period please email


At present the normal legal requirement to register babies within 42 days is suspended. This requirement was lifted by government due to the pandemic, parents are able to use the NHS number given when their baby is born to claim child benefit and other government benefits until the birth registration can take place.

Please bear with us and keep checking the website for birth appointments as we are releasing new appointments as quickly as we can. You may need to book at an office which is not local to you. Please do not call to book unless there is an urgent requirement for you to register.


Due to the high volume of bookings currently held, the Registration Service are not able to accept new bookings or new reschedules for ceremonies taking place at Community Venues and Approved Venues between 1st May and 30th September 2021.

If you feel you have exceptional circumstances that need to be considered, please email with ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ as the subject and your request will be reviewed. The exceptional circumstances that the service operated within whilst in national lockdown will be considered – for example, a terminal illness or debilitating condition that requires a ceremony to be requested and granted in a short space of time. It may also include circumstances whereby you have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and have already rescheduled 2 or 3 times, and have been in the process of confirming your final arrangements. We will do our upmost to ensure that these ceremonies are serviced as best we can.

Legal Statutory Ceremonies are taking place at County Hall, Chelmsford. If you wish to enquire about booking a Statutory Ceremony please do so by emailing your details including a contact number to

Restrictions on number of people who can attend ceremonies

Restrictions on the number of people who can attend a ceremony are being eased in stages. There will need to be a 5 week gap between each stage so it's possible these dates will be pushed back.

Currently, 15 attendees are permitted at ceremonies.

From 17 May at the earliest, 30 attendees will be permitted at ceremonies.

These both include the couple, witnesses and guests. Registration officials and venue staff are not included in the figures.

From 21 June at the earliest, and as long as it is safe to do so, ceremonies may take place with no restrictions on the number of attendees.

Register a stillbirth

Who can register a stillbirth

If you’re married, either parent can register.

If you’re not married, both the mother and father should attend.

If this is not possible, call us on 0345 603 7632 and we can talk through your options.

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