Births, ceremonies and deaths

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.

Births

The Registration Service is open for the registration of births. Parents of babies born in Essex can book an appointment to register the birth of their child. Please note this does not include babies born in Southend or Thurrock, who register births separately.

Appointment availability is updated continuously on our online system. If there are no appointments available at your chosen location, please do consider alternative locations.

Please note that, due to changes taking place during the Coronavirus pandemic, you are currently able to make a claim for child benefit or universal credit without registering the birth of your child.

Your child’s NHS number can be used prior to the birth registration being completed.

Notice of marriage or civil partnership

The Registration Service is open for the registration of notices of marriage or civil partnership appointments. You can book an appointment, and see a list of locations where these appointments are offered.

At this time, we are accepting appointments for ceremonies taking place before 1st September 2021 only. Appointment availability is updated continuously on our online system. If there are no appointments available at your chosen location, please do consider alternative locations.

Ceremonies

Due to unprecedented number of ceremonies booked for summer 2021, we have paused new ceremony bookings or reschedule requests between 1st July 2021 and 30th September 2021. We are working with venues to accommodate all existing bookings, and are keen to ensure as many couples as possible can get married in 2021.

If you feel you have exceptional circumstances that need to be considered, please email registration@essex.gov.uk 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 registration@essex.gov.uk

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.

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