Register Office - FAQ's

General

COVID-19 Updates

How can I book an appointment?
Is there parking available at the Register Office?
How can I pay at the Register Office?
Can I bring a translator to the appointment?
How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

Birth Registrations / Certificates

How long do I have to register the birth of my baby?
Do I need to bring my baby to the birth registration appointment? 
Can we just turn up to register baby?
I have an appointment to register a birth – I’ve forgotten what documents I need?
Can I register the birth in Milton Keynes if my child was born outside of Milton Keynes?
I’ve already registered my baby, can I change his / her surname?
I want to change the first and middle name of my child – can that be done?
Do we have to re-register our child if we marry after our child was born?
We’re now married – how do we re-register our child’s birth?
My partner / fiancé couldn’t come with me to register our child – can I add his details now / later?
How can clients arrange an adoption?
How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

Death Registration / Certificates

How long do I have to register a death?
Can we just turn up to register a death?
I have an appointment to register a death – I’ve forgotten what documents I need?
What is Tell Us Once?
Can I register a Death in Milton Keynes if the person died outside of Milton Keynes?
How can clients apply for Probate?
How can clients apply for government death grants?
How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

Certificate Information

Can I ask for details held in a register in person or over the phone rather than apply for a full certificate?
How can I get a copy of my birth, death, marriage, civil partnership certificate?
How can I correct a mistake on my registration / certificate?
How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

Ceremonies – Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Naming and Renewal of Vows

How many guests can I invite to my ceremony?
Are there any other places I can hold my ceremony?
Can we just turn up to book a ceremony and do the paperwork?
I have a Milton Keynes postcode so do I come to Milton Keynes for my appointment?
How can I get a copy of my Decree Absolute (divorce document)?
How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?
Can we use confetti at the Register Office?

 

General

COVID-19 Updates

Birth Registration/Certificates

All birth registrations and copy certificate orders are currently suspended.

Please don't worry if you can't complete baby's birth registration within the 42 days/six week requirement.

You can now make a claim for Child Benefit or Universal Credit prior to a birth being registered please visit How to Claim for further guidance.

Death Registration/Certificates

New legislation has been passed to allow us to take death registrations by phone. We are no longer making face to face appointments. Detailed information on this can be found on the death registration section.

Due to the current situation there will be a delay in issuing certificates after registration and a limit of 2 copies.

Ceremonies - Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Naming and Renewal of Vows

Following the government’s announcement on 23 March all Ceremonies are cancelled for a minimum of 3 weeks and others on hold pending further government advice.

Understandably, we have received many emails from couples who have been affected, however, in this period of uncertainty we sadly need to focus on our statutory duty to register deaths.

Therefore for a minimum period of 3 weeks, we have to suspend answering enquiries with regard to Ceremonies.

Once we are able, we can either arrange a new date or cancel your ceremony and issue a full refund, if you choose to re-arrange there will be no change fee and if the booking is in the next financial year the difference between fees will be waived.

We will be regularly updating our website so please do keep checking back for further information on when we are able to review this situation and take bookings again.

How can I book an appointment?

The easiest way to book your appointment is via our online booking system or you can call 01908 372101. Please ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment or we might not be able to see you.

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Is there parking available at the Register Office?

There is pay and display parking near the Register Office, please allow sufficient time to drop off or park before your appointment.

Please note that the spaces directly outside the Register Office are designated for car share permit holder only during the working week.

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How can I pay at the Register Office?

Payments can be made by either credit or debit card.  

You can pre-order and pay for any certificates you wish to purchase at the time of booking your appointment.

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Can I bring a translator to the appointment?

If you can't fully understand English then you must someone to your appointment who can translate for you.  This could be a friend, relative or someone from your community BUT the translator must speak both languages very well. They may be asked to provide their details and sign to confirm they have translated what we and you said during the appointment. 

If you are attending a notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment a couple cannot translate for each other.

If you are attending a birth registration appointment and the biological parents are not married to each other the parents cannot translate for each other.

Alternatively a translator can be used from:

Milton Keynes Council Tel: 01908 691691, between 9am – 5.15pm, Monday – Friday.  

Out of hours emergency contact 01908 226699 or email info@milton-keynes.gov.uk (there is a charge for this service)

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Birth Registrations / Certificates

How long do I have to register the birth of my baby?

Six weeks from the time of the birth.

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Do I need to bring my baby to the birth registration appointment? 

No

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Can we just turn up to register baby?

No, we run an appointment system.  Please book online or call 01908 372101.

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I have an appointment to register a birth – I’ve forgotten what documents I need?

Details of documents required and other information relating to registering a birth can be found within the birth section of our website

Remember to bring a credit or debit card in order to purchase any certificates you require if you haven't pre-paid for these at the time of booking your appointment.

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Can I register the birth in Milton Keynes if my child was born outside of Milton Keynes?

You can make a declaration in any Register Office in England and Wales but the details then need to be sent to the district where the event occurred for the registration to be completed.  If you choose to do a declaration, the certificates must be issued by the district where the event occurred and is legally registered so you will need to contact them directly to make payment for any certificates you require.   

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I’ve already registered my baby, can I change his / her surname?

Once a birth has been registered there are only certain circumstances where a surname can be changed.  These are: 

  • If the biological parents of the child have subsequently married.  In this instance a re-registration using form LA1 is required.
  • If the biological father is subsequently added to the registration.  In this instance a re-registration using form GRO185 is required

Further informatIon regarding this process and the relevant forms can be found on the www.gov.uk website.

The only other way to change a surname is by statutory declaration or deed poll, however, the original registration cannot be changed and so the birth certificate and statutory declaration or deed poll must be kept together as proof of name change.

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I want to change the first and middle name of my child – can that be done?

It is possible to change the first and / or middle names of a child within 12 months of the registration of the birth.  A certificate of naming form is available from our office for completion by the parents.  With a certificate of naming the main body of the registration / certificate will not change, the amended names will be entered in space 17 of the registration / certificate which is accepted by all government bodies. New birth certificates will need to be purchased after the name change has been completed.

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Do we have to re-register our child if we marry after our child was born?

If the biological parents of a child marry each other at any time in the future you can re-register any children you have had together, even if they already have their father’s surname, this means their birth entry will have you recorded as a married couple.

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We’re now married – how do we re-register our child’s birth?

Complete an LA1 form, available to download from Gov.UK, ensure you have the correct supporting documentation then book an appointment online or call 01908 372101 to complete the re-registration.  A separate form is required for each child and as you are now married only one parent needs to attend the appointment.

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My partner / fiancé couldn’t come with me to register our child – can I add his details now / later?

Yes, complete a GRO 185, available to download from Gov.UK, ensure you have the correct supporting documentation then book your appointment online or by calling us on 01908 372101.  Please let us know, at the time of booking, how many children you will be re-registering.  A separate form is required for each child and both parents will need to attend.

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How can clients arrange an adoption?

You need to get advice from a family law solicitor.

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Death Registration / Certificates

How long do I have to register a death?

If the death has not been referred to the coroner, it must be registered within five working days.

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Can we just turn up to register a death?

No, we run an appointment system.  Please book your appointment online or call us on 01908 372101.

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I have an appointment to register a death – I’ve forgotten what documents I need?

The Medical Certificate Cause of Death (this will have been issued by the hospital / doctor), the deceased’s medical card, if you can find it, some form of identification for yourself (passport or drivers licence) and a credit or debit card to pay the feefor any certificates required unless you have already pre-ordered these at the time of booking your appointment.

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What is Tell Us Once?

Tell us Once is a Department of Work and Pensions service provided following a death.  It means that you can report a death just once and, with your consent, the information is shared with a number of central and local government organisations so that you don't have to contact them individually.

We will give you a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service either online or by phone within the next 28 days. 

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Can I register a Death in Milton Keynes if the person died outside of Milton Keynes?

You can do a declaration in any Register Office in England and Wales but the details will need to be sent to the district where the death occurred so that it can legally be registered.  If you choose to do a declaration, the certificates and paperwork MUST be issued by the district where the death occurred and is legally registered so you will need to contact the district where the death is registered in order to purchase any certificates you require.  No certificates or paperwork will be available on the day of the declaration appointment.

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How can clients apply for Probate?

Clients should contact the Probate helpline on 0300 123 1072.

Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will.

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How can clients apply for government death grants?

Information regarding eligibility and how to claim for a Bereavement Payment, including contact information, can be found on the www.gov.uk website

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Certificate Information

Can I ask for details held in a register in person or over the phone rather than apply for a full certificate?

No. You must make an appropriate application to receive a certificate.  As registrations are all public records, anyone can apply for a copy of anyone’s certificate as long as they have enough details for us to find the entry.  If the event occurred within the Milton Keynes registration district you can order a copy certificate via our online booking system or by calling 01908 372101.

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How can I get a copy of my birth, death, marriage, civil partnership certificate?

Copy certificates can only be applied for in the district where the event took place and so we only hold records for events in Milton Keynes.  You can either apply for a copy certificate online or by calling 01908 372101.  Certificates are issued after 15 working days from the date of ordering, however, if you require a certificate more quickly we do offer a priority (next working day) service.  Details of the fees for these options can be found within our fees table.

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How can I correct a mistake on my registration / certificate?

The original registration is checked and signed by the client to state that the entry is correct and as such, depending on the error, this can be a lengthy process requiring official evidence to support the request for a correction. 

Application forms and further information, including fees, are available from the gov.uk website for corrections to either a birth or death registration.    

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Ceremonies – Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Naming and Renewal of Vows

How many guests can I invite to my ceremony?

The Flowers Suite can seat a maximum of 80 guests plus the couple

The Register Office can seat a maximum of two guests plus the couple

In both cases, due to fire regulations, there is no standing room and everyone is required to have a seat.  Children need to be included in the total number unless they are babes in arms.

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Are there any other places I can hold my ceremony?

You can have your ceremony in any licensed venue or Register Office in England and Wales, however for marriages and civil partnerships, legally you must give your Notices in the district where you live unless one or both of you are non-EEA nationals in which case you must attend, together, at a Designated Register Office.  Approved venues in Milton Keynes can be found on our website.

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Can we just turn up to book a ceremony and do the paperwork?

No, we run an appointment system.  Please book online or call us on 01908 372101. 

Book a notice of marriage appointment

Book a marriage ceremony

Book a notice of civil partnership appointment

Book a civil partnership ceremony

Please review the information on our website to ensure you know the process and the documents required before booking an appointment. 

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I have a Milton Keynes postcode so do I come to Milton Keynes for my appointment?

Not necessarily.  When asked, always confirm the area within Milton Keynes where you live to ensure you live within the Milton Keynes registration district and legally able to give Notice with us. 

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How can I get a copy of my Decree Absolute (divorce document)?

You need to apply to the court where the divorce took place.  If you are unsure of the details you can contact the Central Family Court where a search can be undertaken.

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How do I get an Apostille (legalisation stamp) put on my documents?

If you require a document to be legalised you will need to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.   

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Can we use confetti at the Register Office?

Yes, but confetti MUST be biodegradable as any other type will cause damage to the environment as well as the maintenance equipment used to keep the garden area tidy, which can be costly.  Unfortunately these costs could be passed on to those responsible. 

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Last Updated: 31 March 2020