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Correcting a birth or death registration

If you have discovered an error in a birth or death record, it may be possible to arrange for the entry to be corrected.

  • A correction can only be made when the original information is wrong.
  • A correction cannot be used to show new information because circumstances have changed since the registration.

The type of correction required depends entirely on what information needs to be changed. Some errors can be authorised by the register office holding the register; others will require authorisation by the General Register Office in Southport.

How do I apply for a correction?

You should first contact us to discuss the error you have found.

You may be asked to complete an application form for the correction and return it to the General Register Office. The application form and guidance notes can be found on the gov.uk website. Please use the links below:

Alternatively, we will be happy to send copies to you. The application form needs to be completed by hand as it requires original signatures.

How do I prove the information on the registration is wrong?

You need to show that the information originally given at the time of the registration was wrong. You will have to produce documents that clearly show what the correct information should have been and these documents should be valid or dated around the date of birth or death. Example documents are given in the download guidance notes attached below.

If you cannot provide any supporting document, a correction is not usually possible.

What will the correction look like?

The original information on the registration will not change but the corrected information will be written in the margin of the entry indicating what the information should have been and the date that it was changed. Certificates issued from that record will also show the note in the margin detailing the correction to the entry.

Does it cost anything to do a correction?

There is no charge by the register office to make a correction. However, there is a fee for each certificate requested that shows the correction note.

Who can apply for a correction to a birth/death record?

  • Birth registration - usually it would be the mother or father (if his details are entered on the registration). If neither are available, please contact us to establish whether anyone else is eligible to do so.
  • Death registration - usually it would be the person who originally registered the death. Another person may be qualified with a letter from the original informant; please contact us for further information.

More information on corrections can be found on the gov.uk website. Please use the links below:

Alternatively, please contact the Surrey registration service.

  • Updated: 27 Oct 2016
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