Coronavirus: Registration Service

(Updated 5 January 2021)

Registration Offices remain open for pre-booked Birth and Notice of Marriage appointments

You can now book appointments online for birth registrations and wedding/civil partnership notices at our Accrington, Burnley, Chorley, Clitheroe, Fleetwood, Lancaster, Ormskirk and Preston registration offices. Fleetwood and Nelson registration offices are open for births appointments only. We are working hard to be able to do the same at our other registration offices as soon as possible and will update you here.

Ceremonies

We are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of demand so please bear with us. We are responding to queries received in order of the date and time that your enquiry is received unless the ceremony is imminent.  We assure you that we will answer your query as soon as we are able to, however this is currently taking longer than usual.  

If you have contacted the Registration Service you will automatically receive an acknowledgement. Please don't call or email again to check progress or ask why we have not immediately replied, as this slows down our ability to respond. Please be assured we will contact you as soon as we are able to.

Your ceremony

Under National Lockdown regulations Weddings and Civil Partnerships are allowed with strict limits on attendance and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Weddings and Civil Partnerships ceremonies must only take place with up to six people. The six people includes your photographer. Anyone else working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances. For example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

Read more information about your ceremony. 

We are carefully following government guidance as it is issued and will continue to update our webpages as soon as we have any further updates. 

Existing bookings

Under National Lockdown regulations Weddings and Civil Partnerships are allowed with strict limits on attendance and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Weddings and Civil Partnerships ceremonies must only take place with up to six people. The six people includes your photographer. Anyone else working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances. For example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.  If you feel that exceptional circumstances mean that your ceremony should proceed during the national lockdown period.  You should discuss this with the Ceremonies Officer.  Please note that evidence of the exceptional circumstances will be required.

If we have not been in contact with you we can assure you that we are continuing to hold your booking. Should you feel that your ceremony booking may be impacted by the current situation and wish to avoid any uncertainty, we will be happy to re-arrange your ceremony and any fees paid to Lancashire Registration Service will be transferred to your new booking. Should you wish to postpone and have a date(s) and preferred time(s) in mind, please email your ceremonies officer and we will be happy to check availability for you.

We are carefully following government guidance as it is issued.  Please keep checking our website for the latest information about our services.

Please be assured that everyone in the registration service is doing their very best to keep couples informed on how government advice impacts on their booking.

New bookings

We are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of demand. We are taking bookings for new ceremonies due to take place after 1 May 2021.  At this time, we will not be taking any new bookings for ceremonies due to take place before 1 May 2021.  This is so that we can give priority to those with bookings who have not been able to have their ceremony in 2020.  We will be reviewing this situation constantly and we will update our web pages as soon as we are able to accept new bookings.

If you feel that exceptional circumstances mean that your ceremony should proceed during the national lockdown period you should discuss this with the Ceremonies Officer.  Please note that evidence of the exceptional circumstances will be required. 

Giving Notice of Marriage 

We have recently changed our policy on giving notice of your intention to marry.  You should attend to give notice of marriage no more than three months prior to the date that your marriage or civil partnership ceremony is due to take place.

For new notices of marriage and civil partnership please book online to arrange your appointment and pay the appropriate fee.  

If you need to give notice of marriage or civil partnership again because your ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fee for your notice appointment will be waived if all other details remain unchanged.  Please email the office you wish to visit and one of our staff will book your appointment. 

Following Government advice regarding social distancing, it is important that we protect our residents and staff. The Council has restricted public access to our buildings. We are limiting the number of people in the office at this time and ask that you arrive on time and that you adhere to all social distancing guidance. Anyone attending more than 5 minutes late may be asked to rearrange their appointment, there will be no waiting area available in the building when you arrive, so we would advise you to arrive on time and a member of the team will ask you to enter the building.

If you arrive early you may be asked to wait outside until your allotted time, please dress appropriately.

Please note that you need to wear a face covering for your appointment. Exemptions to wearing a face covering.

Ceremonies abroad  

We are aware that other countries are now offering venues and dates for weddings and civil ceremonies.

If you want to get married or enter into a civil partnership abroad, you may need to give notice of intention to marry in order to obtain a Certificate of no Impediment (CONI). Please email the office you wish to visit and one of our staff will book your appointment.  

Further information

We will do our best to make your important day special and enjoyable. However, you will appreciate that we need to follow government guidance to keep you and everyone else at the ceremony safe.

Under National Lockdown regulations Weddings and Civil Partnerships are allowed with strict limits on attendance and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Weddings and Civil Partnerships ceremonies must only take place with up to six people. The six people includes your photographer. Anyone else working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances. For example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. If you feel that exceptional circumstances mean that your ceremony should proceed during the national lockdown period. You should discuss this with the Ceremonies Officer. Please note that evidence of the exceptional circumstances will be required

We need everyone involved in the ceremony to observe social distancing from those they do not live with.

 If you arrive early you may be asked to wait outside until your allotted time, please dress appropriately. 

The service has witnessed some wedding parties having a greater number of people gathering and waiting for them outside our buildings. This is illegal and the service will have no choice in informing the Police if that happens.

Everyone attending the ceremony needs to wear a face covering throughout the ceremony.  In Lancashire this includes the couple being married.   

The couple and all guests will be required to wash/sanitise their hands as they enter and exit the building.

The ceremony itself needs to be as short as possible which means that we are unfortunately unable to allow any enhancements to your ceremony like additional readings or personalised vows.

In Lancashire Register Offices we do not currently allow an entrance with someone special or attendants as we cannot guarantee social distancing requirements.

If you want to exchange rings, then please make sure your hands are washed beforehand and afterwards and the rings are handled only by the couple i.e. no ring bearers.

Registrations

Registering a death

Due to the current situation with coronavirus, it is not possible to book an appointment to register a death in person. Instead, death registrations will be carried out by telephone. This applies to the registration of all deaths, including those where coronavirus is not the cause. Please do not attend the registration office in person.

We have introduced a new process where your GP surgery, hospital or hospice will send us an electronic copy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), along with your contact details. Please wait for a registrar to contact you to make arrangements to register the death.

We are working to complete registrations as quickly as possible.

Further guidance about registering a death is on our website.

Registering a birth

You can now book an online appointment to register your baby's birth at our Accrington, Burnley, Chorley, Clitheroe, Fleetwood, Lancaster, Nelson, Ormskirk and Preston registration offices. We will update you here as soon as we are able to do the same at our other registration offices.

Following Government advice regarding social distancing, it is important that we protect our residents and staff. The Council has restricted public access to our buildings. We are limiting the number of people in the office at this time and ask that you arrive on time and that you adhere to all social distancing guidance. Anyone attending more than 5 minutes late may be asked to rearrange their appointment, there will be no waiting area available in the building when you arrive, so we would advise you to arrive on time and a member of the team will ask you to enter the building.

If you arrive early you may be asked to wait outside until your allotted time, please dress appropriately.

If the parents of the child were married to each other when the baby was born, either parent may register the birth on their own and will include both parents' names in the register. Please note that only one parent needs to attend to register the baby. 

If you are not married or in a civil partnership and both parents details are to be entered into the register, it is important that both parents attend the appointment together.

It is not necessary to bring your baby to the appointment.  It is requested that you do not bring any other children to the appointment.  If it is necessary for you to do so special arrangements may be required.

Please note that you need to wear a face covering for your appointment. Exemptions to wearing a face covering.

Ordering certificates 

Family historians please note that we are not able to deal with orders for certificates relating to family history at this time as we are dealing with urgent requests for recent death certificates and certificates needed for legal purposes.

All certificate requests will be processed as quickly as possible.

Certificates will be posted using Royal Mail First Class Post, usually within five working days but may take up to 15 working days due to the current high demand.

The county council cannot be held responsible for any delays with the Royal Mail service.

If you are ordering a certificate online, please note that we have removed the option to collect in person.

The priority ordering service is currently suspended. 

Citizenship ceremonies 

This service is currently suspended.