Coronavirus advice for our registration office customers | Central Bedfordshire Council

Coronavirus advice for our registration office customers

How we're supporting our registration customers during the coronavirus pandemic

Registration offices have closed with the exception of The Court House, Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2HX, which is open by appointment only.

Certificates

Find out how to request a certificate.

Weddings and civil partnership changes

Following the release of the roadmap by the government on Monday 22 February, we'll be following all government guidance surrounding marriages and civil partnerships, including number of attendees. Please note that the number of attendees allowed in The Court House, Ampthill, or at any of our approved premises is dependent on the ability to comply with the social distancing measures in place on the date of your ceremony.

From 12 April 2021

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit). 

No earlier than 17 May 2021

Limit of 15 attendees at The Court House, Ampthill. However, this will depend on social distancing measures in place at the time of your ceremony, with all appropriate risk assessments having been completed. This could mean you can have more attendees. Contact us nearer to the date of your ceremony for current advice. If you're not using The Court House, please contact your approved marriage venue to confirm its number of attendees, noting that the maximum number allowed will be 30.

No earlier than 21 June 2021

Number of attendees will be limited to government guidelines and social distancing measures in place at the time of your ceremony. This will also be subject to the outcome of the government's scientific research; from April, it will run pilots for events (such as large weddings) to help determine how measures, such as enhanced testing, might allow larger groups to attend without social distancing.

After 21 June 2021

Until the government's research is completed, we aren't able to discuss attendee numbers or ceremony content for any ceremony due to take place on or after 21 June 2021. Please contact us in June for current advice: life.events@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership / booking an appointment

If your marriage or civil partnership has been booked with the appropriate registration service, you can now book your notice, but you must leave at least 28 clear days between giving notice and your ceremony / formation and you can't do this more than one year in advance and preferably not earlier than 3 months before your ceremony.

Registering births and deaths

Registering a birth

We are able to offer birth registration appointments. Please note that there will be a higher than usual demand for this type of appointment, due to our inability to register births over the last few weeks.

Find out how to book an appointment to register a birth.

Registering a death or a still-birth

You can register a death or still-birth over the phone. Call us on 0300 300 8089 to book a phone appointment.

The Registrar General has removed the requirement for a death or still-birth informant to provide details in person. This enables the information for the registration to be given over the telephone.

Citizenship ceremonies

We are currently unable to offer face-to-face citizenship ceremonies, but are offering virtual ceremonies using Microsoft Teams.

You should continue to contact us as directed by your Home Office invitation letter, so we can make an appointment for a virtual ceremony.

Certificates can be collected from The Court House in Ampthill following your ceremony. You will be given a time slot for collection.

The time available for customers to book a ceremony has already been extended from the normal three months, with the introduction of a six-month extension from the start of the lockdown date (23 March). This is to ensure that nobody is impacted by the delay.

Coroner

Despite the current restrictions, essential business such as that carried out by courts and tribunals is still continuing, albeit with appropriate safety measures being put in place.

The Court House, Ampthill is COVID-secure, therefore personal attendance at inquests is expected.

Numbers in the courtroom are limited to 12 plus the coroner and court officer.

Face coverings are mandatory for those attending and must be worn at all times in the building unless there is a valid exception, which should be discussed in advance (you will be permitted to remove your mask, should you wish to do so, when addressing the court).

Alternative arrangements will be made for attendees who are particularly vulnerable but supporting evidence will be required.