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Registration Service COVID-19 update

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bedford Borough Council's Registration Service (Bedford Register Office) is currently dealing with lots of enquiries about birth and death registrations and marriages/civil partnerships.

We are following guidance from Government whilst prioritising the safety of our customers and staff, which means we are currently unable to offer the full range of our services. We will only be able to respond to enquiries that fall within the guidelines as detailed below.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and understanding.

Death and still birth registrations

Deaths and still births are being registered by telephone. Please complete the pre-registration form.

The registration team will contact you as soon as all the required paper work has been received - this is usually between five and seven working days.

Birth registrations

We currently have around four weeks’ worth of birth registrations outstanding.  We are working to register all births as quickly as possible and aim to register all babies by the time they are a month old.

Birth registrations are now taking place in person. To support as many parents as quickly as possible, we will invite you to register in order of your baby’s date of birth. 

You can make an appointment to register the birth here or telephone 01234 718028.

If a baby requires an emergency medical procedure before the birth has been registered, we may be able to offer an emergency registration appointment if supported by evidence.

Simply requiring a passport is not considered an emergency.

Please email civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk and include your telephone number for us to contact you to arrange an appointment.

Notice of marriage or civil partnership 

If you had a marriage/civil partnership booked before 31 December 2021 you can book your notice of marriage appointment up to two months before your ceremony. 

If one or both of you have a foreign divorce, the paperwork may need to be referred to the Register General which means that we are able to accept these notices sooner.

If either of the above applies to you, please email us at civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk with all of the following information for both parties:

  1. Your nationalities (what passport do you each currently hold?). If you are a Relevant National please confirm that you are able to share your EUSS 6 digit pass code with us.
  2. Your condition (have either of you been through any form of marriage or civil partnership before, in this or any other country, to each other or to anyone else?). Please tell us if you have a foreign divorce/dissolution because it may need clearance from the Registrar General.
  3. Your address(es) and how long you have lived there.
  4. The ceremony/formation booking confirmation details (the date booked).
  5. Your contact telephone number(s).

We can only offer you an appointment once you have provided us with all of the above information, and the process will be much quicker if you provide it all in your first email to us.

If your ceremony is booked to take place more than two months from today please do not contact us just yet, but do check our website regularly for further updates.

In exceptional circumstances, for example if one of the couple is terminally ill, we may be able to consider assisting you with your notice sooner, but you will be asked to provide evidence of your situation. 

Booking your marriage or civil partnership ceremony/formation

We are currently experiencing a high volume of enquiries and will only be able to assist couples requesting Marriages and Civil Partnerships due to take place on or before 31 March 2022. Please do not contact us for updates as this may delay our response. We will contact you as soon as we can.  We apologise for the change in our service standards and thank you for patience and support.

Please note: some weekends are already fully booked for spring/summer 2022 due to bookings made in 2020.

If you require an urgent ceremony due to exceptional circumstances, please email ceremonies@bedford.gov.uk 

You will need to provide supporting evidence of your circumstances.