Changes to births, deaths and marriages during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

View details of changes to weddings, and registering births and registering deaths.

Other service disruption

You may also be interested in the service disruption to other areas.

Marriages and civil partnerships

Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies

Following the Government announcement on 23rd June 2020, we are pleased to announce that ceremonies have resumed from 4th July 2020. However, due to the need to observe social distancing, there will be changes to how ceremonies are undertaken.

For office ceremonies please read our guidance particularly on the number of guests you may have.

For venue ceremonies, please contact the venue and ensure they will be open on the day of the ceremony and check any revised rules they may have, including the number of guests permitted.

Please be advised that all our advice may be subject to change without notice.

Ceremonies are re-starting on the 4th July 2020 but with new rules, particularly on social distance.

The ceremony may only proceed if the numbers attending are 30 or less or the number of guests in the ceremony room does not exceed the maximum permitted under social distancing rules.

The number of people in the room includes the two registrars and the couple and all people (including children but excluding children under 2 years of age) who are present during the ceremony. In practice therefore the maximum number of other persons will be 26.

Many of the ceremony rooms at the offices are not large enough to allow for 26 guests, and in practice the number of allowable guests is much reduced. The number of people ( including any photographer but excluding the couple and the registrars) allowed at our offices are:

  • Harrogate: 10
  • Scarborough: 9
  • Skipton Belle Vue Suite: 24
  • Skipton Staincliffe Room: 8
  • Whitby: 6
  • Malton: 18
  • Selby: 13
  • Northallerton: 6
  • Richmond: 4

If you are marrying at one of the approved venues, you should contact the venue to check they will be open and ready for your ceremony on the date of your ceremony. You should also check their room capacity and what rules will be in place on the day.

What are the rules for receptions or parties?

The exception allowing 30 people to attend a ceremony does not apply to any reception. There are stricter rules allowing fewer people to attend these. We recommend that you speak to your reception venue for further advice.

Please be advised that all our advice may be subject to change without notice.

Additional restrictions for ceremonies

  • Social distance must be maintained at all times, therefore it will not be possible for the Bride/Party 2 to be walked down the aisle unless they are being given away by someone in the same household or support bubble. A support bubble is a single person household that has joined with another household and does not have to socially distance.
  • Readings and singing will not be permitted in the ceremony.
  • Live music is permitted but instruments that are blown into should not be used. Any musicians in the ceremony room will also count to the total of 30 persons.
  • Photography must be kept to a minimum. An official photographer will not be permitted to walk around the ceremony room but can take photographs from a designated seat. One photograph of the couple signing of the register will be permitted by a single photographer – guests will not be invited up to take photographs of the couple. Any photographs after the ceremony should still follow social distancing rules and registrars will be unable to take photographs for you.

Further information can be found on the website.

Notices of civil marriage or civil partnership

From 15 August, we are now open for appointments to give Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership. If you live in North Yorkshire, but are holding your ceremony outside North Yorkshire, you should first check with the registrars in the area where your ceremony takes place before booking an appointment with us to give notice. We ask that you give notice between 6-4 months in advance of the date of your ceremony.

Book a registrar

As a priority, we are contacting couples about their ceremony in priority date order. If you wish to completely cancel your booking with us, we will send a full refund of our fees for the ceremony.

Please do not ring us, please email us on: Please put the date of your ceremony in the subject line of your email.

Extra staff are being brought in but there will be delay in responding.

Renewal of vows

We regret, that at this present time, we are unable to take further bookings for these ceremonies until further notice.


Registering a birth

Baby naming

We regret, that at this present time, we are unable to take further bookings for these ceremonies until further notice.


Registering a death

From 30 March 2020, registration of a death will be undertaken by telephone. The medical certificate issued by the doctor will be emailed to us instead of being handed to yourself. Once the doctor has confirmed to you that the medical certificate has been emailed to us, then please book an appointment for the registrar to ring you

Book an appointment for the registrar to ring you

Once we have your details, we will check that we have the medical certificate from the doctor and will also check that it is correctly completed. We have a dedicated team matching your requests with the correct medical certificate. Please be aware it sometimes takes a few days for the medical certificate to be sent to us. Once you have an appointment, you do not need to contact us again - we will contact you.

If the matter has been referred to HM Coroner, the coroners officer will advise you what the next steps are.

If you have already been given a paper copy of the medical certificate, please write your name and contact details on the back of the envelope and post it through the letter box of one of our offices.

For the appointment, please ensure you have all the information you will need with you and you have a credit or debit card if you wish to purchase a copy of the death certificate.

Tell Us Once service

We have suspended the full service. The registrar will take the information needed from you to produce a ‘Capture letter’ with a unique reference number for the Tell Us Once Service. You will then be able to contact Tell Us Once online or by phone to do the ‘Enrichment’ service to provide all the details for the relevant departments and services.


The Senior Coroners for North Yorkshire and York have taken the decision to resume Inquests from Wednesday 17th June. Please access details of openings and relisted inquests. All families will be contacted before the inquest is listed. For those who wish to attend the inquest, there will be strict social distancing rules in operation.

Copy certificates

We ask you not to visit our offices if you wish to order a copy of a certificate. Orders can still be submitted using our online order form.

Citizenship ceremonies

New citizens would normally be expected to book their citizenship ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office. Due to the current pandemic circumstances UKVI have extended this period to six months and will keep this under constant review. UKVI have advised us that no adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus.