The Type of Corrections You Can Make
In fact, once a register office has issued a death certificate no one can change the death register.
But, you can apply to get a note added to the registration to amend the original death entry.
Even so, the original information must be wrong for you to get a correction to a death registration. One typical, and common, reason is a spelling mistake of a deceased person’s name.
What a Correction Looks Like
A death register will always show the original information. But, they will add a note to the margin of the register once an amendment gets authorised. The note explains the correct information and the date that they made the correction.
Who Can Correct a Death Certificate
In fact, unlike correcting a birth certificate, there are no restrictions on who can apply to correct an original death entry.
The General Register Office may need some extra information before they consider making a correction. As a rule, they will need a letter from the person who gave the original details for registering the death.
Applying to Correct a Death Certificate
The first step is to contact the particular register office that registered the death. They will confirm how to send the application, how much it will cost, and a method of payment.
You will be applying for a correction to the General Register Office where there has not been a Coroner’s inquest. Fill in the application form to correct a death certificate and send it to the same register office.
Note: The cost to apply to correct a mistake in a death registration is £75 or £90 if it needs referring to GRO.
Proving the Original Registration is Wrong
You must be able to show how the information given during the registration was wrong. So, you will need to send in some documents with your application.
The documentation should show what the correct information should have been and dated around the time of the death.
The typical kind of documents used to prove wrongness can include:
- A bank, Building society, or credit card statement.
- A letter from a doctor or a hospital (or a government department).
- A passport (or photocard driving licence).
Sending Certified Documents
They will not accept certain kinds of documents. So, make sure you send in certified documents as true copies of the originals.
Note: In most cases, failure to send in documented proof means the corrections cannot usually be carried out. They will destroy all certified copies sent with an application unless you ask for a return.
Witnessing the Correction
You should arrange an appointment if the correction to a death registration is being made at your register office. You will then be able to witness the correction and sign the note made in margin of the death register.
The process differs if you are applying to the General Register Office. You should state that you want to witness the correction on the application form instead.
Making a Statutory Declaration
The GRO can ask you to send a ‘statutory declaration’ to them about the change to a death certificate. As a rule, it happens most when someone applies to correct a serious mistake (e.g. a person’s name). There may be a fee involved.
How Long Will Applications Take to Process?
There is no set time given for the process of correcting a death registration. As a general rule, you should allow up to four weeks to get a reply.
Further Help and Advice
You can contact either your local register office or the General Register Office (GRO). They can offer you further advice on applying to make a death certificate correction.