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Certificate errors and changes

Corrections to a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership can only be made if the information is wrong on the certificate. An error can only be changed in accordance with the legal procedures.

How to correct an error

If you find a mistake in a certificate you should contact the Register Office who hold the birth, death or marriage entry. If the record is held by Leeds Register Office, please call us on 0113 2224408. The Registrar will advise you how to correct the certificate as you may need to provide evidence of the correct details. Alternatively you can find out more about correcting a certificate, including application form downloads on the GOV.UK website (see external links).

Depending on the type of error we may need to refer your application to the General Register Office for their approval. You may also need to visit the register office to witness the correction after we have received approval.

Once an error has been corrected you will be able to buy a new certificate.​​​​

Can I change the parent details on a birth certificate?

You can add father’s details to a birth certificate or you can amend the record to show that you have married by re-registering the birth. You will need to call 0113 2224408 to book an appointment.

This can only be done in the following instances:

If the parents are unmarried and would like the natural father's details added to the birth record. You will need to complete the GRO185 application form in the Documents section.

If the natural parents have married each other since the birth, they need to re-register the birth to show this fact. You will need to complete the LA1 application form in the Documents section.

Both parents should attend the register office for the re-registration if they are not married. If they are married, only one parent needs to attend, though both need to have signed the form. If this is not possible, please call us.

Can I change my child's surname?

​You can change your child's surname on the birth record when you re-register a birth.

Can I change my child's forename?

You can change a child’s forename only if a new forename(s) was given in baptism or by regular use within 12 months of the birth being registered.

Please note this change can only be made once. Only the mother, father or legal guardian of the child may make the change. You must comply with any court orders in force about the naming of your child.

For more information on changing a child’s forename or to ask for an application form please call us on 0113 2224408.

Do I need to pay for a correction or re-registration?

Corrections and re-registrations are free of charge although you will need to pay for any new certificates.

What does a correction look like?

If your application is approved, a correction is made in the register.

The original information will always be shown in the register. A note will be added to the margin of the register to explain what the correct information is and when the correction was made.

Any new certificates will include the note in the margin although a short birth certificate will only include the new correct details.

Find my nearest registry office

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