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Marriage certificate changed to include names of both parents

A new electronic system introduced for marriages which will include adding names of both parents on the certificate.

The names of both parents, and not just the father, will now be included on marriage certificates in England and Wales, following new changes to the registration system by the Home Office.

A new electronic system which went live on May 4, will be introduced to modernise and speed up the process, helping to support the backlog of marriages.

Marriages are currently registered by the couple signing a register book, which is held at each register office, in churches and chapels, and at religious premises registered for marriage.

The Home Office said the creation of a single electronic marriage register would save time and money and be more secure, as the new system eliminates the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.

The department said that as well as simplifying the registration system, the changes would “correct a historic anomaly” by allowing for the names of both parents to appear on the marriage entry.

“These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837,” a spokesperson said.

The changes have been made in consultation with stakeholders, such as the Church of England.

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said “when Hazel and I got married in 2017, my dad and Hazel’s mum shared the day with us, but sadly my mum and Hazel’s dad could not be with us, both having passed away beforehand. Whilst Hazel’s dad could still be part of the day by being listed on our marriage certificate, one was missing – my mum.

“These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.”

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