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Register privacy notice

Find out more about the types of information collected by our register office, how it is stored, displayed, used and retained.

Purpose for processing your information

This policy explains how the information we collect about you is used and your rights in relation to that information.

How we collect your information

Personal information collected from you in order to register an event is required by law. The main legislation which governs the collection of registration information is the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, the Marriage Act 1949 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004. You may be legally by obliged these acts, and other pieces of legislation, to provide certain pieces of information. If you fail to provide information you are required to give us you may, amongst other things, be liable to a fine, or we may not be able to provide the service you are applying for, such as a marriage or a civil partnership.

Personal information may also be collected from you if you are make an application to this office, for example for a certificate or to correct information contained in a register entry.

Purpose for using your information

The information you provide will be held and processed by registration officers for this registration district. We may also contact you to get your feedback on how we're performing. In any event, we will only ever ask for information that is absolutely necessary and does not constitute an invasion of privacy.

Collecting personal data

The superintendent registrar is a data controller for birth, marriage and death registrations and can be contacted by emailing: [email protected].

The local authority is a data controller for civil partnership registrations and can be contacted at The Data Controller, Westminster City Council, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.

The Registrar General for England and Wales is a joint data controller for birth, marriage, death and civil partnership registrations and can be contacted at the General Register Office, Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH.

A copy of any register entry will be provided by this office in accordance with the law to any applicant, provided they supply enough information to identify the entry concerned and pay the appropriate fee. The copy may only be issued in the form of a paper certified copy (a “certificate”). An application for a certificate may also be made to the General Register Office.

Indexes for events registered at this office are publicly available in order to help members of the public identify the registration record they might need. Indexes are available in electronic format upon request and payment of a small fee. Where the information contained within local indexes is available online, it is done in a manner which is compliant with data protection and Human Rights legislation.

A copy of the information collected by a registration officer will also be sent to the Registrar General for England and Wales so that a central record of all registrations can be maintained.

Registration information held at this office may be shared with other organisations in the course of carrying out our functions, or to enable others to perform theirs.

We will only share information where there is a lawful basis to do so for the following reasons:

1. Statistical or research purposes.

2. Administrative purposes by official bodies e.g. ensuring their records are up-to-date in order to provide services to the public.

3. Fraud prevention or detection, immigration and passport purposes.

Further information on data held by the registration service and a full list of the organisations with whom registration data is shared, the purpose and the lawful basis for sharing the data are displayed on the list of processing activities.

Alternatively, staff at this office will be able to provide the information.

Your rights and access to your information

You have the right to request access to the personal information we hold about you, to be informed about the collection and use of your personal information, for incorrect information to be corrected (where the law permits) and to request us to restrict the processing of your personal information. In certain circumstances you have the right to object to the processing of your personal information. Your information will not be subjected to automated decision-making.

Registration information is retained indefinitely as required by law. The retention periods for specific documents are outlined below: 

  • marriage notices - five years

  • superintendent registrar’s certificates and certificates and licences for marriage - two years from date of marriage

  • counterfoils of certificates and forms:
    • standard certificates of birth, marriage, death and still-birth - two years
    • certificates of registration of  births and still-births - two years
    • forms of report of death to coroner by registrar - one year
  • certificates for disposal:
    • before or after registration of death - five years
    • still-births - five years
  • routine correspondence:
    • relating to registration of births, marriages and deaths, correction of errors, birth re-registrations not made and irregular burials – three years
    • relating to false information given to registration officers, falsification and forgery of certificates of birth, marriage or death; marriage of foreigners and persons divorced abroad – three years

If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information please contact the Register Office by phoning: 020 7641 7500 or by emailing: [email protected].

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office about the way we are handling your personal information. Details on how you can do this can be found on the ICO website.

Published: 22 December 2020

Last updated: 25 January 2022