Published: Wednesday, 6th Jan 2021

New guidelines have been introduced to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19). It means that the Register Office needs to introduce emergency measures to prioritise services.

Death registrations

Due to the coronavirus crisis, we have made some temporary changes to the way deaths are registered in Bolton. These are in line with government guidance and have been designed to protect the public and council employees, while ensuring all those affected are treated with dignity and respect.

The registration of all deaths will now be carried out over the phone.  Until further notice, no face to face appointments to register a death will take place.

If you need to register a death, please call 01204 331185.  We will then book you a telephone appointment to register the death.  It is not currently possible to make a telephone appointment to register a death online.

If you need any help or advice, for example if your loved one’s death has been referred to the coroner, please again call the register office on 01204 331185.

We appreciate your patience and understanding at this difficult time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies

In light of the latest regulations and guidance from the government, marriage and civil partnership ceremonies that were due to take place between now and 15 February will unfortunately need to be postponed. We are working through the bookings in date order and if you have a ceremony booked during that period you will receive an email or telephone call regarding your options.

We can only conduct ceremonies in very exceptional circumstances, e.g. if one of the parties is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or they are due to receive debilitating treatment or undergo life changing surgery. If you feel that you have exceptional circumstances please contact us by email at and a member of the team will contact you to discuss the matter further and offer advice in relation to the required evidence to support this. The maximum number of attendees allowed at a ceremony is 6. This includes the two of you and up to 4 guests.

Should you feel that your ceremony booking may be impacted by the current situation and wish to avoid any uncertainty, we will be happy to re-arrange your ceremony and any fees paid to Bolton Registration Service will be transferred to your new booking. Should you wish to postpone and have a date(s) and preferred time(s) in mind, please email us and we will be happy to check availability for you.

We are not currently taking any new bookings for ceremonies until the end of March due to the uncertainty of the situation. However, we will review this regularly and the website will be updated accordingly.

Please be assured that everyone in the registration service is doing their very best to keep couples informed on how government advice impacts on their booking.

British citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship Ceremonies will recommence on 8th December 2020. These will be held in the Queen Elizabeth II Suite. Currently the maximum number permitted in the ceremony are 8 people, therefore we cannot allow guests to attend. 

When you receive your letter from the Home Office asking you to book within 14 days, there is no need to contact us. We will send an invitation letter once we receive your certificate from the Home Office.

If you would like to have a private ceremony please email and include your name, home office reference number and a daytime telephone number.  Please note there is a fee of £100 for private ceremonies.

You would normally be expected to book your ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office, but UKVI have temporarily extended this period to six months and will keep this under constant review.  No adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by coronavirus.

The ceremony

The ceremony takes approximately 30 minutes. Please bear this in mind when paying for car parking as once you are in the building you will not be able to leave until the ceremony has been completed.

You must bring your Home Office invitation letter and photographic ID i.e. passport or driving licence. Failure to do so will result in your ceremony being postponed.

What happens at the ceremony?

  • When you arrive at Bolton Town Hall please queue at the disabled entrance of the Albert Halls (signposted) and abide by social distancing rules. We will check with you prior to entering the building if you are suffering from any Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Our citizenship ceremony staff will call each citizen in one by one and they will check your documents.
  • You will then be asked to sanitise your hands and will be shown through to the Queen Elizabeth II suite for the ceremony (unfortunately due to health and safety restrictions chairs will not be provided).
  • The ceremony is conducted by the Superintendent Registrar who will formally welcome the new citizens on behalf of Bolton Council.
  • The applicants will then swear or affirm allegiance to the Queen and make a pledge of loyalty. Both swearing and affirming allegiance to the Queen has the same meaning. 
  • You will then be asked to collect your nationality certificate from the table. The nationality certificate can subsequently be used to support passport applications and to prove an individual is a British citizen.
  • Unfortunately, due to the restrictions in place due to coronavirus there will not be an opportunity for photographs.
  • At the end of the ceremony you will be asked to leave the building via the Albert Halls doors.

Please note that toilets within the Town Hall are not open for use.

Applications for certificates

We will continue to issue copy birth, death or marriage certificates.  To apply for a certificate you must apply online or telephone us - we are currently not offering this service face to face.

Please do not attend the office to obtain a certificate as we will be unable to process your request.