Skip header

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Register Office services

Due to government guidance on social distancing and the threat of coronavirus, some births, deaths and marriages services are affected.


  1. Register Office
  2. Face coverings
  3. Copies of certificates
  4. Marriages and civil partnerships
  5. Notice of Marriage and Civil Partnership 
  6. Registering a death
  7. Registering a birth
  8. Funerals
  9. Cemeteries and the crematorium

Register Office

The Register Office is currently closed to the public, except by strict appointment only.

If you need to contact us, please call 0191 424 6350 and leave a message (we are unable to answer calls at the moment), or email

We are getting back to messages quickly, so please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Face coverings

Guests must wear a face covering when attending a funeral, wedding or civil partnership ceremony at a Register Office, place of worship or other approved venue. 

The bride, groom and civil partners are not required to wear a face covering.

There are exemptions. See government guidance on face coverings.

Copies of certificates

We have restarted our copy of birth, death or marriage certificate service, with some changes.

Our same day certificate service remains suspended.

Copies of certificates cannot be purchased at the counter and must be ordered by telephone on 0191 424 6350. 

We are currently accepting card payments only (no cash, cheques or postal orders).

Marriages and civil partnerships

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies should not take place except in exceptional circumstances, for example an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover.    

Any ceremonies which do take place will be limited to a maximum number of 6 persons (including the couple) attending.

Ceremonies will be concluded in the shortest reasonable time and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the marriage or civil partnership that are required in order to be legally binding under the law in England and Wales. This means that any readings, music, walking in or extended vows would not be included in the ceremony. 

This is to minimise the risk of exposure for all persons attending the marriage or civil partnership, including those officiating the ceremony and those who work at venues.

Where exchanging of rings is required or desired for the solemnisation of the marriage of the formation of the civil partnership, hands should be washed (or sanitised) before and after. The rings should be handled by as few people as possible.

Wedding receptions are not permitted. 

We will be contacting our couples by phone to discuss their options. We will not be taking any new ceremony bookings while we reschedule couples whose ceremonies cannot take place as planned.

Notice of Marriage and Civil Partnership 

This service will continue by appointment only.

We will be prioritising couples whose ceremonies have been cancelled or affected by COVID-19, to allow them to rebook and give new Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership where needed.

Registering a death

You can register a death by making a telephone appointment. Find out more about registering a death.

Registering a birth

  • Birth registrations have restarted, with changes in place
  • A new system has been put in place to allow outstanding birth registrations to be as quickly as possible whilst following social distancing guidelines
  • Registrations will be appointment only
  • Availability will be staggered based on the date of the birth of the child. This will allow earlier births to be registered first
  • Parents of unregistered babies will receive a letter inviting them to contact the Register Office on 0191 4277000 to make an appointment. If you are a South Tyneside resident and your baby was born in Sunderland, you will also receive a letter to allow your baby's birth to be registered at the Register Office in South Tyneside

If you are attending an appointment to register a birth, please follow the strict social distancing guidelines below:

  • If you are married or in a civil partnership only one parent should attend to register the birth
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership both parents should attend
  • For the safety of your family and Register Office staff you should not bring your baby, other children or family members to the appointment with you. If you bring any other person to the appointment, they will not be able to access to the Register Office
  • If you or any one you live with are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you should not attend and you should contact us to rearrange your appointment
  • If you are showing symptoms when you attend your appointment you will be asked to leave and to rearrange your appointment
  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands when entering the Register Office and before leaving
  • A strict one-way system is in place and must be followed
  • Copy birth certificates can be purchased at your appointment which cost £11 each. We are currently accepting card payments only (no cash or cheques)

More detailed information will be provided by a Registrar when you book your appointment.


According to national guidance, the maximum number of people that can attend a funeral is 30.

For cremations at South Shields Crematorium, there is a maximum of 15 people allowed inside the chapel (due to the size of the chapel), as well as 15 people outside.

For burials at cemeteries in South Tyneside, up to 30 people are allowed at the graveside.

Social distancing must be adhered to at all times whilst attending funerals.

Masks or face coverings must be worn in all Council buildings, this includes South Shields Crematorium.

For advice and guidance contact Bereavement Services on 0191 427 3190.

Cemeteries and the crematorium

Cemeteries and the crematorium are open.

Due to government guidance on social distancing, the Roll of Remembrance Chapel and Flower Chapel at South Shields Crematorium are closed until further notice.

How would you rate the information on this page?

Share this page