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Death Certificates

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2006, Official Report, column 1387W, on death certificates, who possesses the authority to alter a certified copy of a registration of death. (81213)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 29 June 2006:

As Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent question, pursuant to the Answer of 2nd May 2006, Official Report, column 1387W, on death certificates, who possesses the authority legitimately to alter a certified copy of a registration of death. (81213)

The law provides for the registration officer who has custody of the death register containing the relevant record to make a correction. The register is kept by the registrar of births and deaths until all the entries in the register have been completed (there are usually 300 entries in a register). Once the register is filled it is deposited with the Superintendent Registrar for the district, who then assumes responsibility for correcting any of the records it contains. A certified copy (or certificate) is a copy of the entry in the register and must be a true copy of that entry. If an entry in a death register is corrected a certified copy of the corrected entry may be issued by the person with custody of the register.