How to become a registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

You can usually get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could start as an assistant or deputy registrar. With experience and on-the-job training, you could then apply for a registrar position.

To apply for an assistant or deputy role, you'll usually need:

  • to be at least 18 years of age
  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent

You could also work your way up from a managerial role at a local council or through getting relevant experience in a private sector company.

Direct Application

To apply directly for registrar jobs, you'll need experience in management, in handling budgets, and knowledge of relevant legislation and legal processes. You'll also need excellent customer service, public speaking and IT skills.

You might get this type of experience from working at managerial level in a registrar’s department, local council or private sector company.

More Information

Career tips

Each local authority sets its own entry requirements, so check with them for details of what you'll need.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • active listening skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 21 years of age

Doctors, midwives, ministers of religion, funeral directors and anyone working in the life assurance industry are not allowed to become registrars.

You may need a driving licence for some jobs.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you may:

  • interview parents and relatives after a birth or death
  • complete computerised and paper records
  • issue birth or death certificates
  • inform the coroner if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
  • collect statistics to send to the General Register Office
  • produce and take payment for copies of certificates
  • keep accurate records
  • perform civil ceremonies for events like marriages, civil partnerships, naming and citizenship

Working environment

You could work in the community or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted from assistant registrar to deputy registrar, then to registrar and superintendent.

Each district has at least one superintendent registrar and deputy, and each sub-district has a registrar and deputy.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

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