News, Culture & Society

Marriage certificates could FINALLY include mothers’ names

The bill put forward by Dr Alan Smith has set out a framework for marriages to be recorded electronically

Mothers’ names could be included in marriage certificates for the first time ever if no legislation is approved. 

Currently, marriage documents only include the names of the couples’ fathers. 

A draft bill put forward by a senior bishop was welcomed by the Home Office, three years after David Cameron pledged to make the change. 

The former Prime Minister said the system, which harks back to Queen Victoria’s reign, ‘does not reflect modern Britain’.

Previous attempts to change legislation failed because tens of thousands of costly registrar books across the country would have needed replacing. 

Estimates put the cost of replacing the books at around £13million the proposals also failed to allow for same-sex marriages. 

But a bill put forward by Dr Alan Smith has set out a framework for marriages to be recorded electronically. 

Dr Smith, one of the 26 Lords Spiritual, proposed that couples could simply sign a document that is submitted for inclusion in a digital registrar. 

Dr Smith, one of the 26 Lords Spiritual, proposed that couples could simply sign a document that is submitted for inclusion in a digital registrar

Dr Smith, one of the 26 Lords Spiritual, proposed that couples could simply sign a document that is submitted for inclusion in a digital registrar

‘There’s been a clamour from many different groups pointing out that as the legislation currently stands it is very unfair. Many people want to see it changed,’ Dr Smith told The Telegraph.

Dr Smith’s Registration of Marriage Bill stems from a draft tabled last year by Conservative MP Edward Agar — which was not debated because of the dissolution of Parliament for the General Election. 

The Home Office said initial set-up costs for Dr Smith's digital system would be less than £1.3million and result in savings of £30million over 10 years

The Home Office said initial set-up costs for Dr Smith’s digital system would be less than £1.3million and result in savings of £30million over 10 years

The system, as it stands, has remained largely unchanged since 1837, with marriages still being recorded in registered books that are held in churches, other religious buildings or register offices. 

Because marriage certificates are exact copies of register entries, the register itself would need altering to produce a certificate for an existing marriage to add further information. 

The Home Office said initial set-up costs for Dr Smith’s digital system would be less than £1.3million and result in savings of £30million over 10 years.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk