Local MP Maria Miller has added her support to draft legislation to have mother’s names included on marriage registration certificates in England and Wales. Currently, the law does not mandate for the inclusion of mother’s names on marriage certificates - a practice which has remained unchanged since 1837. The daft bill has been introduced by dame Caroline Spelman, The Second Church Estates Commissioner, who has previously advocated for the modernisation of the system of marriage registration, described the current way in which marriages are recorded as one which is “not acceptable in modern times”
Maria said “I am pleased to support Registration of Marriage (No 2) Bill, which would ensure that mothers are equally recognised on marriage certificates. The law has remained unchanged since 1837 and it is only right that we close this gap and do not exclude women on official documentation.”
As Marriage certificates are an exact copy of the register entry, any changes to legislation would require the register to be amended in order to produce a certificate for an existing marriage containing additional information. To that end, Dame Caroline’s “Registration of Marriage (No 2) Bill” would give the Secretary of State (for Home Affairs) powers to revise the format of the register and to introduce a new system of electronic marriage registration, known as the ‘schedule system’ to prevent the need to change the format of the current printed books.
The Home Office estimates that any changes to the Marriage Register would cost the tax payer £13 million but that the introduction of an electronic schedule system would bare an initial setup cost of £1.3 million but generate a saving of £30 million over the next decade.
The bill has cross party support in the House of Commons and will be debated by MPs at second reading.