Chapter B3: Evidence of age and deathContents
|B3011:||Questions where no claim exists|
|B3034:||Short form of birth certificate|
|B3035:||Certificate of registration of birth|
|B3036:||Certificate of baptism|
|B3037:||Protestant baptismal certificate|
|B3041:||Roman Catholic baptismal certificate|
|B3043:||Baptism not within normal periods|
|B3044:||Material discrepancies in birth or baptismal certificate|
|B3051:||Secondary evidence of age|
|B3054:||Certificate of naturalization|
|B3055:||Evidence indicates year of birth only|
|B3059:||No documentary evidence available|
|B3061:||Point in time at which a person reaches a particular age|
|B3071:||People born abroad|
|B3072:||Claims from immigrants|
|B3078:||Claimant from Pakistan or Azad Kashmir|
|B3102:||Gender Recognition Certificate|
|B3106:||The application process|
|B3107:||Fast track applications|
|B3108:||The evidence requirements|
|B3119:||The evidence requirements|
|B3130:||Foreign gender change|
|B3136:||Interim gender recognition certificate|
|B3138:||Consequences of issue of certificate|
|B3151:||Proof of death|
|B3155:||Delay in issue of a statutory certificate|
|B3161:||Presumption of death by a Court of Law|
|B3165:||Presumption of death on available evidence|
|B3171:||England and Wales|
|B3178:||Death in a country which permits polygamy|
Records of birth in Pakistan and Bangladesh - (see B3080)............. Appendix 1
Records of birth in Azad Kashmir - (see B3080) ............................... Appendix 2
Gender Recognition - List of approved countries
and territories - (see B3118) .............................................................. Appendix 3
Chapter B3: Evidence of age and deathIntroduction
B3001 GeneralThis chapter is about decision making on claims for
3. new style JSA (hereafter referred to as JSA)
4. new style ESA (hereafter referred to as ESA). Note:
ADM Chapter M1 contains guidance on the meaning of new style JSA and new style ESA.
B3002To satisfy the conditions for
1. UC or
2. PIP or
3. ESA or
proof of age of the claimant may be required. For example, entitlement to UC
depends on the claimant not having reached the qualifying age for SPC (1).
Note: See ADM Chapter E1 guidance on the qualifying age for SPC.
1 WR Act 12, s 4(1)(b)
B3003The question of age or death also arises in other limited circumstances. For
example, a claimant in receipt of JSA has to provide evidence of age when nearing
age 25 so that the correct age-related amount can be considered (1).
1 JSA Regs 13, reg 49
B3004The onus of providing satisfactory proof of age or death is on the claimant or their
representative (1). However, claimants or their representatives should be helped as
much as possible by
1. advising them about the kind of evidence that may be needed and
2. advising how to obtain that evidence and
3. undertaking searches to verify the events or dates in question.
1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (C&P) Regs, reg 37(1) & reg 38(2); JSA Regs 13, reg 31(1) & (2)
B3005 « B3056Where there is any doubt about the evidence, questions about age or death are put
to the DM. The DM should decide whether or not there is enough evidence to
determine the question.
B3011 Questions where no claim exists « B3012A DM can only give a decision about a person's age or death as part of an outcome
decision on a claim, revision or supersession. The DM should not give a decision on
such a question raised by a person if :
1.the question is not raised as part of a claim for benefit or an application for
revision or supersession or :
2.a decision on the claim for benefit or application for revision or supersession
can be given without deciding the question.
Note: See ADM Chapter A2 for guidance on claims, ADM Chapter A3 for guidance
on revision and ADM Chapter A4 for guidance on supersession.
B3012A refusal to give a decision on an age or death question under B3011 will not be an
outcome decision and will not carry a right of appeal.
Note: See ADM Chapter A1 for guidance on outcome decisions.
[B3013-B3015]Types of evidence
entry which has by law to be made in a register concerning the event. The
certificates are issued by :
1.the Registrar General or :
2.a Superintendent Registrar or :
3.a Registrar of Births and Deaths or
4. in Scotland, the Registrar General for Scotland or a District Registrar.
Note: See B3022 for guidance on secondary evidence if primary evidence is not
B3017If there are no material differences in the information available, the DM may accept :
1.an extract from an entry in a statutory register or :
2.a verified entry on Departmental records or :
3.an extract from the record of the Registrar General.
B3018lf there is a material difference the DM should ask for the claimant's observations
before making a decision. Discrepancies in the dates of events will need special
attention. In particular, inconsistencies between the age given when making a claim
and on a certificate, or as shown by any other available evidence, may cause doubt
as to identity.
B3019The DM should consider all the evidence to determine whether, in spite of any
discrepancies, the other details agree enough to exclude the possibility that the
certificate refers to someone other than the claimant.
B3020The DM must consider the possibility that information on a statutory certificate may
be wrong if there is strong evidence to suggest this (1).
1 R(S) 15/52
B3021The DM should accept a certificate issued abroad as the equivalent of a certificate
in B3016. If :
1.a claimant was born or died abroad and :
2.the certificate produced was issued by the appropriate registration authority abroad
the certificate should be accepted unless there is reason to doubt its validity.
Note: Photocopies of original documents are not primary evidence (see B3023).
Unsupported secondary evidence carries less weight than primary evidence. The
DM should ensure that as much information as possible has been obtained, before
considering the relative value of each piece of evidence.
Note: See operational guidance for more details.
B3023 Photocopied documents « B3021Photocopies of original documents carry little or no weight. However, photocopies
that are certified as a true copy of the original by a person of good standing carry
more weight. A person of good standing is a :
1.civil servant or :
2.member of the UK foreign service including Her Majesty's overseas civil
service, British Diplomatic Service, and consular official or :
3.doctor or surgeon registered under the law of the country where the
declaration is made or :
4.minister of religion or :
5.barrister, solicitor or advocate authorized to practise in the country where the
declaration is made or :
6.notary public or any person allowed to administer oaths in the country where
the declaration is made or
7. an officer of a bank authorized to sign documents on the claimant's behalf or
8. magistrate or
9. chartered accountant.
[B3024-B3030]Evidence of age
B3031 Birth certificatesBirths must be registered
1. in England and Wales - within 42 days of the date of the birth (1) and
2. in Scotland - within 21 days (2).
1 Births & Deaths Registration Act 1953, s 2;
2 Registration of Births, Deaths & Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965, s 14
B3032A birth certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the Register of Births. A full birth
certificate shows the
1. date and place of birth and
2. sex of the child and
3. forenames of the child and
4. parents' names, addresses and occupations.
As well as being satisfactory evidence of the date of birth, a full birth certificate
contains evidence of parentage. These details should be presumed correct unless
there is strong evidence to the contrary.
B3033There are two other types of birth certificates issued by a Statutory Authority. These
1. short form of birth certificate and
2. certificate of registration of birth.
B3034 Short form of birth certificateA short form of birth certificate shows the
1. date and place of birth and
2. forenames and surname of the child and
3. sex of the child and
4. registration district and sub-district.
It is accepted by the Secretary of State as satisfactory evidence of age unless
identity is in doubt, when supporting evidence is required. This certificate does not
contain evidence of parentage. The information given on it enables the full entry in
the register to be traced through General Register Office and the recorded parents'
names to be obtained.
B3035 Certificate of registration of birthA certificate of registration of birth is not a birth certificate but merely certifies that a
birth has been registered and contains the
1. registration district and sub-district and
2. date of signature and
3. name of the informant and
4. sex of the child that has been born (or still born) and
5. name of the child - but not in all cases and
6. date of birth.
Unless this certificate gives both the surname and forenames of the child, the
Secretary of State will not accept it as satisfactory evidence and the case is passed
to the DM for a formal decision. The certificate is useful for tracing the record of
births through General Register Office and may support other and more definite
B3036 Certificate of baptismA certificate of baptism is not primary evidence of a date of birth (see B3016). It
should be referred to the DM with any other available evidence.
B3037 Protestant baptismal certificate « B3043A date of birth given by the claimant or suggested by other evidence may be
1. it is earlier than the date of baptism (but not by more than one month) and
2. there is no conflicting evidence. If no date of birth is given or suggested, a date one month before the date of baptism should be accepted. Note: See B3043 where baptism is not within the normal periods.
B3041 Roman Catholic baptismal certificateIf the baptism took place in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland the date of
birth given by the claimant or suggested by other evidence may be accepted if it is
1. the same as the date of baptism or
2. the day before the baptism.
In any other case the date of baptism should be accepted as the date of birth.
B3042 « B3043If the baptism took place in GB it will usually have been one to three weeks after the
birth. The date of birth may be accepted as :
1.the date given by the claimant or suggested by other evidence - if it is in the
three weeks before the baptism or :
2.if no date is given or suggested - a date one week before the date of baptism.
B3043 Baptism not within normal periods « B3037Baptism does not always take place within the periods in B3037 - B3042. If other
evidence suggests an earlier date of birth, all the evidence must be considered
before deciding the date of birth.
B3044 Material discrepancies in birth or baptismal certificateIf a birth or baptismal certificate shows a different name from the one by which the
claimant has been known (for example due to adoption at an early age and the use
of a name given by the adoptive parents) the DM should obtain evidence linking the
two names. If the claimant is unable to produce this evidence the certificate can only
be accepted as secondary evidence. The DM should consider it with any other
available evidence before accepting that it refers to the claimant.
B3045 Adoption certificatesEvery adoption order has to be entered in an Adopted Children Register. The entry
should be regarded as if it was a certified copy of an entry in the Register of Births (1).
1 Adoption Act 1976, s 50; Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978 s 45
B3046The DM should accept an adoption certificate showing the date of birth as evidence
B3051 Secondary evidence of ageWhere the DM does not accept the evidence of age, all the available evidence
should be considered. A convenient way for the DM to assess the merits of the
evidence is to list against each item the date of birth deduced from that item. The
DM may then establish the date of birth by considering the items on the list overall.
Documents such as birth certificates carry most weight unless their validity is in
Note: See operational guidance for more details.
ExampleCain makes a claim for UC on 10.12.13. He states he was born on 8.8.53. He has
no birth certificate and registration of his birth cannot be traced. He contends that he
is two years younger than his sister who, he states, was born on 9.8.51. She also
has no birth certificate, and the registration of her birth cannot be traced.
The following evidence has been found and presented to the DM:
Nature of evidence
Date of birth deduced
Census return dated April 1961 gave 8.8.52 Cain's age as 8 and his sister's age as 10; Cain's sister's marriage certificate
8.8.52 dated January 1971 gave her age as 20 Cain's discharge certificate from the
8.8.53 Royal Marines gave his date of birth as 8.8.53, based on age given on enlistment. The DM determines that Cain was born on 8.8.52. The DM also decides Cain is not
entitled to UC as he has reached the qualifying age for SPC.
B3052 « B3071Examples of secondary evidence of age include :
1.child's certificate of vaccination or health record card :
2.entry in Family Bible or other book containing an old entry of date of birth-for
example a Birthday book :
3.school reports, register or prize
5.indentures of apprenticeship :
6.insurance policy taken out before middle life (see B3053) :
7.certificate of service in the Forces or any other employment under the Crown
or in the Mercantile Marine :
8.Approved Society or Ministry of Labour and National Service records :
9.certificate of naturalisation (see B3054)
10. deduction from the proved ages of brothers and sisters
11. statements from employers or acquaintances who have reason to know the
claimant's age: For example, a school friend
12. National Health Service medical card
Note: Unsupported secondary evidence carries less weight than primary evidence
B3053 Insurance policies « B3052The value of any statement of age in an insurance policy may vary according to the
age admitted at the time the policy began. The DM should bear in mind that an older
person may have understated their age. If the policy is endorsed "Age admitted", it
can be accepted as reasonably good evidence.
B3054 Certificate of naturalisation « B3052The date of birth or statement of age in a certificate of naturalisation may be based
solely on the claimant's personal and unsupported statement at the time the
document was prepared.
B3055 Evidence indicates year of birth onlySometimes the available evidence may establish the year of birth, but not the day or
month. Where :
1.a claim for benefit is made and :
2.entitlement depends upon the claimant reaching a certain age or the rate of
benefit payable varies according to the claimant's age
the onus of proving that the age condition is satisfied rests with the claimant. No
presumptions can be made in the claimant's favour.
ExampleDebbie claims ESA on 4.2.14. She can prove only that she was born in 1989. For
any day in 2014 falling before 31.12.14 the rate of ESA payable in the assessment
phase is that for a claimant aged less than 25.
B3056Once the DM has determined a date of birth using these principles, they should
apply that date to all subsequent claims for any benefit. If the age question arises on
another occasion, the DM :
1.should consider the question on the evidence then available (see B3005) and :
2.may be able to reconsider the earlier decision if the claimant has provided
B3057A claimant must prove that the age condition for entitlement is satisfied for each
claim made. The DM need not determine what the claimant's date of birth might be
but should decide that :
1.the claimant has not established that the relevant age has been reached and :
2.benefit is therefore not payable or payable at a lower rate.
B3058The decision should show only the year of birth where
1. a question of a person's age is being decided in advance of a claim and
2. it is not possible to decide on what day in a year the person was born.
B3059 No documentary evidence availableIf a claimant cannot produce any documentary evidence to support a date of birth
the DM has to decide what the date of birth is on the balance of probability.
B3060A claimant's own statement is evidence and, like any other evidence, it has to be
weighed carefully. Confirmation of a claimant's own evidence is not always
necessary 1. However, a person cannot give first hand evidence about the date of
birth and the DM must therefore consider any further evidence supplied by, for
example, any living relatives. The DM should accept the claimant's statement unless
1. reason to doubt the claimant's statement or
2. other contradictory evidence.
If the DM can access important evidence that is not available to the claimant, the
DM should obtain that evidence (2).
1 R(I) 2/51; R(SB) 33/85; 2 Department for Social Development v Kerr  UKHL 23
B3061 Point in time at which a person reaches a particular ageA person is treated as having reached a particular age in years on the midnight
immediately before the anniversary (1). In Scotland, where a person is born on 29
February, the anniversary in any year other than a leap year is 1 March (2).
1 FLR Act 69, s 9(1); Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991, s 6(1); 2 s 6(2)
ExampleJean is born on 5.5.89. She reaches age 25 at midnight between 4.5.14 and 5.5.14.
B3071 People born abroadPeople born abroad can often produce a birth certificate which can be accepted as
satisfactory evidence of age. In other cases secondary evidence (see B3052) is
obtained and considered in the usual manner.
Note: See operational guidance for more details.
B3072 Claims from immigrants « B3086It may be difficult to verify the age of claimants or their dependants where the birth
1. outside the UK and
2. in a part of the world where births were not officially registered.
Note: In certain parts of the world, a person's age is far less materially important
than it would be in the United Kingdom, and claimants in or from such countries may
have little idea how old they really are
B3073 « B3074The DM has to determine the date of birth on a balance of probability taking into
account all the evidence, explanations and circumstances (1). When doing so the DM
should note that :
1.an opinion about the claimant's age, based on a physical examination and
given by a doctor in this country, is generally good evidence (see B3074) :
2.documentary evidence such as sworn affidavits and witness statements,
intended to disprove an earlier statement in favour of a later one, are not
necessarily sufficiently convincing to disprove the earlier statement.
1 R(P) 1/75
B3074 « B3073Where
B3073 1. applies the weight to be given to this evidence varies according to :
1.the nature of the physical examination and :
2.how far the accepted signs of age are explored and :
3.the degree of certainty expressed by the opinion (see B3086 et seq).
Note: See B3090 for guidance on findings from X-rays when considering 1..
B3075 « B3076Where a person makes a claim for benefit, for example UC, which shows a date of
birth different from that previously recorded but which is not shown to be verified,
DMs should note that :
1.a copy of the record sheet should be obtained from HMRC records :
2.unless there is reason for doubt they should accept the date of birth on the
copy record sheet from HMRC records where the entry is marked as verified :
3.where the recorded date of birth is not shown as verified claimants should be
asked to confirm in writing
3.1 that they gave that date of birth when registering for NI purposes and
3.2 why they did so :
4.they should normally accept the date of birth given on registration unless the claimant
4.1 denies giving that date on registration or
now alleges that it is not correct (see B3076).
B3076 « B3075Where
B3075 4. applies claimants should be asked to state in writing why they :
1.did not give that date when registering for NI or
2. otherwise dispute the accuracy of that date.
B3077Where a claimant produces :
1.a passport showing an altered date of birth or :
2.two passports, the current one showing the claimed date of birth
the DM should establish the reason for the change before deciding which of the
dates is to be accepted.
B3078 Claimant from Pakistan or Azad Kashmir « B3080Claimants in or from Pakistan or Azad Kashmir may produce a form of birth
certificate which :
1.includes details such as the father's religion and caste and the name of the
attendant midwife and :
2.certifies that it is based on old records kept by the village watchman or the
However birth registration in Pakistan was not compulsory until 19611. No
conclusive proof is held of the existence of official birth records in Pakistan before
1961 and at the same time as the birth.
1 Basic Democracies Order 1959; Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961
B3079 « B3080The territory of Azad Kashmir (Free Kashmir) is self-administering but has adopted
much of Pakistan's legislation. But the territory is unable to ensure strict compliance
with the legislation and documentary evidence of date of birth (including alleged
certificates of birth) originating from there cannot generally be relied on. This applies
even where :
1.it bears authoritative stamps and
2. the signatures of persons of official status.
The DM should examine such documents critically. B3078 - B3079 is based upon a statement obtained by the then
Head of Contributions Branch when he visited Pakistan and Azad Kashmir
(Appendix 1 and 2 to this Chapter).
1.a claimant alleges a date of birth several years earlier than that recorded at
HMRC and :
2.action as in B3072 et seq does not resolve the issue.
B3087 « B3090Where B3086 applies the papers should be passed to Medical Services to arrange
for the claimant to be physically examined. A medical opinion should be obtained as
to whether the results of the examination support :
1.the claimant's contention to have reached the age alleged or :
2.the range of years within which those results show that the claimant's age
Note: The medical examination should enable a reasonably reliable assessment of
age up to about five years either way.
B3088 « B3090The papers should include :
1.two identical recent photographs of the claimant (as a safeguard against
impersonation) and :
2.where the claimant has provided a passport, two copies of the
2.1 page containing the identity details and photograph (so as to provide
something against which the recent photographs can be compared)
2.2 first page (as later proof that the document copied was in fact a
passport) and :
3.a summary of the claimant's environmental history, countries in which the
claimant has lived, and for how long.
B3089If the examining medical practitioner's report confirms the claimant's alleged date of
birth, the DM should accept the date of birth shown on the claim form. If the report
does not confirm the alleged date of birth, the DM should disallow the claim on the
ground that the claimant has not established that the necessary age has been
reached for claiming benefit. The DM does not need to determine the claimant's
date of birth.
B3090 « B3074If a claimant appeals against a DM's decision based on medical advice obtained as
in B3087 - B3088, the DM's submission to the FtT should include the following
"It is generally agreed that there is no medical test or group of medical tests which
will enable the age of an adult to be accurately determined, particularly in the higher
age groups. It is doubtful whether X-ray appearances alone can enable the age of
an individual in middle or old age to be determined within an age range of less than
20 years. There are, however, certain clinical features which when observed and
considered by an experienced medical practitioner may enable him to say whether
on balance of probability the results of medical examination support an individual's
contention that he has reached a stated age or, alternatively, to say within what age
group of about 10 years he probably belongs."
B3101 IntroductionLegislation (1) provides a legal framework that gives transsexual people with legal
recognition in their acquired gender. The legislation took effect on 4.4.05.
1 GR Act 04
1. living in the other gender (1) or
2. having changed gender under the law of a country or territory outside the
UK (2). Applications are determined by a GRP (3). 1 GR Act 04 s 1(1)(a); 2 s 1(1)(b); 3 s 1(3)
B3106 The application processThere are three ways of obtaining a GRC, these are described below. In all cases
an application must include a statutory declaration as to whether or not the applicant
is married (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 3(6)(a)
B3102 1. is made during the two years
beginning with 4.4.05, it can be granted if (1) the GRP is satisfied that the applicant
1. has or has had gender dysphoria, or (in the case of an application made after
3.10.05 has undergone surgical treatment for the purpose of modifying sexual
characteristics (2)) and
2. has, if the application is made
before 4.10.05 or
after 3.10.05 and the applicant has undergone surgical treatment for
the purpose of modifying sexual characteristics
lived in the acquired gender throughout the period of six years ending with
the date on which the application is made (3) and
3. intends to continue to live in the acquired gender until death and
4. has provided certain required evidence.
Note: For the purpose of 2. a statutory declaration that this has happened is
1 GR Act 04, s 27; 2 s 27(2); 3 s 27(3)
B3108 The evidence requirementsAn application under B3107 made within the six months beginning on 4.4.05 must
include (1) a report made by :
1.a registered medical practitioner or :
2.a chartered psychologist practising in the field of gender recognition.
1 GR Act 04 s 27(5) & s 3(1)
B3109 « B3110An application under B3107 based on the applicant having (or having had) gender
dysphoria must include (1) a report made by :
1.a medical practitioner practising in the field of gender dysphoria or :
2.a chartered psychologist practising in the field of gender dysphoria which
include details of the diagnosis of the applicant's gender dysphoria.
1 GR Act 04, s 27(5) & s 3(2)
1.the applicant has undergone or is undergoing treatment for the purpose of
modifying sexual characteristics or :
2.treatment for the purpose of modifying sexual characteristics has been
prescribed or is planned
the reports referred to in B3109 must include (1) details of that treatment.
1 GR Act 04, s 27(5) & s 3(3)
B3116 Overseas recognition « B3132A person may also apply on the basis of having changed gender under the law of a
country or territory outside the UK (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 1(1)(b)
B3117With this type of application, the GRP must grant the application if it is satisfied that (1) :
1.the country or territory under the law of which the applicant has changed
gender is an approved country or territory and :
2.certain evidence requirements are met (1) (see B3119).
1 GR Act 04, s 1(2); s 3(5)
B3118 « B3180An "approved country or territory" means one prescribed as such by an order made
by the Secretary of State (1). A list of approved countries/territories is given at
Appendix 3 to this Chapter.
1 GR Act 04, s 2(4); Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories) Order 2011
B3119 The evidence requirements « B3117An application under B3102 2. must include (1) evidence that the applicant has
changed gender under the law of an approved country.
1 GR Act 04 s 3(5)
B3126 Standard applicationsThe GRP did not consider standard applications until 4.10.05. A standard
application may be made if the GRP is satisfied that the applicant (1) :
1.has or has had gender dysphoria and :
2.has lived in the acquired gender throughout the period of two years ending
with the date on which the application is made and :
3.intends to continue to live in the acquired gender until death and :
4.complies with certain evidence requirements.
1 GR Act 04, s 2(1)
B3127 « B3129A standard application must include (1) :
1.a report made by
1.1 a registered medical practitioner practising in the field of gender
1.2 another registered medical practitioner (who may, but need not,
practise in that field) or :
2.a report made by
2.1 a chartered psychologist practising in the field of gender dysphoria and
2.2 a registered medical practitioner (who may, but need not, practise in
1 GR Act 04, s 3(1)
B3128The reports made by a registered medical practitioner or a chartered psychologist
must include (1) details of the diagnosis of the applicant's gender dysphoria.
1 GR Act 04, s 3(2)
1.the applicant has undergone or is undergoing treatment for the purpose of
modifying sexual characteristics or :
2.treatment for that purpose has been prescribed or planned for the applicant
at least one of the reports required under B3127 1. or 2. must include (1) details of that
1 GR Act 04, s 3(3)
B3130 Foreign gender changeUnless B3132 applies, the general rule (1) is that a person's gender is not to be
regarded as having changed by reason only that it has changed under the law of a
country or territory outside the UK.
1 GR Act 04, s 21(1)
B3131Accordingly a person is not to be regarded as married by reason of having entered
into a marriage following recognition of a gender change under the law of a country
outside the UK (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 21(2)
B3132 « B3130However a national of another country within the EU or EEA who :
1.has been granted legal recognition of their gender change under the law of
that country and :
2.has an enforceable right under EC law to recognition of their acquired gender
in the UK will not need to make an application under B3116 (1). 1 GR Act 04, s 21(6)
B3136 Interim gender recognition certificateWhere the applicant is married or a civil partner, provided the other conditions are
satisfied, the GRP will issue an interim GRC (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 4(3)
1.1 absolute a decree of nullity granted on the ground that an interim GRC
has been issued to a party to the marriage or
1.2 final a nullity order made on the ground that an interim GRC has been
issued to a civil partner or :
2.grants in Scotland, a decree of
2.1 divorce in respect of a marriage or
2.2 dissolution in respect of a civil partnership
on the ground that an interim GRC has been issued must, on doing so, issue a full GRC (1). 1 GR Act 04, s 5(1) & 5A(1)
B3138 Consequences of issue of certificateWhere a full GRC is issued to a person, that person's gender becomes for all
purposes the acquired gender (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 9(1)
B3139 ParentageThe fact that a person's gender has become the acquired gender does not affect the
status of the person as the father or the mother of a child (1).
1 GR Act 04, s 12
[B3140-B3150]Evidence of death
occurred abroad and a certified extract from the Registrar of Deaths is unobtainable,
other evidence can be accepted if it is enough to prove
1. the date of the event and
2. the identity of the deceased. Note: Notifications may be received on-line from the General Register Office and Tell Us Once.
B3152Where death is proved by
1. a statutory certificate or
2. reference to the Registrar General or
3. a notification issued by the
Navy, Army or Air Department of the Ministry of Defence or
Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen
it should normally be accepted provided that there is no dispute as to the identity of
Note: In a case where the date of death is not established and the documentary
evidence shows both the date when the deceased was last seen and the date when
the body was found the DM should make every effort to establish a likely date of
death. See operational guidance for more details.
B3153 Inquest heldIn
England and Wales, when a body is found the Coroner is always informed. The
subsequent inquest may establish that death occurred some date before discovery
of the body. If there has been an inquest the DM should consider obtaining a copy
of the Coroner's findings. Other evidence may be a certificate from a doctor who
examined the body certifying that from its condition death must have occurred at an
earlier specified date.
Scotland fatal accident inquiries are the responsibility of the Procurator Fiscal for
the district with which the circumstances of death appear to be most closely
connected. The DM should address inquiries to the Procurator Fiscal, or if an inquiry
has been held, to the Sheriff Clerk of the Sheriff Court where the Inquiry took place.
B3155 Delay in issue of a statutory certificateIf there has been a delay in the issue of a statutory certificate, for example if inquest
proceedings are adjourned, but there is clear evidence of death such as press
notices, police statements, etc, and no doubt as to identity, the Secretary of State
may accept such evidence.
B3156 Coroner's verdictA Coroner's finding of a date of death is not binding on the statutory authorities. The
1.should accept the Coroner's finding if there is no contradictory evidence :
2.may accept a different date of death where the evidence clearly indicates that
the finding is incorrect.
B3161 Presumption of death by a Court of LawIn
England and Wales where a Court of Law has presumed death, the DM should
normally accept this as sufficient for death to be presumed for SS purposes. If the
DM holds evidence which was not before the court throwing doubt on the
presumption the DM should examine the papers critically before reaching a decision
different from that of the court.
B3162 « B3163The DM should note that :
1.under English probate law, leave may be given to swear the death (on the
basis that death is presumed) for probate purposes (see B3163) :
2.a decree of presumption of death may also be granted by the divorce division
of the High Court (1).
1 Mat Causes Act 73, s 19
B3163 « B3162For the purpose of B3162 1. the granting of probate does not necessarily involve
any finding of fact on the court's part, but leave to swear death is not given lightly.
Probate granted under these circumstances is not necessarily accepted as evidence
of death. However, in most cases where evidence is sufficient to obtain a grant of
probate this should be enough for the DM to accept that death may be presumed.
Scotland a decree of presumption of death is conclusive for all purposes (1), and is
binding on the DM. If further information comes to light which throws doubt on the
presumption the Department may make an application to the court for a variation of
the decree (2).
Note: Any payment of benefit made from the date of death to the date of the order
of variation is treated as properly paid and as a result no overpayment will have
occurred. The effect of a decree of presumption of death is considered at some
length in case law (3).
1 Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977; 2 s 4(3); 3 R(G) 1/80
B3151 - B3164 the DM should weigh the
evidence to decide where the balance of probability lies (1). The DM should consider :
1.the circumstances of the person's disappearance (e.g. exceptionally severe
weather conditions, shipping disaster etc) :
2.their age and occupation :
3.their mode of living :
4.their state of health at the date of disappearance :
5.whether they had any motive for disappearing, for example financial
embarrassment, threat of court proceedings, desertion from forces, or reason
for concealing whereabouts from spouse (for example a maintenance order) :
6.the period that has elapsed since they were last seen or heard of :
7.what steps have been taken to trace them :
8.whether any person who would be expected to hear from them or of them if
they were alive has in fact heard from them or of them since they left home; if
so, where and whether there was any clue to their disappearance in their last
The DM, if satisfied that the fact of death can be accepted, will need to establish the
date of death.
1 R(G) 4/57
B3166 « B3171Where the circumstances of the disappearance :
1.point to a particular day, that day should be presumed to be the date of death,
for example where the person had fallen overboard from a ship at sea :
2.do not point to a particular date of death but point to a period within which
death, probably occurred, the DM should presume the latest date in that
period to be the date of death.
[B3167-B3170]Presumption of death after seven years
B3171 England and Wales « B3172Where there is insufficient evidence for death to be presumed under B3165 -
B3166, the DM may presume death if satisfied that a person has not been seen or
heard of for seven years by the people who would be expected to have seen or
heard of that person. The seven year rule is a method of establishing that a person
is dead not (1) the date of a person's death.
Note: The relevant case law was made when a ten year rule applied.
1 CG 73/50(KL)
B3172After establishing as in B3171 that the person concerned is dead, the DM should
determine the date of death. The DM should decide the question whether a person
is dead at a given time on all the evidence available. In particular the DM should
consider whether because of :
1.the circumstances in which the person was last seen and :
2.the enquiries made at the time
it is more likely than not that the death occurred at a date earlier than the expiration
of seven years, for example the date of disappearance.
B3173 Scotland « B3174Where death cannot be accepted under B3151 - B3164 the DM may, in the
absence of a decree of court, determine whether a person has died and the date of
death (1). This applies if the date of presumption of death which the interested party
seeks to show is on or after 1.3.78 and only if the :
1.missing person was domiciled in Scotland on the date on which they were last
known to be alive or had been habitually resident there throughout the period
of one year ending with that date (2) or :
2.the interested party
2.1 is the spouse or civil partner of the missing person and
2.2 is domiciled in Scotland at the date of raising the question with the DM
or was habitually resident there throughout the period of one year
ending with that date (3) or in a case where the pursuer in the action is
the civil partner of the missing person
the two people concerned registered as civil partners of each
other in Scotland and
2.2.b it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to
assume jurisdiction in the case.
Note: Where the missing person is stated to have died before 1.3.78 the DM is
bound by Scottish common law then relevant (4).
1 Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977, s 2(3); R(G) 1/80;
2 Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977, s 1(3)(a); 3 s 1(3)(b); 4 R(G) 1/80
determination of the date of death as in B3173 the DM should decide (1) on the
balance of probabilities (see B3165) either that :
1.it has been shown that the claimant has died (see B3175) or :
2.the missing person has not been known to be alive for a period of at least
seven years (see B3176 - B3177).
1 Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977, s 2(3)
B3175 « B3174Where
B3174 1. applies the DM should :
1.determine the date of death and :
2.where death has been shown but it is uncertain when, within any period of
time, the missing person died, find that the person died at the end of that
B3176 « B3174Where
B3174 2. applies the DM should find that the missing person died at the end
of the day occurring seven years after the date on which the person was last known
to be alive.
B3177 « B3174Also, in applying B3174 2. it is still necessary to show that the person is a missing
person 1. This involves considering the circumstances of the disappearance of the
person claimed to be missing. The circumstances of the disappearance may also be
relevant in considering the weight to be given to any evidence that the person is
known to be alive (2).
1 Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977, s 1; 2 R(G) 1/80
B3178 Death in a country which permits polygamy « B3179The DM should note that :
1.claimants often cannot produce documentary evidence of a wife's death :
2.a death certificate showing the death was registered sometime after the death
should be checked for authenticity since these are often false :
3.a document issued at the time of death, for example a telegram or letter from
relatives notifying the death, is more likely to be genuine (see B3179).
B3179 « B3178If the evidence in B3178 3. is not held a statement from a person who :
1.was present at the death or funeral and :
2.can state that the first wife was dead and
3. can state that the first wife had died before the husband had married again
is acceptable as secondary evidence.
See operational guidance for more details.
B3180If there is any doubt about the wife's death, the case should be referred to the RVU.
Records of birth in Pakistan and Bangladesh - (see B3080)
Prior to the operation of the Basic Democracy Order 1959 there was no statutory
system of registration of births. Although there was a voluntary system under which
in rural areas the village chowkidar would when notified inform the tehsildar for the
administrative area (now known as police) this rarely occurred. In urban areas the
Municipalities and Cantonment Board Authorities were responsible but it would be
unlikely for illiterate parents to notify a birth.
Consequently there are very few contemporaneous records of birth maintained in
respect of periods prior to 1960 even in large towns.
Where a person born prior to 1960 seeks a certificate of birth in a rural area he
applies to the Union Council Chairman of the place of his birth. Affidavits and
declarations are usually obtained from two persons who are often friends or
relatives. The date of birth as confirmed by these persons is then entered in the
record maintained under the Basic Democracy Order 1959 and copies of this entry
are given as a certificate of birth.
Because under the old system registrations were passed to the administrative
officer for the area, and in the belief that it gives some measure of authenticity,
some Union Council Chairmen ask the local police officer to put the Police Station
stamp on the certificate. The Police Station stamp should not be taken to indicate
that the date of birth has been confirmed by records held at the Police Station nor
that the police authority is satisfied as to the veracity of statements made in
declarations or affidavits.
The document produced by the claimant which purports to be a certificate of birth is
not a true copy of a registration of birth made contemporaneously with the birth.
Records of birth in Azad Kashmir - (see B3080)
There is no statutory system for the registration of birth in Azad Kashmir but the
arrangements under the Basic Democracy Order 1959 are generally followed on a
Prior to 1947 the village chowkidar might have been informed of a birth in his village.
If so he was expected to notify the tehsildar for the administrative area (now police
authority) but in many cases he failed to do so. During the 1947 war all records held
by the police authorities were Iost or destroyed and therefore there are no
contemporaneous records prior to 1947 in rural or municipal areas. From 1962
Union Councils were required to pass records of birth to the District Medical Officer
but from 1969 records were required To Whom It May Concern: be sent to the
Police authority for the area.
A certificate that the date of birth is confirmed by records held by a District Medical
Officer does not imply that the District Medical Officer has made enquiries about the
date of birth or that he has made any medical examination of the person concerned
to establish his age.
When a person born prior to 1948 seeks a certificate of birth he applies to the Union
Council Chairman of the place of his birth. Affidavits or declarations are usually
obtained from two persons who are often friends or relatives. The date of birth as
confirmed by these persons is then entered in the record of registration of births for
the current year and notified to the local Police Station. The Union Council
Chairman will then give a certified copy of this registration of birth and in some
cases it may be taken to the Police Station for insertion of the Police Station stamp.
This stamp should not be taken to indicate that the date of birth has been confirmed
by records held at the Police Station nor that the police authority is satisfied as to
the veracity of statements made in declarations or affidavits.
The document produced by the claimant which purports to be a certificate of birth is
not a true copy of a registration of birth made contemporaneously with the birth.
Gender Recognition - List of approved countries and territories (see B3118)
The Australian territories of Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory and
the states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria
and Western Australia
the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick,
Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec
and Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory
Republic of Cyprus
the Federal District of Mexico
the District of Columbia and all of the states of the United States of America except
for Idaho, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas