Census 2021: What to do if lost census letter or if not received your unique code?

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The census is a survey that takes place every 10 years and gives officials a picture of all the people and households living in England and Wales. The next census is due on Sunday, March 21. Your answers to the census questions will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area. This can include healthcare, transport and education. Every household should complete the census by the March 21 deadline or as soon as possible after. The census should take about 10 minutes for the household questions and 10 minutes per person.

What to do if you’ve lost your unique code or census letter

To start your census online, you’ll need a unique access code in order to login to your account.

The unique 16-digit code will be printed on the letter sent to you by Census UK.

But as with everything, it’s easy to misplace and lose things – especially a piece of paper.

Seeing as you won’t be able to complete your census without the unique code, you’re going to need to retrieve this as soon as possible.

Luckily, it’s not that difficult to do and shouldn’t take too long at all.

You can request a new access code to start a new census if you’ve lost or not received a code in the post.

This can be sent out to you either via text message or by post.

A new access code, however, will start a new census which means any questions previously answered you will lose.

To request a new access code sent to you, just follow this link which just asks you to input your postcode.

You’ve also got the opportunity to fill out a census on paper.

To do this, you can request a paper census questionnaire to be sent in the post here.

However, it’s worth noting that the deadline is just five days away and the questionnaire is not likely to reach you in time.

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If you already have a paper questionnaire but there are more than five people residing in your household, you’ll need to ask for a continuation questionnaire.

You can contact the Census by phone in England on: 0800 141 2021.

In Wales, the number to call is: 0800 169 2021, and the service is available in either English or Welsh.

If you need to speak to Census in another language, you can call their free language helpline on 0800 587 2021.

Their phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
  • Saturday, 8am to 1pm
  • Sunday, closed
  • Census weekend (March 20, March 21) 8am to 8pm

The Census website reads: “We are experience a very high number of calls, and wait times are longer than usual.”

If you’re calling for a paper questionnaire, there’s an automated ordering service available 24/7 on the 0800 numbers listed above.

Have your letter handy as you’ll quickly be asked for your reference number.

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