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Most customers want to know...


How to get started ordering online


  Q1. Do I have to set up an account?
  Q2. How do I set a password?
  Q3. What information do I need to apply online?
  Q4. In the Delivery Address details box there is a box for 'DX Address'. What is this?


Q1. Do I have to set up an account?

When you make your first online application you will need to register and you will be asked to provide an email address and password.

Q2. How do I set a password?

To set a password, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the Registration page.
  • Choose a password that is at least six characters long and does not contain spaces. It must have 1 number and at least 2 non-numeric characters e.g. 65dthe
For security purposes, do not use any words found in a dictionary of any language.
  • When passwords have a combination of numbers and letters it is useful to check that the 0s and Os, 1s and ls (Zeros and letter O or Ones and letter l) are not confused, as this will cause password recognition problems.
  • Complete the registration form and submit.

Q3. What information do I need to apply online?

When you apply online you need to provide

  • Your full name and address
  • A contact email address
  • Valid credit/debit card information
  • Details of the event you are applying for: birth, marriage, civil partnership, death, adoption or overseas record.

Q4. In the Delivery Address details box there is a box for 'DX Address'. What is this?

DX stands for Document Exchange and is a UK Courier Service that operates between addresses registered with the GRO. Businesses/solicitors/financial institutions use this to speed up the time taken to have documents delivered.

Do not complete this box unless you are registered with the DX Courier Service.



What certificates can be ordered and how much does it cost?


  Q1. What certificates can I order online?
  Q2. Can I see a copy of the certificate before I order it online?
  Q3. What information do I need to apply online?
  Q4. If I don’t have the index reference number what will happen?
  Q5. Where can I find a copy of the GRO indexes?
  Q6. How much does it cost to order a birth, marriage, civil partnership, death or adoption certificate online?
  Q7. How do I order certificates for very recent events?


Q1. What certificates can I order online?

You can order certificates online for birth, death, marriage, civil partnership and adoption events registered in England and Wales and for certain British Nationals, who were born, formed a civil partnership or died overseas. You can also order Commemorative marriage certificates for silver, ruby, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries.

You can not order the following certificates online -

  • Short or abridged versions of certificates (apart from short adoption certificates, which can be ordered online)
  • A certificate from the Abandoned Children's Register
  • A certificate from the Parental Order Register
  • A certificate from the Gender Recognition Register
  • A certificate for British Nationals who were married overseas
If you require a copy of a short birth or overseas marriage certificate please phone us on + 44 (0) 300 123 1837. If you require a certificate from the Abandoned Children’s Register, the Parental Order Register or the Gender Recognition Register please contact us on +44(0) 300 123 1837 for further information.

Q2. Can I see a copy of the certificate before I order it online?

Current legislation in England and Wales does not permit the register entries (certificate information) to be made available online and information can only be provided in the form of a certificate.

Q3. What information do I need to apply online?

To get the fastest response, you should provide the GRO index reference number for the certificate that you are interested in, but it isn’t essential. You will be prompted to supply further details for more recent births and deaths (within the last 50 years) as you complete the online application form. If you are unable to complete the mandatory fields, then you will not be able to apply online.

Q4. If I don’t have the index reference number what will happen?

If you do not have the GRO index reference you may still apply online for any event which took place on or after 1st July 1837 to 6 months from the current date (for marriages this period is extended to 18 months) provided you have sufficient information to identify the entry. A 3 year search for the index reference will be carried out. You should supply the exact date of event if you have it. If you don't have the exact date, enter 01/01/YYYY and we will search the specified year and one year either side. If you do not provide an index reference number, your application will take up to 15 working days to process. There is a separate policy for events which have taken place in the last 50 years and full identifying information must be provided (see Q7 under “Important information on delivery times and policies.”

Q5. Where can I find a copy of the GRO indexes?

See question 1 - how do I get started in my Family Research?

Q6. How much does it cost to order a birth, marriage, civil partnership, death or adoption certificate online?  Click here for information on the price of Commemorative Certificates

Standard Service

Full certificate with GRO index reference supplied£9.25
Full certificate without GRO index reference supplied£9.25
Additional certificate issued at same time£9.25

Priority Service

Full certificate with GRO index reference supplied£23.40
Full certificate without GRO index reference supplied£23.40
Additional full certificate issued at same time£23.40

Click here for an explanation of processing times for the standard and priority service

These fees apply to all certificates and include postage.

Q7. How do I order certificates for very recent events?

GRO is not able to issue certificates for events that have taken place within the last six months (for marriages this period is extended to eighteen months) and you may wish to obtain a certificate from the register office or church where the event was registered. This information excludes adoption certificates, as the local register office does not hold a copy of the Adopted Children Register.



What information will I see on a birth, marriage or death certificate?


  Q1. What information will I see on a certificate?


Q1. What information will I see on a certificate?

The details contained on a full birth certificate include:

  • Name, date and place of birth.
  • Father's name (if given at time of registration), place of birth and occupation.
  • Mother's name, place of birth, maiden surname and, after 1984, occupation.
  • (Registrations made before 1969 do not include details of the parents' place of birth and mother's occupation.)

    Download an example of a pre 1969 birth certificate - software capable of viewing .PDF files is required
PDF Icon   Click the image above to see a Guide to Birth Certificates including an example of a pre 1969 birth certificate. Software capable of viewing .PDF files is required.


The details contained on a marriage certificate include:
  • Date and place of marriage.
  • Name, age and marital status/condition of the parties.
  • Occupation and usual address.
  • Name and occupation of each party's father.
  • Names of the witnesses.
  • Name of the person who solemnised the marriage.

    Download an example of a marriage certificate - software capable of viewing .PDF files is required
PDF Icon   Click the image above to see a Guide to Marriage Certificates including an example of a pre 1969 marriage certificate. Software capable of viewing .PDF files is required.


The details contained on a death certificate include:
  • Name, date and place of death.
  • Date and place of birth (before 1969 a certificate only showed age of deceased).
  • Occupation and usual address.
  • Cause of death.
  • The person who gave information for the death registration.

    Download an example of a pre 1969 death certificate - software capable of viewing .PDF files is required
PDF Icon   Click the image above to see a Guide to Death Certificates including an example of a pre 1969 death certificate. Software capable of viewing .PDF files is required.




How to get a certificate quickly


  Q1. How can I get a certificate quickly?
  Q2. How much will I have to pay for the Priority Service?
  Q3. Can I arrange for alternative postal services, such as special delivery or recorded delivery?


Q1. How can I get a certificate quickly?

You can order certificates using the Priority Service. If you order a certificate before 4pm, it will be despatched from GRO the next working day. Working days exclude Saturday/Sunday/Bank Holidays e.g. a priority application made on a Saturday or Sunday will be despatched from GRO by first class post on Tuesday.

Q2. How much will I have to pay for the Priority Service?

The fee for this service is £23.40. This includes the cost of the certificate, the priority service and first class post. There is no additional charge for overseas post.

Q3. Can I arrange for alternative postal services, such as special delivery or recorded delivery?

You cannot arrange special delivery etc. online, please contact us by telephone on +44 (0) 300 123 1837 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Saturday 9am to 4pm) an operator will take your order and discuss the alternative postage options available. An additional charge will be made for alternative postal options.



How to get started with family research


GRO has produced a useful booklet called Discover Your Family History which provides practical advice about how to get the most from the records held by the General Register Office.

  Q1. What is a GRO index reference, and where can I find it?
  Q2. From what date are the references available?
  Q3. What information do I need to find the index number that I want?
  Q4. How are the indexes organised?
  Q5. What information will I see in the indexes?
  Q6. Is there anything else I should be aware of when I’m searching?
  Q7. What are unrelated marriages?


Q1. What is a GRO index reference, and where can I find it?

The reference number identifies a birth, marriage or death in our records and indicates the year, quarter and district where the event was registered. The GRO index reference number will not be shown on copies of the certificate and should not be confused with the sequential serial number or application number shown on previous copies of the certificate.

The format of the index reference number has changed over the years and examples can be found at Q5 below. However, a GRO index reference number typically comprises a year, a quarter and the reference number that is shown in the indexes - for example 'March 1954 2a 222'

If you are going to be doing family history research, you will find the GRO Indexes an important resource. A complete set of GRO Indexes are available to view in microfiche format at:

  • The Library of Birmingham
  • Bridgend Local and Family History Centre
  • City of Westminster Archives Centre
  • Manchester Central Library
  • Newcastle City Library
  • Plymouth Central Library and
  • The British Library
The indexes are available for searching by the public, but the records themselves are not available for scrutiny and information from the entry can only be provided in the form of a certificate. There is no charge for searching the indexes.

To view the indexes online, visit http://www.freebmd.org.uk/. This website contains over 250 million records and there is no charge for using this service. Once you have the index number, it’s quick and easy to order the certificate from GRO.

Some public libraries and other organisations hold full or part sets of the GRO Indexes on microfiche or CD ROM. Further information can be found at GOV.UK.

If you don’t have the GRO reference number you can still order a certificate but it will take a little longer to arrive.

Q2. From what date are the references available?

The earliest available birth, marriage and death registrations for England and Wales date from 1 July 1837 (September quarter of 1837).

Q3. What information do I need to find the index number that I want?

Ideally you should have the name, approximate date and the district/area of the event.

Q4. How are the indexes organised?

Entries are listed alphabetically by surname then forename. Babies whose parents had not decided on a name at registration appear at the end of the relevant surname listing. The indexes are arranged by year and then alphabetically by surname. Before 1983 the indexes are also split into the quarter of the year in which the event was registered: e.g. events registered in January, February or March will all be indexed in the March quarter for the relevant year. Please note that the indexes relate to separate events and are not linked together in families.

Q5. What information will I see in the indexes?

Over the years the format of the indexes has changed several times with more information being added each time. Examples of the format of the birth indexes are shown below.

From September 1837 - 1851
Name Sup Registrars DistrictVolPage
DuckworthJohn GeorgeRugbyXVI254
DudmanMaleAylesburyVI123

From 1852 - June 1911
Name Sup Registrars DistrictVolPage
GalbridgeJoanne ABethnal Green1C34
GilbrideJohn AAston10B38

From September 1911 - 1983
Name of ChildMother's maiden nameDistrictVolPage
Edwards AnnSimmonsAston6D2
Edwardson PeterSmithWest Ham4A28

From 1984 - 1992
Birth NameMother's maiden nameDistrict NameDORVolPage No.
Ross John AHughesBethnal Green1087162765
Russell SimonGreenMiddlesex1289211254

From 1993
Name of ChildMother's maiden nameDistrict NameDistrict No.Reg No.Ent No.DOR
Jackson GeorgeSimpsonSurrey South Western761-2CC1A1571295
James AllanAshtonLancashire268-1BH7B2561097

Q6. Is there anything else I should be aware of when I’m searching?

A birth can be registered in the quarter after it took place. A death, although usually registered immediately, can sometimes be registered many months after the event. Remember to check several indexes if you don't find what you are looking for straight away, and to check alternative spellings.

Q7. What are unrelated marriages?

If you have found an entry in the marriage indexes that you think relates to the certificate you are looking for, it is recommended that you cross reference the name to ensure that the page/entry numbers are the same. For example, if you are looking for a marriage between Michael Harrison and Mary Jenkins, the same page/entry number will be listed in the indexes under both Michael Harrison and Mary Jenkins.



How to order an adoption certificate


  Q1. What records are held by GRO?
  Q2. What certificates can be ordered?
  Q3. What information do I need to supply?
  Q4. Can I get an adoption certificate at my local register office?
  Q5. Can I get a certificate from the Abandoned Children Register?
  Q6. Can I get a certificate from the Thomas Coram Register?


Q1. What records are held by GRO?

GRO holds the following information:

  • Adopted Children Register: GRO maintains the Adopted Children Register (ACR). The Register contains the particulars of adoptions authorised by order of a court in England or Wales on or after 1 January 1927. The only information that is available from the Adopted Children Register is a certified certificated copy of an entry, which is the equivalent of a birth certificate for an adopted person.
  • Adoption Contact Register: GRO administers the Adoption Contact Register on behalf of the Department of Health. The register is a linking mechanism between an adopted person and their birth relatives, where both parties so wish. For further information see GOV.UK.
  • Abandoned Children Register: Since 1977 the births of abandoned babies, within England and Wales, whose parentage is unknown have been recorded in the Abandoned Children Register.
  • Thomas Coram Register: A list held by GRO of children given into the care of the Foundling Hospital between the years 1853 and 1948.
Adopted adults (at least 18 years of age) can apply for the access to the information relating to their original birth entry. For further information see GOV.UK.

Q2. What certificates can be ordered?

A certified copy of an entry in the Adopted Children Register is the equivalent of a birth certificate for a person who has been adopted. An entry in the Adopted Children Register will only contain the adoptive details of a person and has no information that relates back to the corresponding birth entry. Both full and short adoption certificates can be ordered online.

  • Full Certificates: A full certificate is a copy of ACR entry and includes the date of the order and the name of the court, as well as the particulars of the adoptive parent(s). Their names cannot be shown on the certificates as though they were the natural parents, even if one of the parents is the birth mother or father.
  • Short certificates: A short certificate contains no reference to the fact of adoption and shows only the adoptive name and surname, sex, date of birth and country or district of birth.
The Adoption Acts have varied in their provisions regarding the inclusion of the country and place of birth in an entry. The following information explains the inclusion of country, district and sub district of birth on a full and short certificate.
  • Adoption Orders made between 1927 and 1949: Neither the country, district or sub districts are shown on a full certificate, as this information is not included in the format of the entry. The country of birth will be shown on a short certificate if it recorded on the Court Order.
  • Adoption Orders made between 1950 and March 1959: The country of birth is recorded on both a full and short certificate.
  • Adoption Orders made since April 1959: Where a person is born in England or Wales, the country, district and sub district is recorded on a full certificate; the country is not recorded on a short certificate. Where a person is born outside England and Wales, only the country is recorded on both a full and short certificate.

Q3. What information do I need to supply?

  • GRO Index reference not known: you must supply the full details of the person's adoptive name, date of birth and adoptive parent's name(s).
  • GRO Index reference supplied: if applying for a certificate of a person under the age of 18, you must supply the full details of the person's adoptive name, date of birth and adoptive parent's name(s). If applying for a certificate of a person over 18 the adopted name, date of birth and GRO Index reference needs to be supplied.

Q4. Can I get an adoption certificate at my local register office?

Local Register Offices do not hold copies of the Adopted Children Register and application must be made to the General Register Office.

Q5. Can I get a certificate from the Abandoned Children Register?

Since 1977 the births of abandoned babies, whose parentage is unknown have been recorded in the Abandoned Children Register. Before this, these births were registered at the register office in the district where the child was found.

Application for certificates can be made in writing to: General Register Office, Adoptions,Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH. Tel + 44 (0) 300 123 1837.

Q6. Can I get a certificate from the Thomas Coram Register?

The Thomas Coram Register is a list of children given into the care of the Foundling Hospital between the years 1853 and 1948. All enquiries about children raised in the Foundling Hospital and applications for certificates should be made via the charity: Coram Family, Coram Community Campus, 49 Mecklenburgh Square, London, WC1N 2QA. Tel: +44(0)20 7520 0300. The charity will organise a copy of the certificate from the General Register Office, this will be a “short” certificate showing the child’s details – but will not contain any details of the parents.



How to order a certificate for an event which took place overseas


  Q1. What records are held for overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths?
  Q2. Are all overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, involving British nationals held in the UK?
  Q3. I have a British passport, does this mean that my birth is registered or recorded in the UK, even though I was born abroad?
  Q4. What certificates of overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths can I order?
  Q5. What information will I see in an overseas index?
  Q6. What will I see on an overseas certificate?
  Q7. Do I need to provide the year of registration of an overseas birth, marriage, civil partnership or death?
  Q8. What happens if I don't know where the overseas birth, marriage, civil partnership or death occurred?
  Q9. I am doing my family tree and there are some overseas connections, where do I start?


Q1. What records are held for overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths?

Births, marriages and deaths registered by the British Forces and the British Consul or High Commission in the country where they took place, from 1849.

Deaths that occurred in the Boer War and both World Wars, British Army Regimental records of births, baptisms and marriages, dating back to 1761.

Marine Births and Deaths, from 1837, which took place on British registered vessels.

Aircraft Births and Deaths, from 1948, which took place on British registered aircraft.

Civil Partnerships formed and registered by the British Armed Forces and the British Consul in the country where they took place, from 2005.

Q2. Are all overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, involving British nationals held in the UK?

No. Registering with the British authorities is not compulsory. It is not a service which everyone takes up.

Q3. I have a British passport, does this mean that my birth is registered or recorded in the UK, even though I was born abroad?

No. Having a British passport does not mean that your birth was automatically registered in the UK. Your birth may have been registered, by your parents, with the British authorities in the country of birth, but registering is not compulsory.

Q4. What certificates of overseas births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths can I order?

You may place an order online for a full certificate of an overseas birth (which will include parents’ details) a death certificate, a marriage or a civil partnership certificate. A full list of overseas records held by GRO can be found at GOV.UK.

Q5. What information will I see in an overseas index?

There is no standard format for an overseas index. They come in a variety of different formats, which have changed over the years.

A reference can show the type of index (Regimental / Army / Marine / Consular etc.) and can give a year, volume, and page number, but it can also be as simple as a name and a year, or a name and a page number, or even just a page number.

The following are a few hints and tips to ensure you are providing the correct information –

Regimental Birth Indexes – may show several index references for the same person. As a soldier moved from one regiment to another, he had to register himself and his family each time for pay purposes. If you find more than one index reference for same person, provide all references and we will produce the entry with the most information. There is no index for Regimental Marriages or Deaths. However, for Regimental Marriages, if a regiment and a year can be supplied, a search can be undertaken. If Royal Artillery, then a battalion or battery will be needed.

Chaplains Births – some references show a number of years instead of just one year. Please ensure you provide the full period to search. Example -

Chaplains 1827 p.397 or Chaplains 1847- 49 p.45.

Marine Indexes – Reference may show just one year or a period of several years and the page number (e.g.:- 1837-62 p.43 or just 1972 p.78)

WW1 Army Death indexes – the volume will always show a letter, as well as a number, followed by the page number. The letters are A, C, E, F, G, I, M, N, and S. These relate to the book number – e.g.: A.1. p. 29 or B.3. p.32 etc. The majority start with the letter ‘I’. The only letter for Army Officer deaths is the letter ‘O’ followed by a number, plus a page number.

Consular / High Commission – For these records, you will need to provide the country, the date the event was registered or a period you wish us to search. Some events are registered many years after the event took place.

Q6. What will I see on an overseas certificate?

Due to the variety in format of overseas records, it depends on the type of record the certificate is produced from.

Normally the format of a birth certificate will include a date and place of birth, the child's name and the parents’ names and surnames.

For marriage certificates, if the marriage took place in a British Consul or was registered by the British Forces the certificate will usually take a format of date and place of marriage and the names and surnames of both parties. If, however, the marriage was one where a certificate was deposited with GRO records, then it will be a certified copy of the original documents i.e. the certificate issued by the foreign country, plus a translation, if applicable.

In respect of civil partnerships, if the civil partnership took place in a British Consul or was registered by the British Forces, the certificate will take a usual format of date and place of civil partnership and the names and surnames of the partners. If, however, the civil partnership was one where a certificate was deposited with GRO records, then it will be a certified copy of the original documents i.e. the certificate issued by the foreign country, plus a translation, if applicable.

Death certificates will normally include date and place of death (in respect of war deaths, this may just state the country), name and surname of the deceased and often the age at death or date of birth.

Q7. Do I need to provide the year of registration of an overseas birth, marriage, civil partnership or death?

Please note that for overseas events, the date of registration with the British Authorities can often be many years after the event took place. Whilst we will search additional years following the stated year of birth, marriage or death, it may not be possible to locate the entry unless you can provide a year of registration.

Q8. What happens if I don't know where the overseas birth, marriage, civil partnership or death occurred?

When you get to the field asking for place of birth, marriage, civil partnership or death, type 'unknown'; a search will then be made throughout the overseas indexes. Unfortunately, if you do not know the place of event, we may not be able to narrow down the search to just one entry. For events that have taken place prior to 1984, you will need to confirm if there is a military connection or if it is a Consul/High Commission entry.

Q9. I am doing my family tree and there are some overseas connections, where do I start?

You can download a list of overseas events held by GRO via GOV.UK.

Copies of the index to overseas events can be found at various libraries and record offices, as well as online via specialist websites. For a list of locations holding copies of the overseas index please visit GOV.UK.

Once you have found an entry in the overseas index, it’s quick and easy to order a certificate online. If you don’t have an index reference number, you can still order a certificate online, but it will take a little longer.



How to order a civil partnership certificate


  Q1. Can I obtain a civil partnership certificate?
  Q2. Can I obtain a full certificate, without providing the addresses of both civil partners?


Q1. Can I obtain a civil partnership certificate?

If you are able to provide sufficient information to identify the civil partnership entry, including the addresses of both parties, (as shown in the entry) then you can choose to have a full certificate, which contains the addresses of both parties. If you are unable to provide the addresses of both parties, you can obtain an extract of the entry, which will not show the addresses.

Q2. Can I obtain a full certificate, without providing the addresses of both civil partners?

A certified copy of the entry can only be issued when you have correctly stated the full address of both civil partners (as shown in the entry). If you are unable to provide this information, you may apply to the Registrar General, stating your reasons for requesting a full certificate, why the addresses are not known and explaining why a certificate showing the addresses is needed. If she considers it appropriate to do so, the Registrar General will authorise the issue of a full certificate.

You should apply in writing to:

General Register Office
PO Box 2
Southport
Merseyside
PR8 2HH



How to order a commemorative marriage certificate


  Q1. What is a commemorative marriage certificate?
  Q2. How much does a commemorative certificate cost?
  Q3. What does a commemorative certificate look like?
  Q4. Can I place my order in advance?
  Q5. How long will delivery take?
  Q6. Can I order a belated Commemorative Certificate?
  Q7. Can the Commemorative Certificate be delivered in advance to me (the applicant) as I will be taking it to a party?
  Q8. Can the Commemorative Certificate be delivered direct to the celebrants?


Q1. What is a commemorative marriage certificate?

Commemorative marriage certificates feature the original marriage details and are mounted within a presentation box. You can order special commemorative certificates for Silver (25th), Ruby (40th), Golden (50th) and Diamond (60th) wedding anniversaries as gifts or keepsakes.

Q2. How much does a commemorative certificate cost?

The commemorative marriage certificate fee is £23.40 (which includes postage and packaging). You will receive an individually finished commemorative certificate delivered in a presentation package to the address of your choice.

Q3. What does a commemorative certificate look like?

Printed on specially designed certificates, commemorative marriage certificates feature the original marriage details and are mounted within a presentation box.

Download an example of a commemorative marriage certificate

Q4. Can I place my order in advance?

Your order may be placed no more than 8 weeks in advance.

Q5. How long will delivery take?

Your order will be despatched within the delivery time scale specified when you place your order. We ask that you place your order at least 10 working days before the required date.

Q6. Can I order a belated Commemorative Certificate?

Yes, see Q5 for delivery time.

Q7. Can the Commemorative Certificate be delivered in advance to me (the applicant) as I will be taking it to a party?

Yes, please see Q4 and Q5.

Q8. Can the Commemorative Certificate be delivered direct to the celebrants?

Yes, delivery details of your order will need to be amended on the "Delivery Address Page" when placing your order. Also see Q5.



Important information on delivery times and policies


  Q1. When will my certificate be despatched?
  Q2. How will my certificate be delivered?
  Q3. Can I have a copy of the certificate emailed to me?
  Q4. How long will my certificate take to reach me?
  Q5. Will I receive a refund if my application is unsuccessful?
  Q6. Can I cancel or amend my order?
  Q7. Can I order a certificate for events which have taken place during the last 50 years?


Q1. When will my certificate be despatched?

When you place your order online, the estimated date of despatch will be displayed in the basket summary. Please note - this is not the date that you will receive the certificate. The despatch date is the date that it will be posted out from GRO.

The target dates for despatch are shown below

 Standard ServiceDespatch target once order receivedPriority ServiceDespatch target once order received
Full or short certificate with GRO Index supplied£9.25Four working days£23.40Next working day if ordered before 4pm
Full or short certificate without GRO index£9.25Fifteen working days£23.40Next working day if ordered before 4pm
Additional certificate issued at same time£9.25 £23.40 


Service levels

Standard – despatched on the fourth working day from receipt of order, or the fifteenth working day when no reference number is quoted.

Priority – despatched on the next working day from receipt of order, if received before 4pm.

Applications may be made on a Saturday or Sunday, but will not be processed until the following Monday.

Q2. How will my certificate be delivered?

Your certificate will be despatched by post using standard postal services. For customers overseas, airmail postage is included in the fees quoted.

Q3. Can I have a copy of the certificate emailed to me?

Information supplied by the General Register Office can only be given in the form of a certified copy (certificate) - we are unable to e-mail or fax the details to you.

Q4. How long will my certificate take to reach me?

General Register Office Order TypeDestination* Mail Provider's delivery aim in working days (from despatch date)
StandardUK3
PriorityUK2
 
StandardEurope5
PriorityEurope5
 
StandardRest of World7
PriorityRest of World7
The following delivery options are not available to use online but can be requested when ordering a certificate via our Contact Centre – please ring + 44 (0)300 123 1837 for further information
UK Delivery Options
 Recorded Delivery
Normal delivery, but signature required on delivery. Refer to Royal Mail website at www.royalmail.com
2-3
 Special Delivery
Signature required on delivery. Refer to Royal Mail website at www.royalmail.com
next working day
 
International Delivery Options
 Airsure
Refer to Royal Mail website at www.royalmail.com
2-3
 International Signed For
Refer to Royal Mail website at www.royalmail.com
5 (Europe)
7 (rest of world)
 
Alternative postal options
 Special Delivery UKGuaranteed next day delivery
 DHL UKNext day delivery
 Overseas AirsureRoyal Mail ensure item leaves on first available flight
 International Signed ForFast tracked to first available flight from UK. Signature required on delivery

* Please note that when calculating the expected delivery date the first working day is counted as the day following despatch of the certificate.

Q5. Will I receive a refund if my application is unsuccessful?

GRO will provide a full refund if the application is unsuccessful. A refund will be made directly to your credit/debit card account via the Worldpay payment service provider. A letter or e-mail of explanation will also be sent to you. Please do not contact the General Register Office to enquire about any refund made until you have received and read this letter/email.

Q6. Can I cancel or amend my order once I've made it?

You cannot cancel or amend an order once it has been submitted. Orders feed directly into our production process, leaving us unable to stop the system. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and ask you to check your application carefully, before submitting your order.

Q7. Can I order a certificate for events which have taken place during the last 50 years?

GRO has a policy in place where full identifying information is requested for applications where the event occurred in the last 50 years. You will be prompted to supply this information when you order online and in the case of births, will be asked for the forename and surname recorded in the entry, the date and place of birth, father’s full name (if shown in the entry) and mother’s maiden name (if applicable).



What to do if there is a problem


Problems with passwords, emails and the order form


  Q1. I have forgotten my password.
  Q2. My current password or email address is not recognised
  Q3. I've changed my email address. How can I alter my details?
  Q4. Why do I have trouble receiving emails from the General Register Office?
  Q5. How do I change my password?
  Q6. Why do I keep returning to the order summary page when trying to checkout?
  Q7. I am unable to return to your site after making payment. Is my order completed?
  Q8. When trying to pay I receive a message saying my card details are invalid.
  Q9. What should I do if an Exception Report error message is displayed?


Q1. I have forgotten my password.

Please see Forgotten your password. If you know your password but wish to change it see Q5.

You will be sent an email providing details of your new password; this usually takes a few minutes, but occasionally it can take up to a couple of hours. Once you have received our email confirming your password details, you can enter the site and change your password to one of your choosing.

Please also note that occasionally, an error message appears when users attempt to input their email address using the forgotten password method. Please allow a few minutes after receiving this message, as a new password should still have been forwarded to your mailbox.

Please also check your SPAM/Junk mail folder in case the mail is there.

If you still don't receive the password reset email, you can contact us by telephone on +44 (0) 300 123 1837 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Saturday 9am to 4pm) to have your password reset. Calls to 0300 numbers cost no more than calls to UK numbers starting 01 and 02 and should be part of any inclusive minutes that apply to your provider and call package.

Q2. My current password or email address is not recognised

Having cookies disabled on your internet browser may cause problems when attempting to log in. Please check that cookies are enabled for this site.

Check that any 0s and Os, 1s and Is (Zeros and letter O or Ones and letter I) in your password are not confused. Please note that passwords are case sensitive.

Q3. I've changed my email address. How can I alter my details?

You will need to set up a new account with your new email address.

Q4. Why do I have trouble receiving emails from GRO?

There are two likely reasons for problems receiving emails form us:

1. Some email providers and desktop email clients allow you to block incoming mail from email addresses not listed in your address book or trusted list, if you use any of these settings please add the following email addresses to your address book or trusted list:

General enquiries - certificate.services@gro.gsi.gov.uk

Online Order enquiries - col.admin@gro.gsi.gov.uk

2. Mails may be blocked by your email provider or redirected to your trash/spam folder.

Q5. How do I change my password?

To change a password, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the login page
  • Type in your user name and current password.
    If you have forgotten your password please see Q1.
  • Once logged on go to ‘My Details’ section. This can be accessed via the link in the right hand navigation.
  • From here you can change your password.
  • Remember, your password must be a minimum of 6 characters and contain at least 1 number and at least 2 non-numeric values with no blank spaces.

Q6. Why do I keep returning to the order summary page when trying to checkout?

Some customers using Firewall software on their PC's are unable to proceed through the checkout whilst their firewall is activated. In case of difficulties, please contact your firewall provider for advice.

Q7. I am unable to return to your site after making payment. Is my order completed?

As long as you have received the confirmation of payment email message, then your order was completed and will be processed.

Q8. When trying to pay I receive a message saying my card details are invalid.

If your order is still shown in the basket summary, please try to make payment again via the Worldpay website. Please check that you have provided the correct details on your credit or debit card.

Q9. What should I do if an Exception Report error message is displayed?

Exception reports indicate that an error has occurred, if you need to place an order urgently you can contact us by telephone on +44 (0)300 123 1837 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Saturday 9am to 4pm).

These errors are normally caused by minor problems that can be resolved quickly so you can try placing an order online again but please be aware that your basket may be locked out for a period of time (see Q7). If you are still receiving an error message after half an hour please send us the details so we can investigate the problem.

We are aware that some users have reported intermittent problems using the site between 5:00am and 5:30am (GMT/BST) when routine maintenance is being carried out, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and are investigating ways to improve the situation.



Problems with your order


  Q1. What should I do if I have not received my certificate?
  Q2. I am not happy with the certificate you have sent me or the service I have received.


Q1. What should I do if I have not received my certificate?

Please allow at least 5 working days from the estimated date of despatch for delivery before you contact us or 10 working days if you live overseas. If you still haven’t received your certificate after this time, please use our online form to send us a message. When you submit this form it will generate an email to us with the details you have supplied. We will respond to your email within 5 working days.
Please note that you should report the non receipt of a certificate within three months.

Q2. I am not happy with the certificate you have sent me or the service I have received.

Use our online form to send us a message. When you submit this form it will generate an email to us with the details you have supplied. We will respond to your email within 5 working days.
Please note that any problems with your order must be reported to GRO within three months.

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