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How can I obtain a copy of a birth certificate?

Local and family history A-Z > Births, marriages and deaths > Civil registration > Birth certificates

Ordering a certificate for a birth registered in England and Wales

If you order certificates online:

  • for births before 1st January 1900 you need to supply the full GRO index reference;
  • for births between 1st January 1900 and 18 months before the present date, you need to supply the GRO index reference or the exact date of the birth

Alternatively, you can order a certificate from the register office at which the birth was registered, if you know which it was. For contact details and web sites of all register offices, see Register Offices

Does how I order affect the cost?

The two cheapest ways (by a few pounds) are:

  • ordering from the local register office at which the birth was registered, and
  • ordering online from the GRO if you supply the GRO index reference with your order

How do I find GRO index references?

  • The GRO index references are given in the births index. For each birth entry, the GRO index reference consists of the details given in the volume and page columns of the index

Page last updated: 26th June 2020