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
- There is an online certificate ordering service at the General Register Office (GRO) website. The Gov.uk website gives details on how to order certificates online, by post, or by telephone, as well as providing useful help sheets
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
- 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