Order a birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificate

How to order certificates, or correct a birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificate.

1 Overview

We hold records of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships that occurred in West Sussex since 1837. Our Record Office also holds a number of earlier records, details of which can be found in Record Office sources and collections.

These certificates can be purchased, provided you have a UK address:

  • online
  • by phone or post using the standard or express service.

2 Order a certificate

UK addresses

Where possible, please may we ask that you place your certificate orders by using our online service in the first instance as we are experiencing high call volumes.

Covid-19 pandemic update

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we are prioritising birth and death certificate orders for recent registrations.

We are experiencing high volumes of orders and we ask for your patience and understanding during this time. We also ask that you keep any calls into our service to a minimum to allow us to process your orders. We cannot confirm our turnaround on orders at this time but assure you that we are processing them as quickly as possible.

Non-UK addresses

If you live outside the UK and do not have a UK address, please register and order your certificate from the General Register Office.

3 Fees

Covid-19 pandemic update: Due to the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, we are currently unable to offer the Express certificate service. We will be prioritising death certificate requests until further notice, therefore we cannot guarantee when other general requests for copy certificates will be processed.

Please do not order a copy certificate unless it is essential. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

We will update this message as soon as we are able to resume offering the certificate service.

Certificates cost £11.00 each, which includes first class postage and packing.

Standard 15 working day service - £11.00  

  • Certificates issued after the registration appointment will cost £11.00, including postage and packing, and are posted by Royal Mail first class post. 
  • Certificates are usually dispatched within 15 working days, provided that we hold the relevant register. Family history certificates may take longer to dispatch.
  • If ordering by post, confirm the number of certificates required, enclose a self-addressed envelope and payment in sterling; cheque or postal orders should be made out to West Sussex County Council.  

Express service - £35.00

  • Orders must be made online, by phone, post or in person before 12 noon, Monday-Friday.
  • Certificates can be collected from 3.00pm the same day, or posted by first class or next-day delivery, provided we hold the relevant register.
  • Collections only from the Centralised Certificate Office, West Sussex Record Office, Orchard Street Chichester, PO19 1DD.
  • Should an entry not be traced, the registrar will contact you as soon as possible to arrange a refund.

Postage charges

The following postal services are all provided by Royal Mail and will be charged as outlined below.

  • First class postage and packing is included in the cost of the certificate.
  • Special delivery guaranteed up until 1.00pm next day (Monday to Thursday) - £6.25 (you must be at home to sign for your parcel).
  • Special delivery guaranteed up until 1.00pm for delivery on a Saturday (for orders placed after 12 noon on a Thursday) - £10.50 (you must be at home to sign for your parcel).

All fees are reviewed on the 1 April each year.

4 What information will I need?

As well as your contact details and the reason you need the certificate, you will also need to have the following information.

  • Birth certificate - Full name at birth, date and place of birth and father's and mother's full names.
  • Death certificate - Full name of deceased, occupation, home address, date and place of death, date of birth or age at death and, if married or in a civil partnership, the name and surname of spouse/civil partner.
  • Marriage certificate - Full names for both parties at the time of the registration and the date and place (church or venue and town) of the marriage.
  • Civil partnership certificate - Full names and addresses for both parties at the time of the registration and the date and place (venue and town) of the ceremony.

5 Correcting a mistake on a certificate

As from 1 November 2017 there will be a statutory charge for corrections of £75.00 or £90.00 per application, plus the cost of any replacement certificates. The correction process can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

Sometimes mistakes are made on a certificate. They can be corrected, but only for registrations that were originally made in West Sussex. 

Corrections will only be made to original information; new information cannot be added in this way. If circumstances have changed you will need to order a new certificate

Some errors must be corrected by the General Registration Office (GRO). Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website: 

If you require further assistance phone 01243 642122 to speak to the Registration Service. The registrar will explain what kind of correction you require and whether you need to provide any evidence. 

Once an error has been corrected, you will be able to order a new certificate.

Last updated:
15 October 2020
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.