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. You can find details in Record Office sources and collections.
You can purchase a certificate, if you have a UK address:
- by phone
- by post, using the standard or express service.
2 Order a certificate
Wherever possible, please use our online service to place your certificate order.
COVID-19 pandemic update
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are prioritising birth, death and marriage or civil partnership certificate orders for recent registrations and events.
We are experiencing high volumes of orders and we ask for your patience and understanding during this time. Please be assured that we are processing them as quickly as possible.
If you live outside the UK and do not have a UK address, please register and order your certificate from the General Register Office.
Standard 15 working days service - £11.00
- Certificates issued after the registration appointment cost £11.00 each, including postage and packing. We post these by Royal Mail first class post.
- We usually dispatch certificates 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.
COVID-19 pandemic update: Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are currently unable to offer the Express certificate service below.
Certificates cost £11.00 each, which includes first class postage and packing.
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.
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 parent/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 first and last names of the spouse/civil partner.
- Marriage certificate - full names of 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 of 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
There is 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 six 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.