Last updated:
23 December 2016

Request a copy or an amendment to a certificate

How to order copy certificates, or make an amendment to birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.

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, which you can find information about in Record Office sources and collections.)

Copies of these certificates can be purchased:

  • online
  • by phone, post or in person using the standard or same day express service.

These methods are for UK residents only - see Order a copy certificate for details of how to order if you live abroad.

2 Order a copy certificate

  • Order and pay online (Please note that the online booking system cannot be used on a mobile or tablet.)
  • Order and pay by phone: 01243 642122
  • Submit your request in writing to the Centralised Certificates Office, Registration Service, County Hall
    Chichester, PO19 1RN

If ordering by post, please confirm the number of certificates required and enclose payment in sterling covering certificate, postage and packing costs. Cheques or postal orders should be made out to West Sussex County Council. Please include a phone number so that we can contact you if we need to check any details.

Non-UK residents

If you live outside the UK, please submit your request in writing to the address above and include a self-addressed envelope and payment to cover certificate and international postage costs, by cheque or postal order in UK sterling, made payable to West Sussex County Council. Please make it clear in your letter what postal service you have paid for.

3 Fees

Standard 7-day service - £10.00  

  • Copy certificates issued after the registration appointment will cost £10.00, plus £1 postage and packing and are posted by Royal Mail first class post. 
  • Certificates are usually dispatched within 7 days, provided that we hold the relevant register. Family history certificates may take longer to dispatch.
  • If ordering by post, please 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.  

Same day express service - £30.00

(Additional copies of the same certificate request within the same order are £10.00 per certificate.)

  • 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

  • Royal Mail first class postage and packing £1.
  • Royal Mail special delivery guaranteed up until 1.00pm next day – £6.45 (you must be at home to sign for your parcel). You will be charged for this service.
  • Royal Mail special delivery guaranteed up until 1.00pm with Saturday guarantee - £10.74 (you must be at home to sign for your parcel). You will be charged for this service

All fees are valid from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

4 What information will I need?

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

  • Birth certificate - Full name at birth, date of birth, place of birth, father's full name and mother's full name.
  • Death certificate - Full name of deceased, occupation, home address, date of death, place of death, date of birth or age at death and, if married or in a civil partnership, please give 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

Sometimes mistakes can be 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.

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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.