Certificate fees and timeframes

Fees and payment

All certificate applications are completed and paid for online at the time of the request. Please ask family or friends to assist you in completing the online form if you need help.

The fees for copy certificates are per certificate and include one certificate, postage, and a search fee of up to five years. Additional copies of the same entry will incur the same fees.

Further searches of up to 10 years can be requested on the online application form. An additional non-refundable fee of £10 is payable for this service.

As payment needs to be taken before the form can be submitted, ensure you have your credit/debit card to hand when placing your online order. Your card must be registered with 3D Secure for payment to be successful.

Service timeframes

All services are subject to the entry being traced from the information you provide when applying and that the event took place in Southampton City. If the information you provide is inaccurate or uncertain it may cause a delay to order, irrespective of which service you chose.

Please note the timeframes of the service:

  • Standard Service: £12.50 per copy - Certificates are issued and usually ready for posting out, by second class post, within 15 working days. If you need your certificate by a certain date, we recommend that you use the Priority Service and the signed for postage.
  • Priority Service: £38.50 per copy - Certificates will be issued and ready for posting out, by first class post, the next working day. Orders must be placed between the hours of 10am and 3pm. There is no guaranteed timescale for delivery, so you need to allow extra time for your certificate to reach you. This does not mean that you will receive your certificate the next working day.

This service is a higher fee for a quicker service. If we cannot find the record based on the information you have provided, or it is out of the city boundary, you will only receive a refund of the certificate fee (£12.50). This is because the service (search) you requested would have been provided.

Please use the guides at the top of this page to check if we have the records you need a certificate for. If you are still unsure, please email registrars@southampton.gov.uk with the area that the event took place in and we will advise you.

Online applications made after 3pm will be treated as being ordered on the next working day.

Postage and delivery times

All certificates ordered will be a postal delivery out to the customer only. There is no option to collect the certificates from our office.

Certificates are sent out via Royal Mail 1st class (for priority service) and 2nd class post for standard service, for free. We also offer 'signed for' (tracked) and international postage (tracked) at an additional cost. Use the Royal Mail compensation scheme for lost or damaged items.

If you choose not to use the ‘signed for’ option, compensation from Royal Mail will not cover any losses. Refunds will not be issued if your certificate is lost in standard post, or if the details do not match what you expect.

Certificate delivery times by non-tracked postal services can be subject to delays out of our control. There is no guaranteed timescale for delivery, so please allow extra time for your certificate to reach you.

If you need your certificate by a certain date, we recommend that you use the priority service with the signed for option. Once the certificates leave this office, we cannot be held responsible for the time it takes to reach your address. For up-to-date information check with the Royal Mail.

Southampton City Council will not be held liable for any loss, damage or expense as a result of postal delays or failure to provide certificates arising from circumstances beyond the Council's reasonable control.

Please read our full certificate ordering terms and conditions.