Certificate terms and conditions

Certificate orders - terms and conditions

We can only supply certificates for events that took place in the Southampton City boundary since 1837.

Offices that surround our boundaries are Hampshire, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Isle of Wight. Please note that although initially registered under Southampton, some records including Eastleigh were transferred to Hampshire, so you may need to check with us before applying.

You will need to provide us with:

  • A day-time contact number so that we may contact you if there is a problem with locating the record or your payment method
  • As much information as possible about the certificate you require. If you are unsure of the date, a maximum of five years will be searched in our indexes

If you are applying for a birth certificate where the date of birth is less than 50 years prior to the date of application we require the person’s forename and surname at birth, their date of birth, place of birth, father’s forename and surname (if stated on the birth entry), mother’s forename surname and maiden name (if applicable) before we are able to issue the certificate.

If you are applying for a death certificate where the age at death is less than 16 years and the death occurred less than 50 years prior to the application we require the forename and surname of the deceased, the date of death, their age at death, the place of death / last known address, father’s forename and surname (if stated on the death entry), mother’s forename and surname. If you are unable to provide the necessary information listed above, a refund for the certificate fee only will be made.

Please note that there is an additional charge of £10 for a search of up to five years.

Your application may be delayed if any of this information is not provided.

If we are unable to locate the entry, a refund for the certificate fee only will be made. Any fees paid for priority service and administration will be retained, as the application has still been processed.

An application cannot be processed before the full fee has been received.

Standard certificates are usually ready for posting out by 2nd class post within 15 working days. However, during the peak of the pandemic there are not enough staff available to process applications every day and your application might be delayed. If you need your certificate sooner try using the priority service. We cannot accept liability for any certificates lost in the post. 

Priority Service certificates will be ready for posting out by 1st class post before the next working day. (Orders must be placed between the hours of 10am and 3pm for the priority service). However, during the peak of the pandemic there are not enough staff available to process applications every day and your application might be delayed. This service is a higher fee for a quicker service. If we cannot find the record, the record is still held at the church or out of the city boundary you will only receive a refund of the certificate fee (£11). This is because the service (search) you requested would have been provided. We cannot accept liability for any certificates lost in the post.

If your certificate has not arrived

For UK addresses - If your certificate has not arrived after 1 month please contact us. We are unable to treat your certificate as “lost” until 1 month has passed.   

For address’s abroad – If your certificate has not arrived after 6 weeks please contact us. We are unable treat your certificate as “lost” until 6 weeks have passed.   

Requests for certificates will be administered by the Council's Register Office, who will administer this under the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953.

Southampton City Council will not use your information for any other purpose or share with any third parties unless it is required to do so by rule of law.

If you have any queries on how your information is used please contact Southampton Register Office.

Southampton City Council will not be held liable for any loss, damage or expense as a result of delays or failure to provide certificates arising from circumstances beyond the Council's reasonable control. Certificates not received must be notified to this office within six months of the original order date.

This includes, without limitation, acts of God or any of the following acts of third parties:

  • Postal or courier services
  • Industrial action
  • Strikes
  • Lockouts
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Explosion
  • Civil commotion
  • War
  • Terrorist attack
  • Technical failure
  • Power failure
  • The incorrect postal address has been supplied