Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together a list of useful resources for you below:
A ‘copy’ of a birth certificate is a full certified copy of an entry of birth showing details of the parents and it is this that is valid for official purposes.
Yes, we can supply overseas birth certificates where the location was once a British territory, or if the event was registered with a British consulate.
Yes, one of the requirements to complete your passport application is to supply a full birth certificate.
If you have misplaced or lost your Irish birth certificate and require a replacement, you can order an official, certified copy online.
If you have misplaced or lost your UK birth certificate and require a replacement, you can order an official, certified copy online.
You can order a replacement adoption certificate online in the same way you would order a birth certificate. The adoption certificate serves the same purpose as a birth certificate and supersedes the original birth certificate.
An original birth certificate, which is issued within 12 months of the date of birth, is issued at the time of registration. If this original is lost, misplaced or stolen, then it is unfortunately gone for good. Any future certificates will be a ‘certified copy’, which is a copy of the original entry (or extract) made in the Official Registers.
A full birth certificate includes the full name at birth, date of birth, place of birth and parents’ details. A short birth certificate does not have the parents’ details included.
A birth certificate by itself is usually only considered proof of citizenship but not proof of identity. This is because it is issued without a photograph or any identifying features.
One of the most common reasons for requiring a replacement birth certificate is that the original certificate has been mislaid or lost. We are able to supply a replacement birth certificate which is a fully certified copy. It is suitable for all official purposes.
The majority of certificates issued in the UK do not record the time of birth, as such we cannot guarantee that this information will be available. Where the information may be available is on the small ‘baby card’ which may have been issued by the staff at the Maternity Ward stating the baby’s weight, time of birth etc.
The ‘original’ marriage certificate would have been issued at the time of marriage. If it is lost, then it is unfortunately gone for good. You can order a certified copy of your marriage certificate online.
If you have lost your marriage certificate, or need one for family history purposes, a replacement copy will help you.
Copies of marriage certificates can be ordered at any point after a marriage has taken place, even if a divorce has been granted.
A marriage certificate produced by the Registrar is signed on high grade paper, containing a watermark, which is visible when the certificate is held up to light. It is this process performed by the Government that ensures the marriage certificate is a certified document and is suitable for official purposes.
If a marriage certificate is misplaced or lost a replacement may be required. A lost certificate does not need to be reported missing or lost to any authority.
If you require an additional copy of a UK death certificate, you can order an official, certified copy online.
Whilst it is not possible to view a death certificate online, it is possible to order a certified copy of death certificate online. UK Document Services can provide a scan of the death certificate which will be emailed to you prior to posting.
Yes, you can get someone’s death certificate if you are able to provide the minimum mandatory information on our online order form.
You can order multiple copies of the same certificate using the ‘number of copies’ control on our order form and can add multiple different certificates to the same order using the ‘add another certificate’ button on the order review page.
Should you require a copy of a UK divorce certificate, UK Document Services can help. The most effective way to get the ball rolling on this, is for you to order online.
Whilst divorce documents may be referred to using different terminology, they all serve the same purpose as they are suitable for both legal and family history uses.
We do not need any documentation at all. All you need to do is complete the divorce order form, and we will then take over from there. Original divorce certificates do not require a signed release or similar for the order to be processed. Nor does further documentation (e.g. driver’s licence or passport) have to produced. Generally, there will be no special needs for the order to be completed, beyond the initial supplying of information.
A Divorce Decree is also referred to as a Decree Absolute, Divorce Affidavit, Legal Decree, or Divorce Absolute. The terminology may differ, but they all serve the same purpose.
The decree absolute is the final document that you receive when you are divorced
If you are unsure if your divorce has been finalised, you can carry out a search with the relevant court. The result of the decree absolute search will either produce confirmation that no decree absolute has been issued or a certified copy of the decree absolute will be returned.
Once a divorce is final and a Decree Absolute has been granted by the court, it becomes a public record. Becoming a public record must not be confused with the record being published and available to view online. The majority of divorce records can only be accessed via the court which issued the Decree Absolute.
Once you have been divorced, you are free to marry whomever you so choose, even if you re-marry your original spouse. Please note in this instance you may still be required to prove your marital status if you get remarried.
A Divorce Decree is also referred to as a Decree Absolute, Divorce Affidavit, Legal Decree, or Divorce Absolute. The terminology may differ, but they all serve the same purpose. The decree absolute is the final document that you receive when you are divorced – it finalises the divorce and legally separates yourself and your now-ex-spouse.
Yes, if you have been previously married, you will need to provide evidence that you are no longer married, enabling you to re-marry. You will need the original divorce certificate rather than a mere photocopy. If you do not have the original divorce certificate, you will have to go through the process of obtaining a new copy.
Divorce records are not available online. Once a divorce has been finalised and a Decree Absolute has been issued by the court, it is at this stage it becomes a public record. Becoming a public record must not be confused with the record being published and available to view online. The majority of divorce records can only be accessed via the court which issued the Decree Absolute.
Once an order for a copy of a divorce certificate has been received, the service is 20 working days before dispatch, which usually translates as four calendar weeks.
The certificate is then despatched via the postage method selected at time of ordering.
There is no difference between a divorce decree and a divorce certificate, they can also be referred to as a Decree Absolute, Divorce Affidavit, Legal Decree, or Divorce Absolute. The terminology may differ, but they all serve the same purpose. They are suitable for both legal and family history uses.
An apostille is simply a certificate of authenticity. An apostille is a certificate that is attached to an official legal document to verify that the signatory on your document is genuine and person who signed your document is a recognised and authorised person of the organisation that issued the document. Each apostille is dated, given a unique reference number and registered.
When you present a legal document in a foreign country, it is often difficult for them to determine whether the document is genuine and legal. An apostille stamp ensures that your birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate is recognised and accepted overseas by the member states of the Hague Convention. These countries validate the document, for example a birth certificate, by the authority of the apostille stamp rather than the document itself.
If you require an apostille on a birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate you can simply add this to your order using our secure online order form. There are a number of agencies involved in the process of apostilling a birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate which can feel overwhelming and time consuming. UK Document Services do not require you to complete any additional forms. We will handle any queries on your behalf, and complete the entire process, providing a hassle-free service.
Depending on who the birth certificate is being presented to, will determine if an apostille is required. We would always suggest asking the organisation who is requesting the birth certificate, whether an apostilled document is required.
The apostille stamp is a certificate of authenticity, which is also known as legalisation or legalising a document.
The UK has voted Brexit. On 23rd June 2016 the UK decided to leave the EU and on 23rd March 2017, Article 50 was triggered.
If at the time of your birth, one of your parents was an Irish citizen (even if they themselves were not born in Ireland), then you can apply for Irish citizenship, and therefore entitled to apply for an Irish passport. Many applications are made through a grandparent who was born in Ireland.
GRO or General Register Office is known for civil registrations of events such as births, stillbirths, marriages, deaths, civil partnerships and adoptions. There are three main GRO offices in the United Kingdom: one for England and Wales, one for Northern Ireland and one for Scotland.
Somerset House is most associated with supplying a certified copy of a Birth, Marriage or Death certificate. In 1837, when civil registration began, the Registrar General of the General Register Office was based in Somerset House.
From 1st June 2015 there are new requirements for children travelling to or from the Republic of South African ports of entry. All minors need the consent of their parents and upon request need to produce a valid passport and an unabridged birth certificate.