Guide to Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption Certificate Replacement UK

Our definitive Guide to Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption Certificate Replacement in the UK will help you better understand the process. We’ll cover all the burning questions you might have about replacing birth, death, marriage and adoption certificates. There’s more to the process than meets the eye. Each type of document applied for has its own set of rules and requirements.

Fortunately, we at UK Certificates are experts in certificate replacement. Read on and learn more from our Expert Guide to Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption Certificate Replacement UK.

The need for replacement certificates

There are many reasons why people may need an official copy of an important document. It could be for proof of ID or to remarry as a widow. It could be for a life insurance claim or to receive a pension benefit. Additionally, it could be to study and learn the family genealogy and ancestry. Certificates of Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption are invaluable for all these reasons. Although generally not needed for day-to-day purposes, it is a great asset to have them on hand if needed.

Most institutions, Government, Financial or Private, will not accept a photocopy. So, what you need is a Certified Original Copy. Maybe you have never had one. Perhaps you lost your certificate. Thanks to online services like UK Official Certificates, you can fill in a simple online application and receive a Certified Government Issue Copy in as little as a few days. Also, being paper, certificates can easily be damaged. Essential details may become obscure, which makes them unusable. In such a case, it’s a good idea to get a replacement as soon as possible.

Some people also want a copy of a birth, marriage, death or adoption certificate for multiple parties. Divorced parents, for example, might both want an official copy of their child’s birth or adoption certificate. Also, relatives may require a copy of someone’s death certificate for legal purposes.

Who can get replacements?

The most common question people ask is – can they replace their UK Certificate? Generally, the answer is yes. According to UK legislation, official certificates are public records. As such, they are available to anyone who can provide the required information.

There have been safeguards put in place in the past 50 years to help prevent identity theft. Nowadays, applicants need more comprehensive details for birth as well as adoption certificates. Why? These documents are primarily a legal proof of your identity. For that reason, you certainly wouldn’t want someone gaining access to that. You can use a birth certificate as proof of identity to acquire other forms of identification. You should always keep it in a safe place. It would be easy to use your document fraudulently in the wrong hands. For this reason, it is vital official copies end up with the right people.

Further Reading: Marriage Certificate for Ancestry Records


What you need for a replacement marriage, death, adoption or birth certificate:

  • Names on the document – sometimes including parents, witnesses or registrars
  • The place of registration
  • Dates of the event and when it was registered
  • The venue or location of the birth, marriage or death

Supporting documentation is generally not required.

Additionally, one mistake on your application can cause delays or may even lead to cancellation of your submission entirely. That’s where we come in. As a professional Replacement Certificate Service, we cross-reference data from official databases to ensure the application is correct in every detail before we submit it.  We make certain nothing delays your application.

Missing information

For some people, it’s easy to fill out the application and include names, as well as dates to specific locations. But often, it’s hard to get everything 100% correct. Nobody can be blamed for not knowing maiden names or registration dates. You can prevent rejection of your application for a replacement document if you use UK Certificates. As mentioned, we check every little detail. Once we are satisfied, we submit it for priority processing with the authorities.

Our specialist staff corrects all form errors. All blanks filled in. And if we need to, we contact you fast. So, if you don’t have all the details, you can now stop worrying.

Historical Documents

Depending on how far back in time you go, not all birth, death, adoption and marriage certificates are available for replacement. Each country in the UK only commenced registration from specific select dates. You can not replace documents before these dates.

Birth, marriage and death

  • England and Wales – from July 1st 1837
  • Scotland – from 1855
  • Northern Ireland – from 1864


  • England and Wales – from January 1st 1927
  • Scotland – from 1930
  • Northern Ireland – from 1931

There is some variation in the dates each UK country commenced registration. Before those dates, the Church of England was responsible to record births, deaths and also marriages. However, the process was never standardised. This variation is the same around the world. So, don’t be too hard on the UK system. Many countries have different systems for the registration of births, deaths, marriages, as well as adoptions.

Birth certificates are a curious case. They are a record of birth as well as a record of existence. A copy of the birth certificate provides people with their right to a name. It also gives them a right to a nationality. These rights are the responsibility of all national governments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Interestingly, the United States didn’t standardise the system for birth certificates until 1902. China began to issue birth certificates in 1996. Additionally worldwide, it’s estimated 50 million babies each year remain unregistered. Technically, two-fifths of people struggle to access fundamental rights.

Different types of birth, marriage, adoption and death certificates

For birth certificates in the UK, you can choose from long as well as short documents. A long-form birth certificate is the ‘official’ version. A long-form includes all of the essential information about parents, occupations and also addresses. Short-form birth certificates only contain the details of the child.

Also, adoption certificates can be short or long.

For death as well as marriage certificates, only a full version is available. It contains all details about the people involved, professions, dates and also ages.

In any case, UK Certificates provides long-form certificates with all of the details necessary for any legal purpose.

Helpful links to place an online application:

Birth Certificate Copy | Marriage Certificate Copy | Adoption Certificate Copy | Death Certificate Copy

Guide to Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption Certificate Information:

Birth Adoption Marriage Death
Place of registration Place of registration Area of registration Area of registration
Person’s full name Person’s full adopted name Bride’s full name and age Full name of the deceased
Date of birth Date of birth Groom’s full name and age Sex of the deceased
Location of birth Full name and address of adoptive
mother and father
Date and place of marriage The date and location of death
Mother’s full name Occupation of adoptive parents in
some cases
Occupation of the bride and groom Full name, address and relationship
of the informant (to the deceased)
Signature, residence and description
of the informant
Date of the adoption order Residence at the time of marriage Cause of death
Father’s full name and occupation (if
The court at which it was
Father’s full name and occupation for
the bride and groom
Full name of the coroner
Date of registration for the birth Date of registration for the adoption Denomination of the ceremony Date of registration
Date of production for the
Date of production for the
Name and signature of both witnesses Date of production for the
Registrar signature Appointed officer signature Date of production for the
The registrar’s full name
Name of the registrar and ceremony

If you wish to visit a local registry office in person, go to UK Registry Locations

Replacing your certificate officially

Losing your birth, death, marriage, or adoption certificate can be a stressful experience. Not only are these documents essential for proving your identity and legal status, but they can also be required for a variety of other purposes, such as applying for a passport, opening a bank account, or starting a new job.

If you’ve lost one of these important documents, don’t worry. UK Certificates has vast experience obtaining official replacement certificates for our customers, from replacement birth certificates to replacement marriage certificates. Order your replacement today!

We really hope our Guide to Birth, Death, Marriage & Adoption in the UK has helped with your questions. If you have any further questions about ordering a Certificate Replacement, we’d love to hear from you. Send us your question via our contact us form.

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