Copy certificates

Buy a copy of a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate online and view details about the records we hold.

Apply online for a copy certificate

Use our online system to buy a copy certificate quickly and easily 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Apply for copy certificate

We can only supply copy certificates for records held by our registration service. We do not hold records for the City of York, the Leeds area or Bradford, including Airedale hospital or any records from before 1 July 1837. You must apply directly to these registration services for these records. View the frequently asked questions below to find out about earlier records.

Boundary changes over the years mean some towns and villages close to our boundary have changed districts. If you are not sure where the record you need is held, you can check here to decide where to apply. For people who have been adopted, to apply for a certificate you must contact the General Register Office.

Fees

You can view registration service fees here.

Certificate searches service

If you are unable to give enough information for us to issue a certificate we may be able to undertake a search. There will be a fee for this search. Please contact us by email: certificate.services@northyorks.gov.uk.

Frequently asked questions

The quickest and easiest way to apply is to use our online service that is available 24 hours a day.

Apply for copy certificate

General email applications will not be accepted.

Apply in writing by post

You can apply in writing to the address below by printing out and completing one of these application forms.

See the registration service fees page for the cost of ordering copy certificates.

Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to North Yorkshire County Council.

Send completed forms plus the correct fee to:

Certificate Services
County Register Office
Bilton House
31 Park Parade
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG1 5AG

Apply by telephone

If you are unable to use the online order system, please contact us.

Turnaround depends upon you supplying sufficient and correct information. We aim to deal with all requests for copy certificates within five working days. If we have difficulty finding your entry in the register, we will contact you to check details.

Standard service

Certificates will be despatched within five working days and sent to you by second class post.

Priority service

Orders received before 3pm are normally dealt with on the same day and sent by first class post. Priority requests received after 3pm will be dealt with on the next working day.

You will receive an email when the certificate is despatched from the office.

If we are unable to supply your certificate for any reason you will be contacted, by email where possble, for further information. If we are still unable to locate the entry your fee will be refunded.

We cannot accept liability for items lost by Royal Mail. We suggest that if you have not received your certificate within 15 working days of your request, please contact us.

Personal collection is only available from the Harrogate office and not any of our other offices.

See the location, opening hours and other details for Harrogate register office.

Records for civil registration began on 1 July 1837. Compulsory registration of births and deaths only began in 1874.

For events before 1 July 1837 please contact our county record office: archives@northyorks.gov.uk who may be able to provide baptismal, marriage or burial records.

Staff at the county record office also carry out genealogical research in the records on your behalf. Research can be ordered through their online shop, where you can also browse and buy from a selection of historic maps and photographs of the county.

These are the most common reasons for not locating an entry in the register:

  1. Incorrect dates and surnames. If this is the case we will contact you.
  2. The area has changed. Although we hold all the records for North Yorkshire, there have been several boundary changes since 1837. In particular some records for Tadcaster are known to be held at York or Leeds. If we think this applies to your application we will suggest offices to which you should apply.
  3. The General Register Office index (St. Catherine's), which confirms the name, registration district and the year and quarter, is not sufficiently precise to enable us to find the entry in our registers.
  4. It is not possible for us to search through every single index to find a marriage entry. We will always look in the index for the register office and one or two most likely churches. To narrow a search down it would be helpful (if you are unsure of the name of the church) if you could tell us the name of the village where the church is and the possible religion of the couple.
  5. The register is still in use at the church. It may take several years for the church to fill a register and then send it to our central repository at Harrogate. In the event of the register still being used at the church and if you know the name of the church, we can give you the name, address and telephone number of the incumbent who will be able to check the entry and for a small fee issue a copy of the certificate.
  6. The event may be pre-registration or not registered at all. Although Civil Registration began in England and Wales in July 1837, it did not become compulsory to register a birth or death until 1875. You may have to research parish records for a baptism or burial record.

The North Yorkshire registration service can only supply copy certificates for birth, death, marriage and civil partnerships from records held by the registration service. Certificates for events outside the North Yorkshire registration district should be ordered from the register office in the appropriate district. A copy of an entry in a church marriage register may need to be obtained direct from that church if the register is still in use.

Item Details

Certificate description

Certified copies of birth, death, marriage and civil partnership entries. A certificate will be supplied that is a copy from an original register or record held by the registration service of North Yorkshire County Council from 1837 onwards.

The copy certificate may be printed, photocopied or handwritten depending on the format of the original entry. It will show all the details recorded in the entry unless the quality of the writing is indecipherable, when in addition to the certificate we will also provide a photocopy of the entry.

Orders

Orders may be placed using our online service or in writing, by personal caller or by telephone to the County Register Office in Harrogate.

Payment

In all cases full payment is required at the time of placing your order.

Contact details

You will need to provide a daytime phone number and also preferably an email address with your request. We will try to contact you if we are unable to find the entry. We are unable to make telephone calls to destinations outside of the UK.

Standard service

The application will be processed within five working days and, unless collected from the Harrogate Register Office, will be sent out by second class Royal Mail post.

Priority service

There is an additional charge for the priority service.

Orders received before 3pm Monday to Friday, excluding public / bank holidays, will be processed that day and will be sent by first class Royal Mail post. Priority service orders received after 3pm will be processed on the next working day.

For personal callers to the office who pay the additional charge, we offer a while-you-wait service with a target time of no more than one hour waiting.

Refunds

North Yorkshire County Council will refund the full cost of the certificate in the following circumstances, where:

  • the record is not held by the our registration service; 
  • the record is in the adopted children's register (held by the General Register Office); or
  • the certificate issued does not match the information which you supplied on the application and we are unable to supply the correct record (in these cases we require the certificate to be returned to us before we refund the fee).

When a certificate is issued which matches the information given by the applicant we will not provide a refund.

Cancellations

Once an order has been made it cannot be cancelled or a refund given unless one of the above three circumstances applies.

Lost items North Yorkshire County Council registration service cannot accept liability for items lost by Royal Mail. If you have not received your certificate within 15 working days of your request, please contact us.