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Birth, marriage and death certificates

Applying for copies of birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.

Applying for a certificate

We can supply certificates for events which have occurred since July 1837 in Dorset; generally this does not include Bournemouth and Poole. Please telephone us if uncertain.  If the event occurred anywhere else you will need to contact the Register Office for that area.

Due to county boundary changes, we hold birth and death records for Christchurch from 1 April 1997 onwards. Prior to this date you will need to contact Bournemouth Register Office. We do hold some Christchurch marriage records dating from July 1837, if unsure check with us before you apply. 

Information you will need to let us know:

  • Birth certificates: Date and place of birth, full name and parent's names.

        If you require an adoption certificate, you will need to apply to the General Register Office (opens in a new window)

  • Death certificates: Date and place of death and full name of deceased.
  • Marriage certificates: Date and place of marriage, full names of couple.

        If the marriage took place in a church in Dorset, please check with us before applying as we may not have the church records.

  • Civil partnership: Date and place of civil partnership, full names and address of couple at time of registration.


  • The fee for a certificate is £10. We aim to dispatch certificates the next working day by first class post or you can arrange to collect from the Dorset History Centre
  • If the event was registered recently it may be in a register still in use in one of our offices, in which case the fee will be £7.00 and   the certificate will be sent on the next opening day of that office.

How to apply

  • Online

Order certificates online

  • By phone

Contact Dorset Registration Service on 01305 225 153. Phone lines open Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am to 5.45pm, Saturday 9am to 4.45pm. Please have your credit/debit card to hand.

  • By post

Either download an application form (see right) or send details by letter enclosing cheque or postal order payable to Dorset County Council to:

Dorset Registration Service
Dorset History Centre
Bridport Road

  • In person

Either drop in to the Dorset History Centre reception or make an appointment at one of our offices

Records before 1837

For records prior to 1 July 1837 you may wish to contact the Dorset History Centre on 01305 250550 for further information.

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