Ordering certificates

Find out how you can order certificates (also known as extracts) online, the type of certificates available, the information needed for ordering and how much they cost.

Order online

Types of certificate you can order online

Information you need to order a certificate

Priority certificates

Fees

Postage

Processing times

Divorce certificates

Your responsibilities under data processing laws

Other options for obtaining a certificate

Order online

You can search for and order certificates online. You will need a credit or debit card to use this service. To order a birth, death, marriage, civil partnership, divorce, dissolution, census or Old Parish Register certificate online go to Certificate search.

Types of certificate you can order online

  • Statutory birth - 1855 onwards
  • Statutory marriage - 1855 onwards
  • Statutory death - 1855 onwards
  • Statutory Civil Partnership - 2005 onwards
  • Statutory divorce - 1984 onwards
  • Statutory dissolution - 2007 onwards
  • Open Census - 1841 to 1911
  • Old Parish Registers - 1553 to 1854

Information you need to order a certificate

Statutory record - birth, marriage, death, civil partnership, divorce, dissolution

  • Full name of the person(s) whose certificate you require
  • Date and place the event took place
  • Names of parents (including mother's maiden name) for common surnames.

Census

  • Year
  • Full name and address of the person

Old Parish Register - birth or baptism

  • Full name
  • Date or year
  • Parents' names, place of birth

Old Parish Register - banns or marriage

  • Full name of both parties
  • Year
  • Place of marriage

Old Parish Register - death or burial

  • Full name
  • Date or year of death
  • Place of death. 

Priority certificates

A priority certificate is one that is needed urgently. An additional fee will be charged per certificate for priority processing.

Fees

Type of certificate and cost (excluding postage)

  • One certificate (any type) - £12
  • Two or more certified copies of the same certificate (must be ordered at the same time) - first certificate will cost £12, each additional copy will cost £10
  • Priority service - £15 per certificate in addition to the certificate fee. If multiple copies of the same certificate are ordered, the priority fee is only charged on the first certificate.

Postage

All certificates are issued by 1st class UK mail or standard airmail or by the alternative delivery option selected by the customer.

Postal options and charges

  • Collection at New Register House - nil
  • UK standard 1st class - £0.89
  • UK recorded delivery 1st class - £1.99
  • UK special delivery - £6.25
  • UK special delivery (Saturday) - £10.50
  • Standard airmail - £3.10

Processing times

  • We aim to process and post out online applications within 15 working days of the application being received.
  • If you order a priority certificate before 13:00 on a working day, the certificate will be dispatched the same working day.
  • Applications for priority certificates received after 13:00, at weekends or during public holidays will be dispatched on the next working day.

Divorce certificates

Please note that we issue divorce certificates in redacted form. This means that any sensitive information such as children’s details or financial arrangements given in the Decree will not be included in the certificate. This redacted certificate is still valid for legal purposes.

Should the data subject or legal representative of the data subject wish to obtain an unredacted version, they will need to provide a copy of their ID (passport, driving licence etc.) and copy of proof of address (utility bill etc.). This can be done via email to records@nrscotland.gov.uk at the time of ordering the certificate.

The receipt of the documentation will be recorded and then the copies of the ID and proof of address will be confidentially destroyed thereafter.

Your responsibilities under data protection laws

In the use of information provided by NRS, customers must comply with their obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018 and the Human Rights Act 1998. The contents of any certificate (official extract) containing personal data about any living individuals should not be reproduced without obtaining the permission of those individuals first. If you require further guidance on your data protection obligations please contact us.

Other options for obtaining a certificate

For information about ordering in person, in writing, from a local registration office or by phone please go to the How to order an official extract from the registers page on the National Records of Scotland website.