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Birth, marriage and death certificates

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

All birth, marriage and death records that occurred in Dorset since 1837 are held with us. We hold civil partnership records from 2005.

We do not hold records for Bournemouth or the town of Poole (Poole is sometimes shown as a district on records that we hold, if in doubt please contact us).

We hold all records for Christchurch from 1 April 1997 onwards. Prior to this date records are held at Bournemouth, with the exception of some marriage records. For marriages in Christchurch prior to 1997 please contact us for more information before applying.

For certificates outside of Dorset you should contact the Local register office for the area or the General Register Office.

How to apply

  • Online

        Order certificates online from the General Register Office (opens in a new window)

  • By phone

        Call Dorset Registration Service on 01305 225 153

  • By post

        Dorset Registration Service

        Dorset History Centre

        Bridport Road


        Dorset DT1 1RP

Certificates are normally issued within five to seven days and can be posted to you or collected from us.


  • The fee for a certificate from our archive is £10.00
  • If the event was registered very recently it may be in a current register in which case it will be £7.00 (If in doubt please telephone us to check)
  • Please make cheques or postal orders payable to Dorset County Council

Express service

We can issue a certificate within 24 hours of receiving your application for an extra £10. This will be posted 1st Class or can be collected from us 

Information we need from you

We need enough information to correctly identify the entry in the register which should, ideally, be the following:

  • Birth certificates: Date and place of birth, full name and parent's names
  • Death certificates: Date and place of death and full name of deceased
  • Marriage certificates: Date and place of marriage, bride and groom's full names
  • Civil partnerships: Date and place of civil partnership, both parties names

Obtaining more information

If you do not have enough information to apply for a certificate you can arrange an appointment to search our indexes or alternatively, you may wish to contact the Dorset History Centre which has access to the General Register Office (GRO) indexes from 1837 to 1992.

Records before 1837

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

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