The Register Office
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
- The Register Office
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- Monday 9am to 5pm
- Tuesday 9am to 6pm
- Wednesday 9am to 5pm
- Thursday 9am to 5pm
- Friday 9am to 4.30pm
An appointment system operates
Plymouth Registration Service holds:
- The registers for all births and deaths and civil marriages that have occurred within the Plymouth boundaries since 1837
- The marriage registers from churches, chapels mosques and synagogues (registered for marriage) within the Plymouth boundaries are deposited with us once they have been filled or marriages that took place in a religious building without a register will be recorded in the register office registers dating back to 1837
Provided we have sufficient information to identify an entry in a register, we are able to issue certified copies (certificates).
Entries in the registers are identified through a manual or computerised index of names. The indexes are organised according to area, sub-district or religious building.
To enable us to search for register entries we require certain information:
- Place, sub-district or church (this identifies a set of indexes)
- Date (this identifies the correct index book)
- Name (this identifies entry or entries)
- Forenames, name of spouse, partner or name of parent (this provides cross match to identify a correct entry)
Provided all this information is available and the register entry can be found, we aim to issue the certificate within five working days or next working day priority service.
If any of this information is missing a broader search is required. This is classified as a 'protracted search' and we aim to produce a certificate within 14 days, provided sufficient information is available to enable a search and the entry can be identified.
Getting a copy of a certificate
You can get a copy certificate from the register office in the district where the birth, death or marriage took place. Application forms are available from register offices or you can print and complete the relevant form(s) below and send them to us. Please note that if the Birth, Death or Marriage occurred within the last 12 months that it is advisable to call the Register office to check the correct fee.
You can also apply to Plymouth Register Office by letter or email. Please include the following details:
- Your name (as applicant), address and contact number
- Certificate details
- Full name(s) at the time of the event
- Date of birth, death or marriage
- Parents' names (birth only)
- Husband/wife name (death only)
- Where the birth, death or marriage occurred
Please see Register Office fees page for pricing information and whether you require standard or priority postal service.
Payment can be made by post by cheque or postal order (cheques should be made payable to Plymouth City Council).
You can email or fax us, followed by a telephone call with your credit/debit card details (credit or debit cards must be registered to the applicant and the address the certificate will be sent to).
A list of all certificate fees can be found on the Register Office fees page.
Public index search
You may conduct a search of the public indexes in person. An appointment is required which will give you access to the indexes for one day. A member of staff will be allocated to retrieve the indexes you require, verify entries and produce certificates if your search is successful. Please contact the office for the current charges.
Civil partnership certificates may be obtained from the local authority register office where the civil partnership took place. A standard (full) certificate can be issued only where the applicant can provide the full address of both partners at the time of the civil partnership registration. Otherwise an extract certificate can be issued. An index of civil partnership registrations for each authority can be viewed upon request.
Please note that public registers and certificates are crown copyright and protected under Section 163 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 so they may not be lawfully reproduced. For the purposes of this guidance, the term copying includes: photocopying, scanning, filming, reproduction in any other media, including the placing of material on the internet.
Legalising UK Documents and Apostille Stamps
Legalisation is the confirmation that the signature, seal or stamp on a UK public document is genuine. The Apostille/certificate does not certify the authenticity of a document or give approval of its content.
Legalisation is often required by foreign authorities before they will accept a UK public document for use in their country.
Further information on the Legalisation of documents can be found on the Legalisation Office's website or you can download a leaflet on their services below.
Please note there is normally a charge for Legalisation Services.
What do if I notice a mistake on the certificate?
You must check that information that has been recorded by the Registrar is correct before you sign the register.
A correction to the register is always made at the office responsible for the area where the birth took place.
Generally, corrections fall into two categories:
- Corrections that can be made at the register office responsible for the area where the registration took place – these tend to be minor mistakes and do not require authority from the General Registrar Office.
- Corrections that need to be sent to the General Register Office (GRO) – these tend to be mistakes involving names.
If you find a mistake on a registration, we would first recommend that you speak to a Registrar at Register Office where the registration took place. They will explain what kind of correction you will require and what evidence (if any) you will need to supply.
A correction must be requested in writing, and very often the original informant must attend the Register Office to witness the correction being made. Correction letter templates and guidance is below. Alternatively you can call the General Register Office on 0300 123 1837 for advice.
What if I change my mind about my child's forename(s) after I've registered the birth?
There are ways of changing or adding a forename, depending on how long after your child's registration you decide to change the name.
The law allows that if in the first 12 months of your child's life you decide to give them a different or additional forename then this can be done using the relevant form.
There are two types of form for this purpose:
- Names given in Baptism (Form 14) - this form is available from your minister or from your Register Office
- Names given not in Baptism (Form 14) - available below
Births can re-registered in certain circumstances and the service is free, however there is a fee for new certificates. See our Register Office fees page for an up to date price list.
If you are not married to the natural (biological) father of your child and there is not already a father recorded on the register then the natural father's details can be added to the registration using the following form.
The natural father and mother of the child will need to complete and sign the form and will both be required to attend a Register Office in England or Wales. The Register Office will need to see the original birth entry.
If the natural father is not able to attend a Register Office then the Statutory Declaration of Parentage form below may be accepted. The declaration may only be witnessed by a select group of professionals. Please see the form below for more details.
If you have married the father of your child the law allows you to re-register the birth to show this change in your legal status. You will need to complete the re-registration of birth after marriage form below and provide evidence of your marriage. The Register Office will need to see the original birth entry.
A list of all certificate fees can be found on the Register Office fees page.