Lost your Marriage Certificate?

lost marriage certificate
Courtesy of Robert Williams
Sheata Karim Grayfords Family Law
Sheata Karim
Grayfords Family Law

Do you want a divorce but have lost your marriage certificate? Don’t fear; read on to find out what you can do if you find yourself in this stressful situation.

If you are going through a divorce you will be asked to supply your marriage certificate to the court. It is important that you supply this document so that the divorce can be processed officially and legally.

However, many clients do find that they have misplaced their marriage certificate over time and often ask if it is necessary to provide it – unfortunately, it is.

Read on to find out why providing a marriage certificate is important and how you can get another copy if you have misplaced it.

Why does the court need your lost marriage certificate?

Your marriage certificate needs to be supplied to the court along with the papers for divorce that have normally been prepared by your solicitor (called the petition), so that the court has an official record of the marriage.

Once your divorce is granted, the court will keep the original marriage certificate and issue you with a Decree Absolute which is proof of your divorce. It is important that you keep this document safe as you will need it if you ever wish to marry again – as well as for some tax and pension purposes.

The Decree Absolute is a formal record that you were married, to whom, when and where the marriage took place, as well as that the marriage was ended legally by the court.

What to do if you have lost your marriage certificate?

lost your marriage certificate
Have you lost your marriage certificate?

Don’t worry! This is not something that will derail the whole process. Many clients find that after a long marriage, or even a couple of house moves, that their marriage certificate is hard to locate.

However, you can apply for a replacement marriage certificate from the General Register Office (GRO) to proceed with a divorce.

How do I get a replacement?

You can apply to the General Register Office for a replacement marriage certificate, which will cost £9.25. There is also a Priority Service with next working day delivery for £23.40 – ideal for those who wish to get the process sorted quickly.

The General Register Office can also supply you with copies of birth, death, adoption and civil partnership certificates.

Be aware that the process for obtaining a copy of your marriage certificate is slightly different in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Information regarding the Scottish procedure can be found here, and the Northern Irish process can be found here.

You may want to read this article too – Can I get Divorced without my Lost Marriage Certificate UK?

About the Sheata

Sheata Karim is the Principal Solicitor and Founder of Grayfords, a family law firm based in central London.

After over a decade of working in family and niche law firms, Sheata used her expertise and specialist knowledge to start her own practice.

Sheata created her own firm so that she could instil her values of client care and satisfaction into every area of the business. Her motto is to envisage yourself in the perfect future, and that is what she will help you achieve.

With experience in all areas of English and international family law – including divorce, financial issues and child matters – Sheata really is an expert in her field.





  1. Hi Sheata pls if you can help me I’m applying for a divorce I have my original marriage certificate which I’m sending to the court it’s in Urdu.Aswel as original English translation which I have done.But they not accepting I don’t know why.There is a statement of truth with it aswel.can I do without a marriage certificate.

  2. Hi,
    I got married in sorrento and have since lost the marriage certificate. The marriage didnt work out and we got divorced. That was 5 years ago.
    I have since met a girl and we would like to have gotten married in Poland but i dont have my original certificate of previous marriage anymore although i do have the decree absolute from the court. The aurthorites in Poland wont marry us with a copy of my original certificate along with the decree absolute.
    Im struggling to get the authorities in Sorrento to issue me a copy of the original. Is there a way using a solicitor i can get a copy?
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Craig,

      Do try and contact Sheata Karim who is the author of the above article and principal solicitor at Grayfords Family Law.

      Alternatively, there’s an article on thedivorcemagazine.co.uk by the solicitors at Paradigm Family Law. You can find it here – https://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/lost-marriage-certificate-uk/. Do get in touch with either James Thornton and Frank Arndt of Paradigm. See what they advice.

      All the best! Do let us know how you get on or if you need more help.

  3. Comment from Dennis

    Dear Sheata,
    I got married in Fiji in 1993 and my and have been seperated 11 years I wrote to her 4 years ago but got no reply, now she has moved ,i cannot seem to contact an office to obtain a copy can you advise please

  4. Hi, I got married in Africa and now I am living in the UK. I lost the marriage certificate and have contacted the offices to get a copy of the marriage certificate. But they do not have it. I need it to proceed with the divorce. What form do I need to send into the court to proceed with a divorce without a marriage certificate ??? Really really need help.

  5. I got married abroad in Pakistan and cannot get a replacement marriage certificate…I have lost the originals and have no idea where they are, my husband has probably got rid of them as he doesn’t want me to divorce him.

    What can I do, please help?

    • HI Sid Ali,

      If you get in touch directly with Sheata Karim of Grayfords, the author of the article, she may be able to give you more information on options that you have.

      Thank you.


  6. My wife will not give me our marriage certificate and we got married in Mexico, she didn’t register it over in England. I have tried the London embassy and the Mexican embassy, I even got intouch with the hotel we were married at with still no joy, could you please tell me what I can do to get this document as I have run out of ideas

  7. […] Sheata’s newest article in The Divorce Magazine is about what people should do if they’ve lost their marriage certificate. This is a common problem for the clients of family solicitors so Sheata felt compelled to write an article that clearly explains how you can rectify this. Her article can be found here. […]

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