Applying Online for Search of Birth, Death or Marriage Records, or Certified Copies of Such Records
If you need to search for a birth, death or marriage record or obtain a certified copy of the related entry or certificate, you can use the Immigration Department’s quick-and-easy online service. This article will give you the details.
How to Start
You can apply for a certified copy of an entry in the births or deaths register if you have the original or a photocopy of the certificate of registration, or the result of a previous search. Otherwise, you will need to apply for a search of the records first. There are two types of search:
- Particular search
- A search for any given entry in relation to an identified person (i.e. the person’s exact name and date of birth (if available) can be provided for the search). The search conducted will not exceed a period of 5 years.
- Unless otherwise specified by the applicant, the search will be conducted on the year of birth / death as provided (e.g. 1990). In case no matched record is found against the year of birth / death provided, the search will be conducted with 2 years preceding and 2 years following the year of birth / death provided, with a period of 5 years in total. (by the above example, i.e. 1988-1992)
- General search
- A search for any entry other than ‘particular search’, for example, in relation to a person whose personal information could not be specified (i.e. the person’s exact name and/or exact date of birth cannot be provided for the search).
If you want to obtain a certified copy of a marriage certificate, you will need to apply for a search unless the copy is applied at the same time as the original is issued.Online Application for Search of Birth Records and Certified Copy of an entry in the Births RegisterOnline Application for Search of Death Records and Certified Copy of an entry in the Deaths RegisterOnline Application for Search of Marriage Records and Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate
No signature is required when you complete the application form online. However, you will need to sign on the printed copy of the relevant form when you collect the search result and/or certified copies.
The application fee that you need to pay will depend on the type of search or copy you require.
- Particular Search (birth/death records): HK$140
- General Search (birth/death records): HK$680
- Certified copy of an entry in births/deaths register: HK$140 per copy
- Search of marriage records: HK$140
- Certified copy of marriage certificate: HK$280 per copy
Search fees can be paid online by VISA, MasterCard or PPS, but the fees for certified copies can only be paid in cash, or by crossed cheque or cashier's order payable to "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" at the time of collection of the certified copies.
The processing time of your application will depend on the particular record you wish to obtain (Working days denote Monday to Friday excluding Public Holidays):
- Search for birth or death record: 9 working days
- Issue of a certified copy of an entry in births or deaths registers (if search of record is not involved): 9 working days
- Search for birth or death record and issue of a certified copy of an entry in births or deaths registers : 14 working days
- Search of marriage record and/or issue of certified copy of marriage certificate: 9 working days
For a General Search of birth or death record, there is no pledged processing time. You will be notified separately when the result is ready.
Collection of Search Results and/or Certified Copies
As the search of records will take time, the results will not be immediately available online. You will be asked to select a Births, Deaths or Marriage Registry of the Immigration Department for collection of the search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned in person.
When you complete the online application, the collection date will be shown on the acknowledgement receipt. Please remember to print or save the acknowledgement receipt, or write down the application reference, collection date and selected registry for collection. You are required to produce the printout or provide the application reference number upon collection at your selected registry.
The uncollected search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned will be cancelled 6 months after the date of application.
Supporting Documents to be Produced on Collection
When you collect your search result or certified copy from the selected registry of the Immigration Department, you will need to produce the following supporting documents:
- Hong Kong Identity Card or valid travel document
- Printout of online application acknowledgement
- Original or photocopy of the certificate of registration, or the result of a previous record search if an application for search of birth or death records is not submitted
- For organisation application, letter of authorisation from the organisation
Assistance and Further Information
If you need assistance in using the online service, you can call the Immigration e-Services Hotline at (852) 3128 8668 between 7 am and 11 pm daily.
Please collect the search result and/or the certified copy of the certificate concerned at your selected registry on the ‘collection date’ shown on acknowledgement receipt.
Should you have any other enquiries about this application, you may contact the registry selected for collection purposes direct.Addresses and Office Hours of Births RegistriesAddresses and Office Hours of Deaths RegistriesAddresses and Office Hours of Marriage Registries
Further information on the service is also available in a set of helpful frequently asked questions.FAQs about Applying Online for a Search of Birth, Death or Marriage Records or Certified Copy of an Entry in Births or Deaths Registers or a Marriage Certificate
Service suspension of Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry
for air-conditioning system replacement works
Services of the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry will be suspended from 5 to 29 April 2017 for undergoing air-conditioning system replacement works. During the service suspension period of the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry, the nearby City Hall Marriage Registry will enhance the marriage solemnisation related services accordingly. Marrying parties wishing to celebrate their marriage at marriage registries may also choose to use the marriage solemnisation service at other marriage registries, including Tsim Sha Tsui Marriage Registry, Sha Tin Marriage Registry and Tuen Mun Marriage Registry. Members of the public wishing to apply for search of marriage records, certified copies of marriage certificates or certificates of absence of marriage record may submit the applications to the abovementioned four marriage registries and the Marriage Registration and Records Office in Admiralty, or by post or through the internet.
Besides, for applicants who have opted the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry for collection of the results in respect of applications for search of marriage records, the certified copies of marriage certificate and certificates of absence of marriage record, they may approach the Marriage Registration and Records Office in Admiralty during the former’s service suspension period to collect these results there.