How to look for Certificates of British citizenship 1949-1986

Apply for a search of our certificates of British citizenship


Certificate of naturalisation, Sid James (catalogue reference: HO 334/874/36511)

Certificate of naturalisation, Sid James (catalogue reference: HO 334/874/36511)

The National Archives holds many records relating to British nationality applications and citizenship registrations made prior to 1986. For records after 1986, contact UK Visas and Immigration.

As part of this collection, we hold office copies of certificates of British citizenship issued by the Home Office under the British Nationality Act 1948. We can supply two types of copies of individual certificates.

Types of copy

Standard copy

A photocopy or digital image produced for research purposes.

Certified copy

A photocopy which is authenticated by us as a copy of a public record and stamped with the seal of the Public Record Office. It can be used in evidence in legal proceedings in place of the original record.

Please note that a certified copy from The National Archives is not confirmation of the authenticity of the information shown on it. It is not evidence of identity and should not be used as evidence of the event.

What information will it contain?

Certificates may include details such as address, occupation, spouse, children and parents, but only until 1973. After 1973, certificates may just include full name, date of birth and date of issue.

The level of detail on a certificate depends on the Act under which it was issued. For more information about this, see the catalogue description of HO 334 in Discovery, The National Archives’ catalogue.

Our service

How does it work?

You provide us with details of the certificate you require using the form on this website or otherwise in writing.

We check our index and let you know if we have the certificate.

You can then order a copy of the record and pay for it through our website or visit our reading rooms to view and copy it yourself.

How much does it cost?

The initial search of our index is free.

Certified copies cost £25.95, plus postage and packing.

The fee for a standard copy is dependent upon the number of pages in the certificate (usually one or two) and the format you require. Find out more about our fees.

How long does it take?

The initial index check will take up to ten working days.

Orders for standard copies take up to 14 working days to dispatch. Certified copies take up to 16 working days.