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Register a birth
Why register a birth?
Every birth in England and Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place within six weeks.
Who can register a birth?
- either the mother or father if they are married to each other
- the mother, or the mother and father together if they are not married and want the father's details included on the birth certificate
Under normal circumstances you cannot ask anyone else to register the birth of your baby for you. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to register a birth, please contact any of the registration offices for assistance and advice.
If you are not married, and one of you cannot attend the registration office, but would like your details entered on the birth certificate, you must fill out a Statutory declaration of acknowledgment of parentage form [7kb] which must be brought to the registration by the attending parent.
It is not a legal requirement to include details of the father if you are not married. The father's details can normally be included at a later date, if you marry or wish to include them.
What documents should I bring?
All information relating to a registration is obtained by direct personal questioning of the informant. Informants are asked to provide supporting documentation at registrations to help ensure records are as accurate as possible. We would ask that you bring, on a voluntary basis, various forms of documents to support all relevant areas of the register entry.
Supporting documents for parents to help with identity, nationality, relationship status and address are:
- Birth Certificate
- Driving License
- Proof of Address (utility bill)
- Marriage/Civil Partnership certificates
- Deed Poll
The absence of supporting documents will not prevent the registration from taking place.
What will I be asked?
The registration officer will need the following information:
- The date and place of birth
- The child's given names and surname
- The sex of the child
- If more than one child was born (as in the case of twins or triplets), the registration officer will require a time of birth for each baby
- The names, surnames and places and dates of birth of the parents and any other names by which they have been known
- The parents' occupations
- The mother's home address at the time of the birth
- The date of the parents' marriage, if applicable, and number of previous children
What will happen at the appointment?
You will be seen in a private room and, in most cases, the registration process should take no more than half an hour.
You will be given a free short birth certificate showing the baby's full name, sex, date of birth, and district of birth.
Please note: This does not include details of the parents and may not always be accepted by passport offices or other organisations. You can buy a full birth certificate at the time of registration for £4.00 - please bring the correct money with you, or order a birth certificate online at a later date (cost - £10.00).
The baby does not need to be taken to the registration appointment to show that the birth has taken place. The local health authority or the hospital where the birth occurred will notify the registrar of the birth.
If you want to change any details on a birth certificate, see Correct a birth registration