Guide: Register a birth

Part 2 What will happen when I register a birth?

You will be seen by a registrar and the appointment should take no more than half an hour. You do not need to take your baby to the appointment with you.

What do I need to take?

  • Identification (suggested documents: passport, council tax bill, driving licence, birth certificate, utility bill)
  • place and date of the birth (time of each birth if one of twins or triplets)
  • forename(s), surname and sex of the baby
  • parents forename(s), surnames and address
  • place and dates of parents’ birth
  • date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership
  • parents’ occupation
  • mothers’ maiden surname
  • number of previous children.

What documents will I be given?

You will be given a free short birth certificate showing the baby’s full name, sex, date of birth, and district of birth.

Full birth certificates giving details of parents as well as the child are available at the time of registration, these cost £4.00. Full birth certificates are required for first-time British passport applications. Find out more information about certificates.

Applying to correct a birth certificate

If you wish to amend details or record new information on birth certificates you must apply to the Registrar General for authorisation. If this is agreed the Registrar General will provide instructions to the local registrar who will arrange an appointment for you to sign the amendment as correct.

Your local registration office will be able to issue a new certificate for a fee.

You may record new or different forenames(s) in a birth record within 12 months of the date of registration. You may also add the natural fathers’ details where the parents marry, where a Declaration of Parentage is issued by the court and where a Parental Order is issued for a child born through surrogacy.

For further information please visit the General Register Office or telephone 0300 123 1837.