Registering a birth

Covid-19 update

Updated 18th June, 2020

Following changes by the government to it is now possible to register a birth. It remains a statutory obligation to register a new birth in the district where the birth occurred and within 42 days of the birth.

If you had a baby in Darlington

You can make an appointment by ringing the register office on 01325 406 400 Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm (4.00 pm on Fridays).

If you have had a baby outside of Darlington.

A birth needs to be registered in the district where it occurred for example, if you had your baby in Middlesbrough or Durham then the birth needs to be registered with that Register Office and you should contact them for an appointment.

However, if you are a Darlington resident and you are unable to travel to the register office where the birth needs to be registered then we can offer you a “Declaration appointment” whereby

  • We take the details of the birth and send them to the correct Register Office on your behalf.
  • That register office will then register the birth without you being present and post you any certificates you purchase.

It is important to note when choosing a declaration appointment.

  • This service is only available to Darlington residents who have had an baby outside of Darlington.
  • If you not a Darlington resident and also have not had your baby here in Darlington then we are unable to help you. You should contact the register office where the birth occurred for advice on how to register.
  • By us taking details of the birth and sending them to another register office the birth is not registered with us and you will not be able to buy certificates from us in the future, you will need to contact the register office where the birth is registered.
  • Once the declaration is sent to the register office where it will be registered we cannot guarantee or be liable for when the birth will be registered or when you will receive your certificates as the responsibility is with the other register office.
  • Declaration appointments are limited in availability as our first priority is to register births that occur in Darlington.

If you need to re-register a birth.

You may need to re-register:

  1. To add in the natural father’s details after the birth has been registered.
  2. To update the birth entry following both natural parents having been married to each other.

If you need to re-register a birth then you should contact the register office on 01325 406 400 for advice.

Visiting the Register Office during the Covid-19 outbreak.

We are currently busier than we usually are and we understand the concerns and anxieties that you might have coming to a public building. If you are unable to attend to register a birth because you are “shielding” or you are concerned about visiting the register office contact the staff at the register office on 01325 406 400 who are her to help and give options and guidance to make registering a birth as easy as possible for you.

Where can I register a birth?

A birth must be registered in the Registration District where the birth took place.

If it is not convenient to attend the Register Office in the district where the birth took place, details of the birth may be given at any Register Office in England or Wales. The information will then be forwarded to the district where the baby was born, who will register the birth and forward your certificate(s) to you along with a form to enable you to register your baby with a doctor.

Who can register the birth?

If the parents are married to each other when the baby is born, either or both parents may register the birth (although only one parent will sign the register).

Where the parents are not married to each other and they want the baby's fathers details entered into the Register, both parents should attend together to register.

If the baby's father does not attend his details cannot be entered into the register at that time. There are procedures for these details to be added at a later date (contact us for more information).

What information do I need?

  • Date and place of baby's birth (if multiple birth then the times of the births will be needed)
  • Full name and surname of baby
  • Whether the baby is a boy or a girl
  • Baby's parents full names and surnames and places of birth
  • Baby's parents occupations
  • Baby's mothers home address
  • Baby's mothers former surnames (if any)
  • The date of baby's parents marriage (if married)
  • How many previous children does baby's mother have (if any)

How much does it cost to register a birth?

The birth registration is free of charge.

From 1st November 2017 a free short birth certificate will no longer be issued. They will continue to be available at a fee of £11.00 each at the registration appointment.

A full birth certificate will also be available at the appointment for a fee of £11.00 each. 

Both types of certificate are available later for a higher fee.

List of fees [pdf document]

The registration

Registering a birth must be done in person - it cannot be done by email or over the phone.

The registrar will see you in a private room and the information you give will be entered firstly onto the computer and then once you are happy with the content details will be copied into the Birth Register. 

Before signing the register, you will be asked to check that the information you have given has been entered accurately.

Can I change my child's surname after registration?

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of birth but marry afterwards, you can reregister the birth after the parents marriage. It is possible at this time to change your child's surname.

If you wish to change the child's surname under any other circumstances the advice of a solicitor should be sought.

Appointment system

Please note that an appointment system is in operation for all birth, death and notice of marriage/civil partnership registrations. Contact the Register Office on 01325 406400 to make an appointment.

Claiming Child Benefit and Tax Credits

Following a birth you may be entitled to claim for Child Benefit or Tax Credits.

To do this you can make an online application with the DWP (Department for Works and Pensions) [external link]

You will be given a unique reference number at the Birth Registration which is needed to be quoted as part of the application.

The Register Office is unable to help with or give any advice about the services offered by the DWP