Registering a birth

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.

You will receive one free certificate which does not contain parents details. Any further certificates you require need to be paid for. You may also wish to purchase a full certified copy of the entry. 

Each certificate will cost you £4 at the time of registration.  Further copies can be purchased after that date.  

Fees

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.

Tell us once

Tell us once is an optional service you can use when you register your baby's birth.

Once your baby has been registered we will share information about the birth with various Government agencies including the Department for Work and Pensions, Benefits and HM Revenues and Customs. This means you do not have to send a birth certificate to each organisation.

To access this service you will need to bring with you a completed child benefit form which should be supplied to you by the Hospital.

Should you not have a child benefit form they can be obtained from the Register Office or downloaded from HM Revenue and Customs [external link]

All information you provide will be treated securely and confidentially.

For more information please contact us on registeroffice@darlington.gov.uk or 01325 406 400.