Registering a birth
- Where can I register a birth?
- Who can register the birth?
- What information do I need?
- How much does it cost to register a birth?
- The registration
- Can I change my child's surname after registration?
- Appointment system
- Claiming Child Benefit and Tax Credits
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.
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).
- 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)
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]
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.
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.
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.
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