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Information you need to bring when registering a birth

When coming to register a birth you will need to bring:

  • Parents' ID including passport, driving licence or any official document showing your full name and address
  • The date of the baby’s birth, usually entered in the 'Red Book' provided by the midwife
  • If a multiple birth, the time of the births are also needed
  • The place of the baby’s birth
  • The sex of the child
  • The spelling of the child's forename(s) and surname

About the father

  • His forename(s) and surname and any previous names
  • His date and place of birth
  • His occupation. If not employed then his last occupation

About the mother

  • Her forename(s) and surname and any previous names
  • Maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married or through a civil partnership
  • Her date and place of birth
  • Her occupation. If not employed then her last occupation

Other details

  • The date of the marriage if the parents are married to each other
  • The number of children the mother has had previously by her present partner and any former partner

Documents the registrar will issue

  • Full birth certificates that show the parents’ details. There is a fee for these certificates. They are usually needed for passport applications, opening bank accounts and for showing to childcare providers and schools as evidence of nationality and parental responsibility
  • Short birth certificates that show only the child's name, sex and date and district of birth. There is a fee for these certificates. Please note: these certificates are no longer provided free of charge


  • There is no charge for registering the birth
  • Short and full birth certificates costs £11 each at the time of registration and afterwards.

You cannot change a birth certificate once it’s been registered unless you wish to re-register the birth (because the natural parents have married or the natural father was not entered on the original birth registration). If the father in the birth entry is proven to be wrong by DNA evidence, the natural father can apply to have his name added but there is a fee of £90 to do this. The child will usually retain the surname they were first registered in.

Corrections to a birth registration can only be made when the information is wrong (for example a mistake in spelling a person’s name or place of birth) and you can apply to get a note added to the original entry in the birth register. You can then purchase an updated certificate to show the correction.

There is a fee to correct an error of between £75-£90. Updated certificates will cost £11 each.