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How do I register a birth?

Is there a time limit in which I have to register my baby?
Your baby’s birth must be registered within 42 days of the date of the birth.

Where can I register the birth?
The birth must be registered in the Registration district in which the birth occurred.

If it is not convenient for you to visit the Registrar of Births and Deaths for that district, you may go to any other Register Office in England and Wales. In this circumstance, a birth declaration will be taken and sent to the Registration Office in the district where your baby was born.


At most Registration Offices an appointment is required. Contact us by visiting our A to Z page.


Click here to search for your local Register Office.



Who can register the birth?

  • The mother of the baby.


  • The father of the baby if he was married to the mother at the time of the birth.


  • The mother and the father jointly if they are not married to each other at the time of the birth.


  • The mother or the father, attending alone, if they were not married at the time of birth, bringing with them an appropriate prescribed legal document signed by the other parent. Inquire about this document at any Register Office.


  • The mother, if she is not married to the father, may register alone leaving out the details of the father. At a later date an application to re-register the birth may be made to include the father's details or following the marriage of the mother and father.

What information will I have to supply for the registration of the baby’s birth?

  • The date and place of your baby’s birth. If the baby is one of twins, triplets or any multiple birth, the time of each baby’s birth will be required.
  • Whether it is a girl or a boy.
  • The forenames and surnames by which it is intended that your baby will be brought up.

Father (where these details are to be entered into the register)
  • His forenames and surname.
  • His place of birth.
  • His occupation at the time of the birth, or if not employed at that time, his last occupation.

  • Her forenames and surname, and her maiden surname if she is or has been married.
  • Her place of birth.
  • Her usual address at the date of the birth.
  • Her occupation is optional. If she has been employed at any time before the birth this occupation can be entered if she wishes.

Other Information:

Further particulars are required under the Population (Statistics) Acts but will not be entered in the register. This confidential information will be used to prepare statistical information by the Registrar General. Information needed includes:

  • The father’s date of birth, where his name is entered in the register.
  • The mother’s date of birth.
  • The month and year of the marriage when the baby’s parents are married to each other at the time of the birth.
  • Whether the mother has been married more than once.
  • Number of mother’s previous live children and stillbirths (excluding birth or births now being registered).

What certificates will I be issued with?

After the birth has been registered you will be given a short birth certificate, which is issued free of charge. The certificate shows only the baby’s name, surname, sex, date of birth and district of registration.

Also available at a small fee are full birth certificates, which will show all of the details recorded in the register entry. Many people purchase a full copy at the time of the registration as copies requested later may cost more. Additional copies of both types of certificates can be purchased.

If you wish to order certificates when registering the birth by declaration you must pay by cheque or postal order as cash cannot be sent by post. These certificates will then be posted to you when the birth has been registered.

Should you require any help please telephone your local Register Office, where the staff will gladly give you further help and advice.


Re-Registering a birth

You can re-register a birth for two reasons:


  • to add the name of the natural father on to the birth certificate (whether by choice or due to a court order.)


  • if the natural parents have married since the birth of their child.


A birth can be re-registered at the district register office where the birth took place or by declaration at any register office in England or Wales.  Certificates issued at the time of re-registration can be purchased for £4:00 per copy.


If you wish to re-register your child's birth to add the natural father's details to the birth certificate, you will need to complete the form GRO 185.  This form is available for download on the General Register Office website.

Click on the link above, then visit "Directgov" and enter "form for re-registration" in the search box.


If the natural birth parents get married after their child is born, the birth can be re-registered after the applicants complete the form LA1.  This form is also available on the General Register Office website.

Paper copies of these forms are also available from your local register office.


  • General enquiries                                            tel: 0116 454 1000
  • Appointments to register a birth                      tel: 0116 454 1000
  • Fax for Registrars of Births                               0116 291 4660

  • Email

  • Contact us by feedback form.