All birth registrations are by appointment only. 


Who can register a birth

If the baby's mother and father/second female parent were married to each other at the time of the birth, either parent may register.

If the parents were not married at the time of the birth, the mother may register alone, but the father's details can only be entered if they attend to register together.

Female couples who are not married or civil partners at the time of conception but who conceive together through a licensed clinic in the UK may also be treated as legal parents.

In these circumstances the mother may register the birth alone but the second parent's details can only be entered if they attend to register together.

If unmarried parents cannot attend together, the mother or second parent may make a statutory declaration (please see who can register a birth on the GOV.UK website or contact us for further details), or the second parent’s details can be added by re-registering the child at a later date.

Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.

Please see who can register a birth on the GOV.UK website or contact us for further advice.

Other people may register the birth in exceptional circumstances. For further information please contact us on 01225 477234.

Information you need when registering a birth

When registering the birth, you should know:

  • place and date of the birth
  • name, surname and sex of the baby
  • parents’ names, surnames and address
  • places and dates of parents’ birth
  • date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership
  • parents’ jobs
  • mother’s maiden surname

You might not need to give all of this information, depending on who is registering the birth.

Baby's surname

The baby may be given either parents’ surname, a combination of the two or any other surname the couple wish.

The surname which is recorded in the Register cannot be changed at a later date.

The only usual exception to this rule is where the parents are unmarried at the date of birth and the baby is given the mother's surname. If the parents then marry the child must be re-registered. At re-registration the child can be given the father's/second female parent’s surname.

What you should take to the appointment

You should ideally take your child’s personal health record or ‘red book’ and at least one form of identification for each parent. You can use:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • deed poll
  • driving licence
  • proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
  • Council Tax bill
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate

The documents we will give you

You may buy a standard (full) certificate from the registrar at the time of registration at a cost of £4.00 each. A standard certificate shows all the details recorded in the register. You will need to purchase one of these if you plan to apply for a UK passport for your baby.

The cost of additional certificates rises to £7.00/£10.00 following registration. So it is advisable to purchase them on the day.

Copy certificates

For information about ordering copy certificates, please see copies of certificates.

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