Register a birth
You need to register the birth within 42 days of the baby’s date of birth.
This can be complicated and depends on the family circumstances:
- If the parents are married to each other when the baby is born, then either the mother or the father can register the birth
- If the parents are not married and they would like the father's details to be included in the register either both parents will need to attend
- Or either the mother or father may attend with a Statutory Declaration or other legal documentation
Note that in registration there is a difference between a ‘civil partner’ and a ‘partner’:
Your ‘partner’ (i.e. someone you are not married to) is not legally linked to you for registration purposes. A ‘civil partner’ is someone of the same sex with whom you have been through a legal ceremony of formation of civil partnership.
Adding father’s details later
If the parents are not married, the mother does not have to have baby’s father’s details included in the register if she does not wish to.
The mother needs to be very sure about leaving baby’s father’s details off the register however, as adding his name at a later date would take a further more complicated appointment.
You can re-register your child if you get married to their natural father.
To re-register you should make an appointment at the registration office where the child was originally registered. If this is not possible they can be re-registered by making a declaration at any other registration office in England and Wales. To make an appointment telephone 01603 306149.
Before you can re-register, you will need to complete a LA1 form for each child. This can be obtained from any registration office or downloaded from GOV.UK. At the time of re-registration you will need to produce the completed LA1 form plus the child's full birth certificate and the parents’ marriage certificate.
Can someone other than the parents register the birth?
In certain exceptional circumstances someone other than the parents may register the birth.
Contact your local registration office if you need to ask for this option.
A birth has to be registered in the registration district where it occurred.
A birth that occurred in Norfolk can be registered at any of our registration offices in the county except for Downham Market or Fakenham.
If it will be difficult for you to travel to the right registration office to register the birth you can go to a registrar in a more convenient place anywhere in England or Wales. We call this registering by declaration.
You can make a ‘declaration of the birth’ in Norfolk but the paperwork has to be sent to the office in the district where the birth occurred. That office will register the birth and post you the birth certificates, but it will mean a delay of up to five days.
You will need to register the birth within 42 days of the baby’s date of birth.
Please note that birth appointments will not be available in our Downham and Fakenham offices in May.
If you need to re-register a birth then call the registration office at which you first registered the birth to make an appointment. Find out more about re-registering a birth.
Please bring the Registering the Birth form issued by the hospital or midwife if possible. This form has the baby’s NHS number on it and is often referred to as the hospital discharge papers. It will help speed up your appointment if you bring this form with you.
You are not required to bring your baby along to your appointment.
You will be asked for the information listed below:
- The date and place of birth
- If the birth is one of twins, triplets etc, then the times of the births will be needed
- Baby’s full name and gender
- Full names of child’s parents, including previous names
- Date and place of birth of child’s parents
- Occupation of child’s parents
- Mother’s address at time of birth
- Date of marriage of child’s parents (if this applies)
- The number of children previously born to the mother (including any stillbirths)
We recommend that you bring documents such as birth certificates, passports or driving licenses to help you with the accuracy of the details you provide. Any errors in a birth entry noticed after the register page has been signed can be complicated to correct, and from 1 November 2017 new legislation means you may be required to pay a fee for an application for a correction to be considered.
We will process a range of information in order to complete this registration. View our information and privacy notice
A short birth certificate gives the child’s name, sex and date of birth only. From 1 November 2017, further to national legislation, we will no longer be able to issue short birth certificates free of charge.
A full birth certificate shows all the details held in the register entry for the child and both the parents (assuming the father’s details were recorded). This includes the names and address(es), occupations and places of birth of parent(s).
A birth certificate is needed for many reasons, for example to open a bank account or obtain a passport. It can also be used to applying for child benefit.
From 1 November 2017 all short and full (standard) birth certificates issued on the day of registration will cost £4. Certificates requested after the day of registration will cost more.
To make a change or apply for a correction to a birth certificate, contact us and you will be directed to a full-time office.
Note that further to national legislation, from 1 November 2017 you may be required to pay a fee for your application for a correction to be considered. This will depend on the type of error that needs correcting. Our registration staff will give you more information.