Register a birth
Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!You will 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 one of the nine registration offices in the county.
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.
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.
If you have any problems you can call our Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020 Monday to Friday.
For speed and efficiency, it would be helpful if you brought to your appointment the form issued by the hospital or midwife called ‘Registering the Birth’ which has baby’s NHS number on it. This is often referred to as the hospital discharge papers. However, you are not obliged to bring any documentation with you.
For accuracy, it would be helpful if you could also provide a document such as a passport or driving license which shows the correct spelling of your name(s), as spelling errors can be complicated to put right later. You are not required to bring your baby along to your appointment.
You will be asked for the following information:
- The date and place of birth
- If the birth is one of twins, triplets etc, in which case 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)
A short birth certificate gives the child’s name, sex and date of birth only. One copy of this certificate is issued free of charge. This is the certificate that accompanies an application for child benefit.
From 1 November 2017, national legislation is coming into force which does not permit us to issue short birth certificates for free. From 1 November all birth certificates issued on the day of registration will cost £4.00
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 given). This includes the names and address(es), occupations and places of birth of parent(s). This certificate is needed when applying for passports, driving licenses, some jobs and opening financial accounts, among other things. A full birth certificate costs £4 if requested on the day of the registration. Certificates requested after the day of registration will cost more.
To make a change or a correction to a birth certificate, call us on 0344 800 8020 and you will be directed to the office where the birth was registered if it open, or a full time office if closed.
Once registration staff know what correction is required they will be able to advise you on what to do next.