How to Register the Birth of your Baby

At the end of a long pregnancy ( and hopefully not a long birth!) you will only have a short space of time to get your new baby registered with the authorities. Here we explain the process, when, where and how you register the birth of your child.  [cont ..]

Where do I register my baby's birth?

You will need to go to the registry office in the district where your baby was born. If you can't get to that office, then you can go to another office but this will then take an extra few days, as your details will need to be sent to the district of your baby's birth. They will then send you the birth certificate.

When do I need to register the birth?

You will need to register your baby's birth within 42 days (6 weeks) in England and Wales. In Scotland it needs to be done within 21 days (3 weeks).

Who will need to attend the registry office?

If Mum and Dad are married at the time of conception or birth then either one of them can register the birth of the baby.

If they are not married but they want the father's name on the birth certificate, then both parents will need to attend the registration.

Or the father can make a statutory declaration on form 16 or 16w (Wales).

If the father is registering the birth, the mother can make the statutory declaration of his paternity.

If neither of the parents can attend the registry office, then any of the following can register the birth:

  • Someone present at the birth.
  • Someone who has responsibility for the baby.
  • An employee of the hospital where the baby was born.
  • An occupier of the house in which the baby is born.

The father's name and details may be able to be added at a later date. By completing the form GRO 185 or GRO 185W (Wales) or email corrections.&

What information will I need to provide?

You will not need to provide any documentation. But you will be required to give the following details.

For baby:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Sex
  • Forename(s) and surname
  • In the cases of multiple births you will have to give the time of birth for each baby


  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation


  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Maiden name (if married)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Address
  • Marriage date (if applicable)
  • Number of other children

Always check the details carefully before you sign the register, to avoid problems later on.

What will I receive when regsitering the birth?

Upon registering your baby you will be given a short birth certificate, containing baby's name, sex and date and place of birth. You can also buy a full birth certificate, that will list all the details that were registered.

You will also get a registration form to complete and give to your GP's surgery so that you can register your baby with a GP.

You will need the birth certificate to claim Child Benefit.

Will I have to pay for the birth certificate?

You will have to pay for a full birth certificate or for extra copies of the short birth certificate.

What happens if I marry my partner after the birth?

If parents marry after the registration of the baby's birth, they will need to re-register by completing form LA 1 or LA 1W (Wales) or email corrections.&​​

What happens in the event of a still birth?

A still born baby is a baby born after the 24th week of pregnancy, that was not alive at the time of birth.

A still birth needs to be registered within 42 days. You will have to provide the medical certificate of the still birth that was issued to you.

At this distressing time time registering the baby means the parents can give them their chosen name. It also officially acknowledges the baby's existence.

For more information contact The General Register Office >> on +44 (0) 845 603 788 or