Correct a birth registration

How to apply

It costs £75 or £90 to apply to correct a mistake in a birth registration.

Contact the register office where your child’s birth was registered to find out how to send your application, the cost and how to pay.

Fill in the relevant application form and send it to the register office:

There’s a different process for correcting registrations made in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Proving the registration is wrong

You’ll need to show that the information given at the time of the registration was wrong. You must send in documents with your application that show what the correct information should have been. These documents should be valid or dated around the time your child was born.

Documents you can send in include a:

  • passport
  • photocard driving licence
  • bank, building society or credit card statement
  • letter from a hospital or doctor
  • letter from a government department

If you are not able to send in proof, corrections cannot usually be made.

All certified copies sent with the application will be destroyed if you do not ask for them to be returned.

Proof the wrong father is on the certificate

You’ll need to prove that the man named on the certificate is not the natural father of the child. Examples of proof include:

  • a DNA test record from an approved tester
  • a court order
  • evidence that confirms the name of the true biological father
  • other evidence that confirms the recorded father could not have been the child’s natural father

Sending in certified documents

You should only send in documents that have been certified as true copies of the original.

Witnessing the correction

If the correction is being made at your register office, you need to arrange an appointment with them. When you go in you’ll witness the correction and sign the note made in the birth register.

If you’re applying to the General Register Office (GRO) to make the correction, you can say on the application form if you want to witness the correction.

Statutory declaration

If you’re applying to correct a serious mistake (such as the name of a person), the GRO may ask you to make a ‘statutory declaration’ about the correction and send it to them. This means you have to make a legal statement in front of someone like a judge or solicitor that they must sign (sometimes called ‘attesting an oath’).

If you make a statutory declaration, you will not have to witness the correction.

You may have to pay a fee for a statutory declaration.

How long applications take 

There is no set time for how long applications will take. It can take up to 25 days for you to get a reply.

Advice

If you want further advice on applying to make a correction, contact the register office or the General Register Office (GRO).

GRO
grocasework@gro.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 1837
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1837
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 4pm
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