Register a birth

Overview

All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the child being born.

You should do this at the local register office for the area where the baby was born or at the hospital before the mother leaves. The hospital will tell you if you can register the birth there.

If you cannot register the birth in the area where the baby was born, you can go to another register office and they will send your details to the correct office.

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.

What you should take

You should take at least one form of identification when you go to the register office. You can use:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • deed poll
  • driving licence
  • proof of address (for example, a utility bill)
  • Council Tax bill
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate

You should also take your child’s personal child health record or ‘red book’ as some registrars may ask to see it.

If you’re going to the register office on your own, you may need proof of paternity from the other parent before you give their details.

Organisations you need to contact

Having a child might affect your tax, your benefits and services from your local council.

The Tell Us Once service can report a birth to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and your local council in one go. The registrar will let you know if this service is available in your area.

When you go to a Tell Us Once appointment, you’ll be asked about:

  • the people who’ll be named on the birth register
  • any partners that live with them

For each person, you’ll need to know:

  • their address and phone number
  • their date of birth
  • their National Insurance number
  • details of any benefits they get or have applied for

If the Tell Us Once service is not available in your area, you’ll need to contact Jobcentre Plus and your local council about your benefits and services.

After the birth is registered

Once you’ve registered the birth, you may be able to claim: