Register a birth
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.
There are different rules for registering a birth in Scotland, registering a birth in Northern Ireland and registering a birth abroad.
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:
- 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.
After the birth is registered
Once you’ve registered the birth, you may be able to claim: