1. 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 can’t 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.

You should bring at least 1 of the following types of identification when you go to the register office:

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

The Tell Us Once service can report a birth to most government organisations in one go. The registrar will let you know if this service is available in your area.

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