Registering a birth

When must a birth be registered?

  • Within six weeks of the baby’s birth. The National Health Service informs registrars of births that have taken place in their area.

How long does it take to register a birth?

  • Approximately 20 minutes.

How much does it cost to register a birth?

  • There is no charge to register a baby’s birth.
  • Birth Certificates are £4 each at the time of registration. There are two types of certificates available: a short version, which contains only the baby’s details and a full version, which contains the parents’ details also.

Who can register a birth?

  • One parent if married.
  • Both parents if unmarried.
  • In exceptional circumstances a person other than a parent can register. Please contact the Registrar for further details.

Where can a birth be registered?

  • You can register a baby at any register office. However, if attending a register office outside the district where the baby was born, the Registrar will take a declaration of all information and this will be forwarded to the district where the baby was born.
  • A person’s birth records are always held in the district where they were born. Any copies required in the future can also be obtained from the district of birth, though fees are likely to have increased. For example if parent(s) attend the Register Office in Torfaen, but their baby was born in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, their declaration would be forwarded from Torfaen to the Newport Register Office and the details held there permanently.

What is a declaration?

  • The Registrar will record the information about the birth, in duplicate. The parent(s) will be asked to check and sign both copies and this declaration will be sent to the Register Office in the district where the baby was born. On receipt, the relevant district will transfer all the information into the Register and forward the necessary documentation to the parent(s) by mail.

What documentation can I expect to receive when registering a birth directly or by declaration?

  • A short or full birth certificate, if requested (£4.00 to be paid at time of registration).
  • If a baby is registered by declaration all documentation should be received, by mail, within 7-10 days.

Please note: When completing a registration you must check the register page carefully. When you sign the entry you're signing to say that everything is accurate and a true statement.

If you fail to notice an error when checking and signing the registration (birth death, marriage, civil partnership) the fee to apply for a correction will be £75 or £90 depending on the type of correction required.

This fee does not guarantee the correction can be made.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:


Tel: 01495 742132


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