Register a birth

Births in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which they take place.

Before you go to the Register Office please telephone to make an appointment.

You must register the birth in the registration district where your baby was born. If your baby was born at home in Sefton you can register at either Crosby or Southport Register Office.

If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the birth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the child's birth (or conception), the father's particulars may be entered in the register only in the following circumstances:

  • the mother and father go to the register office and sign the birth register together
  • where the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother, the father may make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother must produce to the registrar 
  • where the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father. the mother may make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity which the father must produce to the registrar
  • where the mother and father have made a parental responsibility agreement or either has obtained an appropriate court order, the agreement or order should be produced to the registrar by either parent
  • If the father's particulars are not recorded in the birth register, it may be possible for the birth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date. 

The mother of a child, and the father if he is married to the mother, automatically have parental responsibility.

Where the parents are not married to each other, the father can acquire parental responsibility if he acts with the mother to have his name recorded in the child's birth registration on or after 1 December 2003. An unmarried father can also obtain parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother, by making a parental responsibility agreement with her or by getting a court order. 

Date and place of birth; if the birth is one of twins, triplets, etc the time of each child's birth will also be needed sex of the child, the forename(s) and surname in which it is intended that the child will be brought up.

Mother's forename(s) and surname, maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married, date and place of birth, occupation at the time of the child's birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation, usual address at the date of the birth, date of marriage, if married to the child's father at the time of the birth number of previous children by the present husband and by any former husband.

Father's (where this information is to be entered in the register), forename(s) and surname, date and place of birth, occupation at the time of the child's birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation.

After a birth has been registered, a short birth certificate showing the name, sex, date and district of birth is issued free of charge.

The short certificate meets most ordinary needs but a full birth certificate, which is a complete copy of the register entry, is also available. Further short certificates and full certificates may be bought at the time of registration or at any time afterwards. 

If a birth occurs in England and Wales and has not been registered within 12 months it is possible for the late registration of the birth to be authorised by the Registrar General provided certain requirements can be met.

Before the Registrar General can authorise a late registration of a birth he must be satisfied, by documentary evidence, of the child's exact date and place of birth. There must also be a person available who can attend any Register Office in England and Wales to give the information for the registration. 

To apply for a late registration of a birth, contact for the relevant application forms. 

No fee is charged for authorising a late registration however, if you want to buy certificates, in addition to the short certificate issued free on registration, then please contact us for details of prices. You can also obtain certificates locally from the Register Office where the birth was registered.


Last Updated on 08 September 2017

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