How to register a birth

How to register a birth

As parents of your new-born child, you are legally required to register the birth. You need to register your baby’s birth in order to obtain a birth certificate and give him/her an official identity. 

Covid-19: Registration of births

Although national restrictions have been lifted, please note that appointment availability may still be limited. Priority is being given to death registrations and other urgent appointments. 

Please Note: Although the legal requirement to register a baby’s birth within six weeks is still currently suspended, from 1 November your child’s birth must now be registered in order to make a claim for child benefit or universal credit. The earlier relaxation of HMRC rules has been removed. Please note that applications for child benefit can only be backdated for three months.

Please call 0300 500 8080 for an appointment at one of the following offices:

Arnold, Eastwood, Mansfield, Newark, Retford, Sutton in Ashfield, West Bridgford, Worksop.

There is no charge to register a birth. The cost of certificates can be found on our fees page.

Opposite-sex couples

Married Parents

If you were married to each other at the time of the baby’s birth, either of you may attend to register. Should circumstances not allow either parent to attend in person within 42 days, please seek further advice from your local register office.

Unmarried parents

If you were not married to each other at the time of your child’s birth, the father’s details can only be entered into the register if either:

  • both parents attend together or
  • one of you makes a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ or a relevant court order has been made

If the father’s details are not recorded at the time of registration, it may be possible to do this at a later date by re-registering the birth. Parents who subsequently marry each other are required to apply for the birth to be re-registered as a result of that marriage. 

Same-sex female couples

Same-sex couples can now become equal legal parents of children they conceive together or conceive through a surrogate.

Married or civil partner parents

Female couples who are married or civil partners at the time of conception and conceive a child together through artificial insemination will both automatically be treated as their child’s legal parents.  In such cases, either parent may register the birth.

Unmarried parents or not in a civil partnership

Female couples who are not married or civil partners at the time of conception but conceive a child together through a fertility clinic  in the UK  licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority may also be treated as their child’s legal parents.  In such cases, the mother may register the birth alone, but the second parent’s details can only be recorded in the register if either

  • they attend to register together or
  • the mother or second parent makes a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’

Same-sex male couples

Different options are available to same-sex male couples depending on their specific circumstances.

Further information can be obtained from the Stonewall website - guide to 'Parenthood for same-sex couples'.

  • your own personal identification e.g. passport, Council Tax Demand, driving licence or proof of address such as a utility bill
  • a black ballpoint/ink pen
  • the Red Book (this can occasionally be helpful but is generally not needed)

The first birth certificate issued at the time of registration is no longer free. Please see our fees page.


The appointment will last about 20 minutes. You will be asked basic questions about the parents and the child. You will then be asked to check and sign the completed entry in the birth register to confirm that all the information given by you is correct. 

Any errors found at a later date can only be changed in accordance with the legal procedures. There is a statutory fee of £75 or £90 (depending on circumstances) for the consideration of a correction, regardless of whether your request is successful or not. 

Share this page?