Registering a birth

Contact York Register office to make an appointment to register a birth with us.

You must register a birth:

  • within 6 weeks (42 days) of the date of the birth
  • to obtain a birth certificate (and subsequently claim any child/family related benefits)
  • at the register office which covers the area where the birth took place

You can also register a birth via a Children's Centre, or by supplying the information to a registrar in another district.

Married parents registering a birth

If the parents of the baby were married to each other at the time of birth or conception either of them can register the birth. They don't both need to attend.

Unmarried parents registering a birth

If the parents were not married to each other when the baby was born the father's details can be entered if:

  • both parents attend to register the birth
  • the father can’t attend, he can make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother needs to give to the registrar. The father’s signature must be witnessed by a solicitor or a Justice of the Peace
  • the mother can’t attend, she can make a statutory declaration acknowledging her maternity which the father needs to give to the registrar. The mother’s signature must be witnessed by a solicitor or a Justice of the Peace
  • the parents have made a parental responsibility agreement or have obtained an appropriate court order. This should be shown to the Registrar and either parent can register the birth

Adding the father's details to the Register gives him parental rights and responsibilities.

The mother can choose to register the birth on her own if she isn't married to the child's father. The father's details won't be included on the birth certificate.

It might be possible to add the father’s details at a later date by completing an application for the re-registration of a child’s birth.

Visit the Gov.uk website for further information.

Other people who can register a birth

If the parents can’t register the birth (eg for medical reasons), certain other people can do it:

  • someone who was present at the birth
  • someone who is responsible for the child
  • a member of the administrative staff at the hospital where the child was born

Information needed to register a birth

You will need to provide the following information:

  • 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

If possible please bring the following documents:

  • passports, driving licences or proof of name for mother and father
  • marriage/Civil Partnership certificate (where appropriate)
  • proof of address

Documents we will give you

  • you will be given a ‘short certificate’ free of charge which shows the child’s full name and date of birth
  • you may buy a ‘full certificate’ with parent's details for £4. Please note, you’ll need a full certificate for a passport application for your child

Buggy access at the Register Office

There are 4 steps into the Register Office which can make access difficult for buggies. It is easier for you to enter the office through the side passageway and up through the garden and the rear door. This is all on the same level.

If English is not your first language

If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help you with the registration, please feel free to ask a relative or friend to come with you to the Registrar's Office. Remember you must register the birth personally and cannot ask someone to do this for you.

The Government Language Line service can help you with translation. Contact them on tel: 0207 5201430.

Also see

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