Registering a birth

By law, you must register a baby’s birth within 42 days.

 

The registration itself is free and will take approximately 30 minutes.

Where do I register a birth?

If the baby was born in the Cardiff district, you need to come into Cardiff Register Office to register the birth. Please phone 029 2087 1680 or 029 2087 1684 or email registrars@cardiff.gov.uk to make an appointment.

If it is not convenient to come to Cardiff, you may register by declaration at any Register Office in England or Wales. That office will then send the birth information to us here in Cardiff and we will enter the information into the birth register.

Certificates can be ordered and paid for by contacting us at a later date and will be posted out to you.

Please note that registering the birth outside the district in which it occurred will result in a delay in receiving the birth certificate(s).

Who can register a birth?

If the baby’s parents are married to each other, they can attend together or either parent can register on their own. If they were married at the time of the birth, both mother and father automatically have parental responsibility.

If the baby’s parents are not married to each other, the mother has automatic parental responsibility and may register the birth on her own, but she is not able to add father’s details unless he attends the registration appointment with her.

Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights and responsibilities. Without it you don’t have any right to be involved in decisions such as where the child lives, their education, religion or medical treatment. With parental responsibility, you are treated in law as the child’s parent, and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.

It is generally in your baby’s best interests to have the father’s details included in the entry. However, if this is not possible at the time of registration it may be possible for this to be done at a later date.

What if I can’t speak English?

Please bring someone to help you register together with passports and marriage certificates, where possible. You can ask a friend or relative to come with you, but please remember that they cannot come instead of you.

What you need to register a birth

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Time of birth if twins, triplets etc
  • Whether your baby is a boy or a girl
  • Forenames and surname in which it is intended the baby will be brought up

If the parents are not married to each other and the baby is registered in the mother’s surname, it may be changed to the fathers surname later if the couple marry and subsequently re-register the birth.

  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Forename(s) and surname and any other names used
  • Your maiden surname if you are or have been married previously
  • Address at the date of the birth
  • Occupation at the time of the baby’s birth or, if not employed, your previous occupation
  • If you were married to the baby’s father at the time of the birth you will be asked for the date of marriage
  • Number of previous children by the present and any former partner

These are to be entered into the register:

  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Forename(s) and surname and any other names used
  • Occupation at the time of the baby’s birth or, if not employed, the previous occupation

Please bring any of the following documents with you to confirm these details and ensure information is accurately entered, such as:

  • Passport(s)
  • Birth Certificate(s)
  • Driving Licence(s)
  • Marriage / Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Deed pool (if you have changed your name)

During the registration you will be asked by the registrar to check that the information recorded in the register is correct. It is important that you take the time to ensure you have not only given the correct information, but also that the registrar has recorded it correctly.

We recommend that each parent/informant brings a form of identification to the registration as this is a legal document and it is essential that the information recorded is correct.

Birth certificates

Once you have registered your baby’s birth you can purchase a certificate. A full birth certificate is a complete copy of the entry in the register.  This is required for most purposes such as passport applications, child benefit, etc and can be purchased for a fee of £11 on the day of registration.

To purchase a Birth Certificate after the day of registration the cost increases. To order a certificate and confirm the fee payable, please email certificate.enquiries@cardiff.gov.uk or telephone the office on 029 2087 1680/4.

Our opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 4pm and Friday 9am to 4pm.

Correction or change to a completed entry

Please note after the registration has been completed and you have signed the document, any applications to correct the entry will incur a charge.

A charge of £75 will be made to consider the request at your local registration office, or alternatively if the request for a correction has to be made to the General Register Office, then a fee of £90 will apply.

Payment of this fee does not guarantee the correction will be granted and fees paid will not be refunded if the request is denied.

Changing your child’s forename(s)

The Births and Deaths Registration Act allows changes to forenames to be recorded in the birth register. You can apply for this to be done if the new forenames were given within 12 months of the birth being registered.

The fee

There is a non-refundable statutory fee of £40 for each application. The fee must be paid at the point of application.

What you need to do

  • If your child was baptised in a Christian church you will need a ‘Certificate of name given in baptism’ completed by the vicar/minister of the church where the baptism took place. A blank certificate is available from your local register office.
  • If your child has not been baptised you will need to complete a ‘Certificate of name not given in baptism’ available from your local register office.
  • You can take, or post, the completed certificate to the register office in the district where your child was born. The registrar will add the new forename(s) to your child’s entry in the birth register. If posting the application you will need to contact the register office to determine how to pay the fee.
  • You should tell the registrar if you want a new birth certificate for your child. If you buy a full certificate it will show both the original and the new forename(s). If you buy a short certificate, only the new forename(s) will be shown. The registrar will inform you of the cost of the certificates. You should be aware that the passport office will want to see a full certificate rather than a short one.

Important Notes

  • If there are any Court Orders about the naming of your child you must comply with the directions of the court.
  • A change to your child’s surname cannot be recorded in the birth register.
  • The changes to your child’s forename(s) must have been made within 12 months of the birth registration. You may have the change recorded in the birth register after the 12 months, but you will need to provide documentary evidence that the name was changed within the 12 month period.
  • Once your child has been baptised you cannot record a change to the Christian names given in baptism.
  • You can only record a change to your child’s forename(s) once.

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