Registering a birth in Kent or the London Borough of
Congratulations on your new
arrival! The birth of a child is a special and exciting
time, but don't forget to register the birth.
All births must be registered with a Registrar of Births and
Deaths in the area where the birth occurred. They must be
registered within 6 weeks (42 days) of the date of birth.
What do I need to do first?
If your child was born in Kent (including Bexley) you can
make an appointment using our online booking
Please note that our service does not cover births in:
Births at Darent Valley Hospital may now be registered either by
The Kent Registration Service or Bexley Register
Where will the appointment be?
The appointment will be held at one of our
locations across Kent.
Who can register a birth?
- Either parent provided they were married to each other at the
date of the child's birth.
- Where the parents of a child are not married to each other on
the date of the child's birth, both the natural mother and the
natural father will need to attend the registration together for
the natural father's details to be included in the birth register
and on the birth certificate. If the natural father details are
entered he will gain equal parental responsibility with the
- If the mother is not married to the baby's father and registers
the birth alone, the father's details are not entered in the
register. It may be possible at a later date to make a new entry in
the register to include the father's details and at the same time,
have the child's surname changed to the father's
What happens when I see the Registrar?
The Registrar will ask you to confirm the following
- When and where the birth took place.
- Full name/s of the child/children and the correct
- Full names of the parent/s and the correct spelling.
- Address and occupation of parents.
- Dates and places of birth of parents.
- If the parents are married - the date of marriage and the
mother's maiden name.
- Baby's NHS number (if you have this).
Naming your baby
When you see the Registrar you will be asked "What are the full
names and surname in which your child will be brought up?".
The names recorded in the Birth Register will appear on the
birth certificate. The surname given at this time cannot be changed
other than by re-registration or adoption.
Where the parents are not married at the time of the birth and
later marry each other, they should apply for a re-registration and
change the child's surname at that stage.
You will be asked to check the information recorded very
carefully and to sign that it is correct. It is important that the
information recorded is accurate, as the correction of errors
discovered after the register has been signed may cause delay and
The Registrar will then give you:
Do I have to pay a fee?
No. The birth registration service is free of charge.
However, there is a fee for additional copies of full
certificates (see below).
Do I need further copies of the birth certificate?
A full birth certificate (which shows all the
information recorded in the register) is required
when applying for a passport for your child and will possibly be
required if you wish to open a bank account for you
You can buy copies from the Registrar when you register. They
are currently £4 (from April 2012) per copy at the time of
registering. Additional birth certificates can also be bought
at a later date by telephoning us or ordered using our
Payment may be made by credit or debit card. More information about
certificates can be found at our
I want to register the birth but I don't live in Kent or
If the birth occurred in Kent or Bexley and you do not live
in Kent or Bexley, it is possible to give the details to any
Registrar in England or Wales. This is known as registering by
declaration. The Registrar to whom the declaration is given does
not register the birth, but will send the information to the Kent
Libraries, Registration and Archives Service, where it will be
registered. You may also order full birth certificates. A charge is
made for these and you will need to have a cheque or postal order
when you give the declaration. The Registrar will send the order
and cheque/postal order to us.
Once the birth has been registered you will normally be
- A free short birth certificate.
- Copies of prepaid full birth certificates.
These arrangements also apply if you live in Kent or
Bexley but need to register a birth occurring elsewhere in
England or Wales but do not wish to travel to where the birth
If you are unsure where you need to register please call
us for advice.
Unmarried fathers may automatically obtain equal parental
responsibility for their child if they attend with the mother to
register the birth and their details are recorded in the birth
entry. If an unmarried father is unable to attend in person with
the mother then his details can be recorded in the birth entry by
statutory declaration acknowledging paternity. If parents are
unsure please ask to speak to registration staff when an
appointment is made.
Marriage of a child's natural parents - 're-registration'
The status of children born to parents who are not married to
each other changes if, and when, the parents do marry each other,
and it is in the child's interest that his/her entry of birth is
updated to reflect this. You can get an application form to
re-register a birth from
our offices. Please telephone us for further information
or to book an appointment. Alternatively, you
an appointment to re-register a birth online.
You can also buy personalised commemorative certificates to celebrate the birth.
Commemorative certificates are the only certificate which records
the birth weight of your child and gives you the unique opportunity
to record a personal message. These can be presented to family and
A Kentish Welcoming Ceremony
You will also be given a copy of our "Welcoming Ceremony"
booklet. Welcoming ceremonies are special non-religious
celebrations that allow parents, and their friends and relatives,
to welcome the new baby or child into the family. For further
details telephone us or visit our dedicated ceremonies
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us
on 0300 333 5430.