Frequently asked questions about registering a birth

How do I register a birth?You must register the birth within 42 days in the district in which it occurred. You need to book an appointment online to register a birth at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. Appointments are compulsory - we do not offer a walk-in service.

What should I do if it is almost 42 days since the birth?It is a legal requirement to register within 42 days. If the child was born in Kensington and Chelsea and you have not registered the birth within 42 days, you must email registrars@rbkc.gov.uk as soon as possible to arrange an emergency appointment. 

What documents are needed to book a registration?You do not need any documents to book an appointment. It is useful if you are able to bring a proof of identity and the paperwork issued by the hospital to your appointment, however you can still register even if you do not have these documents.

I cannot find any documents. Can we still register a birth?It is extremely helpful if you are able to bring a proof of identity and the paperwork issued by the hospital with you, but you can still register if you are not able to bring these documents.  

Can I reschedule my appointment? You can reschedule your appointment using the link in your online booking confirmation email.  

What should I do if I am running late for my appointment?It is not necessary to call us if you are running late for your appointment. Please arrive promptly. We may not be able to accommodate you on the same day if you miss the start time of your appointment. If you are unable to make it to your appointment on time, you can reschedule using the link in your online booking confirmation email.

What is shown on the birth certificate?There are two types of birth certificate. The short version, which contains only the baby’s name and date of birth. The full version, which also contains parent’s details, including their names, place of birth, occupation and address. Both versions of the birth certificate may be purchased at the appointment if you have not done so already online. Only the full version is issued as standard as the short one no longer has any legal use.

Can I change my child’s name on their birth certificate?It is not always possible to change a child’s name on their birth certificate. A child’s forenames (but not surname) can be changed within one year after registration only. Please email registrars@rbkc.gov.uk for further information. A child’s surname (but not forenames) can only be changed if the birth is re-registered or the father’s name is added to a birth certificate. In all other circumstances a child’s name can be changed by deed poll. This will legally change their name, but does not change the name on their birth certificate.

How can I correct an error on the birth certificate?A birth certificate is an important legal document. The registrar will ask you to carefully check the information before you sign the register as it is not always possible to amend the information. Incorrect information can sometimes be corrected, but new information cannot be added if your circumstances change. If you have found an error on a birth certificate, you must apply to the General Register Office to amend a legal document.

Further information about fees for correcting registrations can be found in the Corrections and Re-registrations section of our website.

How do I add a father’s name to a birth certificate?If the father is not named on the original birth certificate, he can be added at any time. You will need to complete an application form and then book an appointment for re-registration. Both parents will need to attend the appointment together. 

What do we have to do if we have married since our child was registered?Natural parents of a child are legally required to re-register the child’s birth if they marry each other at any time. You will need to complete an application form and then book an appointment for re-registration. Only one parent needs to attend this appointment. You will need to bring your marriage certificate with you to the appointment. If you were not married in England or Wales, please email registrars@rbkc.gov.uk for further information.  

Can we be seen if we have not booked an appointment?No, you must book an appointment before you come to the register office. We may be able to arrange an emergency appointment in very exceptional circumstances. Please email registrars@rbkc.gov.uk if you feel that you have an extraordinary circumstances which means you cannot attend with a pre-booked appointment.