Registering a birth

Information about how to register the birth of a baby which must be done within 42 days of the date of birth.

You must register your baby’s birth within 42 days of the date of birth

If your child was born in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, you can book your appointment online to register the birth.

The information below explains how to register your baby's birth and should answer most of your questions. Email us at registrars@rbkc.gov.uk if you have any further questions.

How quickly can the birth be registered?It is possible to register your baby as soon as the birth has taken place. It is a legal requirement for your baby’s birth to be registered within 42 days.

Where can the birth be registered?A birth can only be registered in the registration district in which it took place. If your baby was born in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital or at any other address located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea then the birth must be registered at the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. You may do this in person here at the Chelsea Old Town or by ‘declaration’ at any other Register Office in England or Wales.

In personWe operate on an appointment-only basis here at the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office - please book your appointment online. If you attend without an appointment we may not be able to see you and you may have to make an appointment to come back another day. 

By declarationIf it is not convenient for you to attend this office then you may go to any other Register Office in England or Wales to register by ‘Birth Declaration’. When you attend that Register Office, the Registrar who sees you will simply record the relevant information and act as an intermediary, passing the details to this office by post. Please bear in mind that declarations rely on many different organisations and services (postal services, part-time register offices) and this may delay the arrangements you may wish to make with regards to passports, family allowances, etc.

Important – If you choose to register the birth by declaration then please remember that copies of birth certificates are only available from the office where the birth is registered, and not where the birth declaration was made.

Who is able to register the birth?The birth must be registered by one of the following:

  • if the baby’s parents were married to each other at the time of the birth the mother and father are qualified informants. One of them may attend on their own or they both may attend together.
  • if the baby’s parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth then only the mother is the qualified informant. The father will not be able to register the birth on his own. If the father wishes his details to be included in the register then he will have to attend with the mother at the time of registration. If the father is not able to attend at the time of registration then the mother will not be able to include the father's details at that time but it may be possible to enter his details at a later date. If the mother is not married to the baby’s father, she is not obliged to include the father’s details in the register.
  • in certain circumstances another person may qualify as an informant but this is a very rare occurrence. If you think that this may be the case then you should contact the Register Office for further advice, at: registrars@rbkc.gov.uk.

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 accompany you to the Register Office. However, please remember that the birth must be registered by a qualified informant - a friend cannot register on your behalf.

What information needs to be supplied to the Registrar?When you attend to register the birth, the Registrar will need to know the following information:

Information about the baby

  • the date and place of your baby’s birth. If the birth is a multiple one (twins, triplets etc) then the time of each baby’s birth will also be required
  • the baby’s sex
  • the forenames and surname in which it is intended that the baby will be brought up

Information about the father

(Where these details are to be entered in the register).

  • the father’s forenames and surname
  • the father’s date and place of birth (town and country if born in the UK; country if born overseas)
  • the father’s occupation at the time of the baby’s birth or, if he was not employed at that time, the occupation he last followed
  • the father’s address (if he is not married to the mother and not living at the same address)

Information about the mother

  • the mother’s forenames and surname (a maiden surname will also be required if the mother is, or ever has been, married)
  • the mother’s date and place of birth (town and country if born in the UK; country if born overseas)
  • the mother’s usual address at the time of birth
  • the mother’s occupation (if the mother is no longer working but had been employed at any time before the birth this occupation can be entered in the register if the mother so wishes)
  • the total number of previous children
  • if the mother was married to the baby’s father at the time of the birth the registrar will need to know the date of that marriage

It is most important that the information recorded in the register is correct. If a mistake is made in the register entry, it may not be possible to make a correction later so please spend time double-checking the registration details at the end of the appointment. If a correction is possible, there is a statutory fee of £90 per correction.

Obtaining birth certificates

Certificates cost £11 and you can purchase as many as you need. You can also pay for your certificates in advance when you book your appointment online.

If you are registering by declaration, you will need to contact the district in which the birth occurred to obtain birth certificates after you have attended your appointment.

If your child’s birth has already been registered and you wish to apply for a birth certificate from the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office, see obtaining a copy of a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate.