Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
So what do you need to do now? The information below explains what you need to do to register your baby's birth and should answer most of your questions. If you do have any questions or if there is anything you are unsure about after reading these details please feel free to call the Register Office.
- Who is able to register the birth?
- What information needs to be supplied to the Registrar?
- Obtaining birth certificates
How quickly can the birth be registered?
It is possible to register your baby as soon as the birth has taken place. Anyone who is qualified to be the informant will be able to make an appointment to attend this office during our opening hours and register the birth. Please note however that it is a legal requirement for your baby’s birth to be registered within 42 days.
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.
If you wish to attend this Register Office to register the birth then we have an appointment system in operation. You can make an appointment by contacting the Register Office during our normal opening hours.
If it is not convenient for you to attend this office to register the birth of your child then you may go to any other Register Office in England or Wales to register by ‘Birth Declaration’. When you attend that Register Office then the Registrar who sees you will simply record the relevant information and act as an intermediary, passing the details to the Registrar at Chelsea by post.
In this case, any birth certificates you require will be sent in the post. If you wish to obtain any other certificates in addition to the ‘free’ one then you will need to enclose the appropriate payment of £4.00 per certificate (certificate fee valid only at the time of registration).
Please remember however that such arrangements rely on many different organisations and services (postal services, part time register offices etc.) and this will inevitably delay the arrangements you may wish to make with regards to passports, family allowances, etc. However, please remember that you have a legal obligation to register the birth within 42 days.
Important – If you wish to register the birth by declaration then for future reference 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.
The birth must be registered by a qualified informant and this person must be one of the following:
- if the baby’s parents were married to each other at the time of the birth then both 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 fathers details at that time. However, 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 normally 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.
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 and, regrettably, a friend cannot register on your behalf.
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
- whether the baby is a boy or a girl
- 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
Naturally, it is most important that the information recorded in the register is correct. If a mistake is made in the spelling of a name or surname, it may not be possible to make a correction. If it is possible to correct the mistake then it will cause you some considerable trouble (and possibly expense) to effect. Please bear in mind that the Registrar will be making every effort to ensure that you “get it right the first time” and a few extra minutes spent double-checking the registration details could prevent a great deal of time and effort later on.
Obtaining birth certificates
You will be issued with a ‘short’ birth certificate free of charge at the time of the registration. This only happens once so if you re-register at a later time you will not be given another free copy.
- the short birth certificate is suitable for claiming ‘Child Benefit’ and it shows the baby’s names and surname, sex, date of birth, and the registration district and sub-district
- the full birth certificate is suitable for applying for a passport and it shows all the above details plus the parents’ details and the exact place of birth
You may purchase as many certificates as you like at the time of registration for a fee of £4.00 per certificate. The day after the registration the price of these certificates will increase to £7.00 until such time as the Register has been completed. Once the Register has been completed and deposited in the vault, then the cost of any further certificates that you may wish to purchase will be £10.00.
Please remember that if you chose to go to another Register Office and make a birth declaration, the free ‘short’ certificate will be forwarded on to you from Chelsea once the birth has been registered here. If you wish to obtain any other certificates in addition to the ‘free’ one then you will need to enclose the appropriate payment in the form of a postal order made payable to 'RBKC' (£4.00 per certificate at the time of registration). The certificates will then be forwarded on to you from Chelsea once the birth has been registered here. Important: Copies of birth certificates are only available from the office where the birth is registered and not where the birth declaration was made.
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.