Congratulations on your new baby! Here is the information you need about a small but important task in the weeks ahead: registering the birth of your new baby.
Sections in this guide (click title to view)
- 1. Registering the birth of your baby
- 2. Alternative ways to register your baby's birth (register by declaration)
- 3. Same-sex female couples
- 4. Child benefit application form checking service
- 5. Make an appointment
- 6. Registration of the birth and death of your baby
1. Registering the birth of your baby
When to register your baby's birth
When your baby is born, you must register their birth with the local registrar where the birth took place within 42 days.
It is important that parents do not wait more than a week or two from the date of birth to book an appointment to register the birth.
What you need to bring to your appointment
- Passports or valid ID at the time of birth
- The discharge notes or red book from the hospital
What we need to register your baby
Information about the child:
- the date and place of birth; if the birth is one of twins, triplets etc the times of each child's birth will also be needed.
- the sex of the child
- the first names(s) and surname (family name) in which it is intended that the child will be brought up
Information about the mother
- first name(s) and surname (family name)
- maiden surname if married or has been married
- date and place of birth
- current or last employment at the time of the baby's birth
- address at the time of birth - the address that you usually live at
- date of marriage, if married to the child's father at the time of birth
- number of previous children
If the father's details are to be included in the register, we need to know:
- first name(s) and surname (family name)
- date and place of birth
- job at the time of the child's birth or if not employed at that time the last job
- address at the time of birth
Please remember that the information you give us is very important and should be correct. You will be asked to check the information before you sign the register. Make sure you do this carefully. If mistakes are made for example in the spelling of names, it is difficult to change them later.
As of 1 November, the General Register Office has introduced new charges for some of our services. If a correction is requested after you sign the register you will be charged. Please see the new fees on the correction page. These fees will still apply even if the registration occurred before November 2017.
Who can register the birth
If the parents are married at the time of the birth or conception, the mother or father can register the birth on their own and include both parents' details.
If the parents aren't married, the details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if they do one of the following:
- sign the birth register together
- the parent who is unable to attend the registry office in person must complete the statutory declaration of parentage form certified by an appropriate body. The other parent takes the signed form to register the birth
- either parent goes to register the birth with a court order giving the father parental responsibility.
If the mother isn't married to the father, she can register the birth without including the father's details on the birth certificate. She can then add the details at a later date, when the father can be present to sign the register page. This is called a re-registration of a birth.
Cost of certificates
- You may purchase as many certificates as you like at the time of registration for a fee of £4 each.
- Further copies may be ordered at a later date for an additional charge by applying online.
2. Alternative ways to register your baby's birth (register by declaration)
If your baby was born in Lambeth, you should register the birth with us by booking an appointment. But if you can't get to us, you can give the details to any Register Office in England and Wales. This is called registering a birth by declaration.
The Register Office you visit will send the information onto us and we will complete the registration. After payment is taken we will send you the certificate in the post.
Visit the General Register Office website to search for your local office. You may need to book an appointment to visit the register office and it is advised to contact them first.
If you require the full birth certificate and any additional copies please make a cheque or postal order payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth' for the amount of £4 for each extra certificate (certificate price at the time of registration). You will need to provide this cheque to the local register office at the time of giving the details of the birth . The registrar will then enclose this cheque with the information that is posted to Lambeth that is required to register the birth.
For example if your baby was born at Kings College Hospital but you visit Wandsworth register office. You will need to provide the details of the birth to Wandsworth, and provide a cheque or postal order to Wandsworth but made out to the 'London Borough of Lambeth'. Wandsworth register office will post the details of the birth and the cheque to Lambeth Register Office. Lambeth Register Office will register the birth. Lambeth will post the short birth certificate, and any additional copies they have received payment for to your address.
The Lambeth Register Office is the busiest registration service in London so it is not uncommon for parents to go to a more local register office to where they live to make a declaration of the birth.
3. Same-sex female couples
Female couples can include both their names on their child’s birth certificate when registering the birth - the rules are different depending on whether or not they’re in a civil partnership.
Married or civil partners
Either woman can register the birth on her own if all of the following are true:
- the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment
- the mother was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment
unmarried or non-civil partners
When a mother isn't in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child’s second parent if both women:
- are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
- have made a ‘parenthood agreement’
However, for both parents’ details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:
- register the birth jointly
- complete a Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth
- get a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth
4. Child benefit application form checking service
During your birth registration appointment we can also check your Child Benefit Claim Form (CH2). We will check that you have filled it in correctly and, if so, we will authorise it and send it to the Department of Work and Pensions. Please note that this is only a check and send service and we cannot guarantee the outcome of your application.
If you would like to apply for Child Benefit, you will need to complete the application form. You can print a copy of the form and bring it to your appointment, or you can get a copy of the form from the Register Office when you come to your appointment. You can use these guidance notes to help you complete your application.
Please make sure you have completed the form before your appointment. We are unable to check your form if you have not provided your National Insurance (NI) Number and bank details.
5. Make an appointment
We offer appointments from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. The Register Office is closed on the first Wednesday of every month until 1pm.
We will aim to see you within 10 minutes of your appointment time, if you arrive on time.
6. Registration of the birth and death of your baby
On the very sad occasion that the parents need to register both the birth and death of their baby. Only one appointment is necessary, as we will complete both registrations together.
You will need to book an appointment to register a death.