Registering a Birth
If you or your partner have recently had a baby, you will need to register the birth as you will require proof of the birth for various purposes, including claiming child benefit and registering your baby with a doctor.
When and where should I register?
By law, your baby’s birth must be registered within 42 days of the date of birth.
If the birth took place in Northern Ireland it can be registered in any District Registration Office within Northern Ireland.
What information will I need?
You will need to provide the following to register a birth:
- a birth registration form filled in by the person registering the birth
- full name, surname and sex of the baby
- date and place of birth
- full names, addresses, dates of birth and occupations of the baby’s mother and father.
Please note that a registration cannot easily be changed once completed. Registration forms can be downloaded here: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/birth-registration-form
Who can register?
- the mother or father of the baby (if married to each other)
- the father and mother (if unmarried)
If the mother or father are unable to register the birth, the following are also qualified to register the birth;
- grandfather, grandmother, uncle or aunt (please check with the Registrar)
- occupier of the premises where the baby was born
- any person present at the child’s birth
- any person who has charge of the child.
In the case of a child born to an unmarried couple, the details of the father may only be recorded if both parents attend and sign the registration form together or a declaration of paternity is produced. More information about this is available from the Registration Office or NI Direct website
What will I receive?
Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will give you one free short birth certificate and an infant registration form (HS123) to register with your family doctor and obtain your child’s medical card. Birth certificates, either long or short, can be purchased at the time of registration for £8 per copy.
The Registrar’s Office can also provide help and advice about the following issues:
- re-registering a birth, for example, if you want to add the father’s name after the initial registration
- recording name changes
- ordering historical birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.
Detailed information about all these topics is available from the NI Direct website.