Registering a birth

Registering a birth

If your baby was born in the borough, you’ll need to register the birth within 42 days from the date of birth. You can book an appointment to register a birth using our online booking form. You must decide on your baby's full name before the appointment.

How to register a birth?

Birth’s can only be registered in the district where the baby was born.

If you are unable to go to the registration district where the birth occurred, you can go to any other register office in England or Wales to make a declaration.

A declaration means you can go to another register office who will take details of the birth, and send it to the correct registration district on your behalf. If you choose to do this, they will post the free short birth certificate to you, and you should allow a few days to receive the document.

If your baby was born in the borough of Lewisham, or you would like to give details of the birth by declaration, you can book an appointment to register the birth using our online form

Who can register a birth?

If parents are married to each other either parent may register the birth.

If parents are unmarried, the mother can register the baby’s birth on her own, but the father’s details will not be included on the birth certificate.

The details of both parents can be registered on the birth certificate if:

  • Both parents attend and sign the birth register together
  • a parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form. Either parent can present the signed form at the time of registration
  • there is a parental responsibility agreement in force, or either parent has obtained an appropriate court order. This can be presented at the time of registration.

If parents are unable to register the birth, we will arrange for the registration to be completed by whoever is best able to do so.

For example:

  • the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
  • someone who was present at the birth
  • someone who is responsible for the child.

What documents do I need?

To help ensure that the information recorded is accurate, it would be useful if you could bring at least one proof of identification with you to the appointment. Accurate records reduce the need for corrections in the future, and any inconvenience and potential costs that may be incurred.

Birth certificates

After the birth has been registered, we will issue a free short birth certificate showing the name, sex, date and district of birth. You can also purchase full version birth certificate’s before you register the birth when booking your appointment online.

For most purposes (for example, applying for a passport for your child) you will need to buy a full birth certificate, which is a complete copy of the register entry.

Cost of full birth certificates

  • £4 each at the time of registration
  • £7–£10 each after registration depending on time period.

You can buy additional short and full version certificates when you register the birth, or at any time afterwards.

Related pages


Register Office
368 Lewisham High Street
Se13 6lq