You will need to register a birth within 42 days by making an appointment at one of our register offices. The birth must be registered in the district where it occurred.
If this isn't possible, you can go to any register office in England and Wales and a birth declaration will be taken. The birth details will then be sent to the correct register office, who will post a short birth certificate to you.
Making an appointment
You can make an appointment to register the birth at any of our register offices by calling 0345 600 6400 or register online here
When you make your appointment, we will ask you if you would like to use our ‘tell us once’ service. See below for more information.
Register offices in Northumberland
Who can register the birth?
If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of birth, then either can register. If they were not married, the mother alone may register the birth.
The father’s details can be added if he is present, or if both mother and father make a statutory declaration. It is possible to add the father’s details by re-registration at a later date if both parents agree.
Important information for unmarried couples
The law has made it easier for unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility, providing both parents register the birth together.
Parental responsibility gives you important legal rights, treating you as the child’s parent. Without that, you have no right to be involved with decisions affecting your child's life, for example where they live.
If you have any queries, please call us on 0345 600 6400.
What you need to bring with you
It will take between 20 to 30 minutes to register the birth. If available, please bring the following:
- both parents’ birth certificates
- parents’ marriage certificate, if applicable
You will be asked for:
- baby's date and place of birth
- time of birth, if a multiple birth
- sex of the baby
- baby's full forename(s) and surname
- parents’ forename(s) and surname and, if applicable, the mother's maiden name
- parents’ occupation at the time of the birth or, if not employed, their last occupation
- town and county of parent's birth
- parents’ address
It is not necessary for the baby to be there. There is no charge to register the birth but you may wish to buy copy certificates. Please see below for details.
Once the birth has been registered, you will be asked by the registrar to check that the details you have given are correct. It is important that you do this before you sign the register page. If a mistake is found at a later date and you require a correction to be made, a fee of up to £90 is payable.
Other information we may ask for
The following information is required under the Population (Statistics) Act. The details are not entered into the register but are used confidentially for statistical information by the registrar general.
- parents’ date and place of birth
- date of parents’ marriage, if applicable
- whether the mother has been married more than once
- number of previous live and still births
Tell us once service
This service helps you inform the necessary people about the birth. Simply tell us and we’ll pass the information on to other government departments and local authority services.
: this service is currently not available at the Sure Start children’s centres.
How to use this service
It’s important to provide the relevant information to government departments and parts of the local council about the birth. You should do this as soon as possible, to ensure your benefits are not affected.
Our service aims to make this process easier for you. Tell us once and we’ll pass the information on without you having to send a copy of the birth certificate in the post. When you make an appointment to register the birth, we will ask you if want to use the ‘tell us once’ service.
Information you will need:
- the national insurance number of the person(s) named on the birth register and/or their date of birth, address and telephone number
- if living in the same household, include the partner of the person named on the birth register, along with their national insurance number and/or date of birth and information about any benefits they may be receiving
- details of any benefits the person(s) named on the birth register are receiving or have applied for
- other information about the people named on the birth certificate. You will need to get their permission to tell us this before you use the service
- your completed child benefit form, which will be sent off by the registrar without the need for an accompanying birth certificate
It is still your responsibility to make sure any organisation paying you a benefit has correct and up-to-date information.
All information will be treated securely and confidentially. We are committed to ensuring your information is protected. Please request if you would like to see our full privacy statement.
Who we will contact
If requested, we will contact the following:
- Department for Work and Pensions
- housing benefit office
- council tax benefit office
- library services
- children’s services (family information services)
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- child benefit
The registrar can help fast track child tax credit or working tax credit applications with HMRC if you are receiving benefits relating to your income.
The organisations who are contacted will use the information to update benefits, credits or help start up services. They may use this information in other ways, but only as the law allows.
The information you give us will be used to work out benefits and entitlements, so it is your responsibility to make sure it is complete and up-to-date.
If your circumstances change, or you realise you have given us the wrong information, you will need to contact the relevant departments yourself to correct this.
If you wish to purchase a full birth certificate showing the parents details, they are available at the time of the registration for £4 per certificate.
Order additional copies of the birth certificate
Up to one month after the registration, the cost for additional certificates is £7 and £10 after that.
Birth certificate amendment
A baby's forename(s) can be changed once during the 12 months since birth, provided the child has not been baptised with the original name. There is a £40 fee for any forename changes. Please contact your local register office for advice.
Northumberland registrars keep the original births, deaths and marriages registers for the county from 1837 to the present day.
A naming ceremony is a non-religious way of celebrating your child's birth or welcoming an adopted or stepchild into the family. Ceremonies can be for a child of any age.