Births

Births

Here you will find out how to register a birth and order copy certificates.

Births

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.

Please note: 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.

Your responsibilities
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.
Birth certificates
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. Historical searches
Northumberland registrars keep the original births, deaths and marriages registers for the county from 1837 to the present day. Naming ceremonies
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.

Order a copy certificate

Each register office within Northumberland keeps the original registers for the county from 1837 to the present day.

To apply for your copy certificate, you will need to give us specific details and pay the correct fee.

 

The information we need
The birth, death, marriage or civil partnership must have taken place in Northumberland between 1837 and the present day. We will need the following information:

Marriage
  • name of church, chapel, register office, or licensed venue
  • date of wedding
  • name of both the parties married
Birth
  • where and when the birth took place
  • full name of person
  • supporting information, e.g. parents’ names, to identify entries with the same name
Death
  • name of the deceased
  • date of death
  • place of death
Civil partnership
  • name of both of the partners
  • date of partnership
  • where the civil partnership ceremony took place 
How to apply
If you have all the information we require, you can order a copy certificate in the following ways:
  • Online here.
  • Phone: call 0345 600 6400 and make sure you have a credit/debit card handy.
  • In person: at County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF (between 9:00am and 3:00pm) where you can complete the application form and pay the relevant fee.
  • Post: complete the relevant application form (see below) and return it, enclosing a stamped address envelope and a cheque or postal order made payable to 'Northumberland County Council.'
Please post any application forms and cheques or postal orders to:

County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF
Application forms
Fees & timescales
The current fee per certificate is:
  • £10 (standard service - to be collected from any main register office)
  • £12 (standard service - to be posted)
  • £20 (priority service - to be posted first class same day or collected same day from County Hall Morpeth or any main register office)
  • £25 (priority service - guaranteed next day delivery for orders placed before 2pm Mon-Thurs). A signature will be required on delivery.)
  • £30 (priority service - guaranteed next day delivery for orders placed before 2pm (Fri). A signature will be required on delivery.)
Please note that if you require additional copies of a certificate at the registration appointment, a fee of £4 is payable per certificate. If additonal copies are required after that time, but before the register closes, then a fee of £7 per certificate is payable.
 
Timescales:
  • standard service (UK) – orders are processed within five working days and posted second class
  • priority service (UK) – orders placed before 2pm will be processed on the same day (Mon-Fri) and posted first class, orders after 2pm will be processed within 24 hours of receipt
  • requests from outside the UK - please allow 28 days for delivery 
How to pay:
  • Online: when you apply for your certificate.
  • Phone: 0345 600 6400 using a credit or debit card.
  • In person: at County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. 
  • Post: send a cheque payable to ‘Northumberland County Council’ to County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.
  • For applications from abroad, payments should be in pound sterling by a cheque drawn with a UK address, accompanied by international reply paid coupons.
Collection points for certificates:
  • County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF
  • Register Office, Hexham House, Gilesgate, Hexham, NE46 3NH
  • Register Office, The Library Building, Walkergate, Berwick Upon Tweed, TD15 1DB
  • Register Office, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, NE66 1HW
 
Help locating a record
If the entry is not held at our register office, we will try to advise you of the district that may hold the entry.

Some marriage registers used by the Church of England or other places of worship may not be completed and will therefore remain at the church. In these cases, we can supply the name and address of the person who holds the marriage entry.

Please make sure the birth, death, marriage or civil partnership you are researching took place in Northumberland since 1837.
Historical searches
We can undertake a search of our records for you if you do not have all the information you need to apply for a copy certificate.

The more information you can provide us with, the easier it will be for us to locate the record you are looking for.

It helps if you can tell us any details, including:
  • the name of the person(s) on the record
  • when the event took place (date, quarter, year)
  • where the event took place (e.g. district, church, parish)
  • names of the parents, if known, to identify entries with the same name 
Family history
Are you interested in researching your family tree? Whether you have started the research or don’t have a clue where to begin, our experienced registrars are here to help.

Once we receive your application form and payment, we will send you a confirmation receipt with an expected completion date. If you need the information quickly, you can use our ‘express research service’ for an extra charge.

Please complete the research application form and pay the fee (see above). Make sure you provide your telephone number and email address so we can contact you if we need any extra information.

You can find the family history research application form here

We will either post or email you our results, which will include further research suggestions to help you complete your family tree.

We will also explain how you can purchase copies of birth, death or marriage certificates of your ancestors.

If you already have the details, click here to purchase the relevant certificate

We only hold records of events that occurred in Northumberland but our team can provide application details for those ancestors whose records are held outside the county.
  • Please contact us on 0345 600 6400.
Additional resources
For further information, you may wish to use one of the following services:  
Searching for graves
If you are searching for graves prior to 1900 then please contact the Northumberland County archives service at: If you are searching for a grave after 1900, contact the cemetery you believe the person is buried in. Please note, cemeteries may not have all records as some have been destroyed over the years by fire or floods.

Some older cemeteries, which are now closed, may be managed by parish or town councils.