When to register a birth

By law you must register a baby's birth within 42 days. The registration itself will take approximately 30 minutes. 

Registering a birth after the 42 days

If a birth occurs in England and Wales and has not been registered within 12 months of its occurrence it is possible for the late registration of the birth to be authorised by the Registrar General provided certain requirements can be met.

Before the Registrar General can authorise a late registration of a birth they must be satisfied by documentary evidence, of the child's exact date and place of birth. There must also be a person available who can attend any Register Office in England and Wales to give the information for the registration. More information about registering a birth and who can do this is available in WHO CAN REGISTER A BIRTH?

To apply for the late registration of an unregistered birth in England, Application for Late Registration (Form C45) should be completed. For an unregistered birth in Wales. Application for Late Registration (C45W) should be completed.

The application form explains in more detail the information you will need to provide and any documents you may need to send, with the completed application form, to enable a late registration of your birth to be considered.

Forms are available from the Corrections & Re-registration Section at the General Register Office on 0300 123 1837.

The completed application form and the documents requested should be sent to the Corrections & Re-registration Section. If you have any questions please contact this section.

No fee is charged for authorising a late registration however, if you want to buy certificates, in addition to the short certificate issued free on registration, the normal certificate fees will apply. You can also obtain certificates locally from the Register Office where the birth was registered.