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Birth - registering
By law you must register a baby's birth within 42 days. The registration will take approximately 20 minutes and is free. Upon registration, the registrar will give you a short birth certificate showing the baby's name, sex and date of birth.
The short birth certificate is required by HM Revenue & Customs to pay Child Benefit if you are eligible to apply for this. If you are going to apply for a passport for your baby, then you will need a full certificate which includes the parent's details. This can be provided at the time of registration, please tell the registrar that you would like a full certificate when you visit. There will be a charge for the full birth certificate.
We also provide a service called Tell Us Once to help you tell the people who need to know about your baby's birth, such as government departments and local council services.
How can I make an appointment?
Before you make your appointment, you need to look at the information pages on Tell Us Once. If you take up this service, an extra 10 minutes will be added to your appointment time.
You can also make an appointment by calling or e-mailing any of our registration offices. We will check the availability of appointments for you and offer an alternative if necessary. Contact details and opening times are provided below.
Who can register a birth?
If the mother and father were married to each other at the time of the child's birth then either parent may register.
If the mother and father were not married to each other at the time of the child's birth, the mother alone may register the birth, but the father's details can be entered in the register if he is also present at the time of registration. Alternatively, either the mother or father may make a statutory declaration which should be produced by the other parent to the registrar (for further information contact the registrar). If the father's details are not entered at the time of registration, it may be possible for this to be done at a later date.
If you are a same-sex couple and wish to register your child's birth, please contact your local registration office for more information.
Important information for mothers
If you are not married to your baby's father you do not have to include the father's details in the register entry. However, including the father's details automatically gives him joint parental responsibility rights. For clarification on what this means, please contact the registrar. If you are unable to register the baby's birth for any reason, another person may be legally entitled to act as informant. Your registrar will be able to inform you who is eligible.
Where to register a birth
You may visit any registration office in England or Wales. Registering the birth outside the area where it occurred will result in a short delay in receiving the birth certificate.
If the baby was born in North Yorkshire, you can register your baby at any registration office in North Yorkshire. You will need an appointment to register.
If your baby was born outside North Yorkshire e.g. in the City of York or in Leeds, you can make what is known as a 'declaration' of the birth at one of our offices. Please note that this will result in a short delay in receiving the birth certificate which will be issued by the other local authority once we have passed the information to them and you have paid for the certificate.
Registration staff also attend other locations across the County and are available at some maternity units.
How we can help you?
When you have a new baby, there are lots of things that need to be done. One of these things is contacting the government departments and local council services that need to be told about the birth. Until now, you had to contact all of them individually.
When you register the birth of your baby, you can choose to let us inform government departments and local council services about your change of circumstances through a service called Tell Us Once. This means that you won't have to send copies of the birth certificate in the post.
Choosing a name
Once the surname has been entered it may not always be possible to change it. Also, please ensure that you inform the registrar of the correct spelling of any names you chose. If you are thinking about choosing a name that is not in common usage and you want advice, the registrar will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Arranging a baby naming ceremony
When families are celebrating the birth of a new baby they often feel the need for a special occasion to gather together their family and friends. One way that this can be done is by holding a civil naming ceremony, designed to meet the needs of the family. We will be happy to undertake baby naming ceremonies at either the registration office or other suitable venue. Please ask us for further details.
Electronic booking system - frequently asked questions