Changing or correcting a birth record

How to change a name or make a correction on your child's birth certificate.

You must re-register your child’s birth if you want to change their birth record details. There is a fee payable for some changes and you may also want to purchase a new certificate. Please see our fees page for further details.

If an unmarried mother gives the baby the father's surname and then changes her mind, this may only be changed in certain circumstances such as by deed poll. The original birth record will not be changed. Please see a solicitor for advice.

Re-registration following the natural parents' marriage

If the parents were not married at the time of baby's birth but subsequently marry each other, it is the parent's legal duty to apply to re-register the child. Application form (LA1) to re-register a child's birth following the marriage of the natural parents is available from GOV.UK.

Re-registering a child born to two female parents

Authorisation is required from the General Register Office to re-register a child born to two female parents. To obtain more information and the required application form, please contact us.

Adding the natural father's details

An application can be made to add the father's details in the register if these were not recorded at the time of registration.

If the parents were not married at the time of baby's birth, see the application form (GRO 185) from GOV.UK to re-register a child's birth and add the natural father's details.

Changing the surname

If you wish to change the child's surname, it can be changed to the same as the mother, the natural father or any combination of the two as long as both parents agree to the change. Where the child is 16 years or over, their written consent will be required. You cannot change a child's forenames at re-registration. A change of surname may be allowed after re-registration and is subject to certain criteria being satisfied.

Change a child's forename

You can change a child’s forename within the first 12 months of registration. Please contact us for an application form. There is a fee payable for this service. Please see our fees page for further details.

Correcting a birth or death registration

If you have discovered an error in a birth or death record, it may be possible to arrange for the entry to be corrected. A correction can only be made when the original information is wrong.

A correction cannot be used to show new information because circumstances have changed since the registration.

The type of correction required depends entirely on what information needs to be changed. Some errors can be authorised by the register office holding the register; others will require authorisation by the General Register Office. You should first contact us to discuss the error you have found.

From 1 November 2017, there will be a fee payable if you wish to apply for a correction. Please see our fees page for further details.

Application forms and further guidance for correcting a record are available from GOV.UK here.

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