Registering a birth
Information about registering a new birth.
Do I have to register a birth?
Yes - legally, any baby born in England or Wales must be registered within 42 days of the birth.
Where can I register a birth?
If the baby is born in County Durham, you can register with any of our registration offices.
If the baby is born outside of County Durham, we can take the details of the birth (a declaration), but have to pass your information on to the place where the baby was born. They will then post a certificate to you - we can't directly issue you with a certificate. If the baby was born outside of England or Wales, see Gov.uk: births abroad.
Who can register a birth?
- baby's mother
- baby's father: may attend alone to register the birth only if he is married to the mother when the baby is born
If the mother and father are not married to each other at the time of the baby's birth, the father's details can only be entered in the register if both parents attend to register the birth.
You can choose to add the father's name later.
What will I need to register a birth?
You will be asked questions about baby and also to confirm your own information.
You will need to bring some form of ID to help confirm your details (eg passport, driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, council tax bill, change of name deed).
How much does it cost?
Registering the birth is free. A short birth certificate showing the baby's date of birth and name or a full birth certificate showing parent's details are available for a fee. If you want extra copies, you can buy extra certificate copies from us.