When should I register a birth?
Any birth which occurs in Scotland must be registered within 21 days. The law allows a birth to be registered in any registration district in Scotland.
How do I make an appointment?
Call our Customer Services on 0300 123 4510 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or call into any of our community hubs to arrange your appointment. If you need to change or cancel your appointment please contact us as soon as possible.
Who may register a birth?
A child's mother or father/parent has a duty to register the birth. Where the parents are married to each other, only one parent need visit the registrar and either the mother or the father/parent may choose to register the birth. In the case of the death or inability of the mother or father/parent the following persons can register the birth:
- Any relative of the mother or father/parent, if he or she is married to or in a civil partnership with the mother, being a relative who has knowledge of the birth;
- The occupier of the premises in which the child was, to the knowledge of that occupier, born;
- Any person present at the birth;
- Any person having charge of the child.
A father who is not married to the mother can only register the birth and be named in the register as the father if:
- He jointly signs the register with the mother;
- He and the mother sign declarations (these are available from the registrar) that he is the father; or
- A court declares that he is the father and the mother registers the birth.
If the father’s name is not to appear on the child’s birth certificate, the mother should register the birth alone.
A woman who is not married to, or in a civil partnership with, the mother can only register the birth and be named in the register as parent if the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 apply to them and:
- She jointly signs the register with the mother;
- She and the mother sign declarations (these are available from the registrar) that she is the parent; or
- A court declares that she is the parent and the mother registers the birth.
Information on who has parental responsibilities and rights for a child is available in the Scottish Government publication Family matters: family law and young people in Scotland on the Scottish Government website.
What documents should I take to the registrar?
You should take with you:
- The card or letter issued by the hospital;
- The marriage or civil partnership certificate of the child's parents.
Do not worry if any of these documents are not available as the registrar can still proceed to register the birth.
What documents will you receive?
When the registration is complete, the registrar will provide you with the following documents:
- Abbreviated extract of the birth - issued free of charge
- Form EC58 (to register your child with your doctor) - issued free of charge
- Full extracts of the birth may be obtained on payment of the current statutory fee.
What if the birth occurs abroad?
You must register the birth according to the regulations in the country where the child was born. You will be given a local birth certificate.
This local birth certificate should be accepted in the UK. You might need to have it translated and certified if it is not in English.
You may also be able to register the birth with the UK authorities. You don’t have to do this but it means that a record of the birth will be sent to the National Records of Scotland and you can order a consular birth registration certificate from New Register House.
More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/register-a-birth
Tell us Once
We offer a Tell Us Once Service, which allows the Registrar to contact local council services and government agencies on your behalf to let them know about the birth of your baby.
- Tell Us Once - birth leaflet
- For further advice or to make an appointment contact any of our Registration Offices.