Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
So what do you need to do now? The information below explains
what you need to do to register your baby's birth and should answer
most of your questions. If you do have any questions or if there is
anything you are unsure about after reading these details please
feel free to call the Register Office.
How quickly can the birth be registered?
It is possible to register your baby as soon as the birth has
taken place. Anyone who is qualified to be the informant will be
able to attend this office during our opening hours and register
the birth. Please note however that it is a legal requirement for
your baby’s birth to be registered within 42 days.
Where can the birth be
A birth can only be registered in the registration district in
which it took place. If your baby was born in the Chelsea and
Westminster Hospital or at any other address located within the
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea then the birth must be
registered at the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. You may
do this in person here at the Chelsea Old Town or by
‘declaration’ at any other Register Office in
England or Wales.
If you wish to attend this Register Office to register the birth
then we have an appointment system in operation to minimise your
waiting time. You can make an appointment by contacting the
Register Office during our normal opening hours.
If it is not convenient for you to attend this office to
register the birth of your child then you may go to any other
Register Office in England or Wales to register by ‘Birth
Declaration’. When you attend that Register Office then the
Registrar who sees you will simply record the relevant information
and act as an intermediary, passing the details to the Registrar at
Chelsea by post.
In this case, any birth certificates you require will be sent in
the post. If you wish to obtain any other certificates in addition
to the ‘free’ one then you will need to enclose the appropriate
payment of £4.00 per certificate (certificate fee valid only at the
time of registration).
Please remember however that such arrangements rely on many
different organisations and services (postal services, part time
register offices etc.) and this will inevitably delay the
arrangements you may wish to make with regards to passports, family
allowances, etc. However, please remember that you have a
legal obligation to register the birth within 42 days.
Important – If you wish to register the birth
by declaration then for future reference please remember that
copies of birth certificates are only available from the office
where the birth is registered and not where the birth declaration
Who is able to register the
The birth must be registered by a qualified informant and this
person must be one of the following:
- if the baby’s parents were married to each other at the time of
the birth then both the mother and father are qualified informants.
One of them may attend on their own or they both may attend
- if the baby’s parents were not married to each other at the
time of the birth then only the mother is the qualified informant.
The father will not be able to register the birth on his own. If
the father wishes his details to be included in the register then
he will have to attend with the mother at the time of registration.
If the father is not able to attend at the time of registration
then the mother will not be able to include the fathers details at
that time. However, it may be possible to enter his details at a
later date. If the mother is not married to the baby’s father she
is not normally obliged to include the father’s details in the
- in certain circumstances another person may qualify as an
informant but this is a very rare occurrence. If you think that
this may be the case then you should contact the Register Office
for further advice.
If English is not your first language and you would like someone
to help you with the registration, please feel free to ask a
relative or friend to accompany you to the Register Office.
However, please remember that the birth must be registered by a
qualified informant and, regrettably, a friend cannot register on
What information needs to
be supplied to the Registrar?
When you attend to register the birth, the Registrar will need
to know the following information:
Information about the baby
- the date and place of your baby’s birth. If the birth is a
multiple one (twins, triplets, etc.) then the time of each baby’s
birth will also be required
- whether the baby is a boy or a girl
- the forenames and surname in which it is intended that the baby
will be brought up
Information about the father
(Where these details are to be entered in the register).
- the father’s forenames and surname
- the father’s date and place of birth (town and country if born
in the UK; country if born overseas)
- the father’s occupation at the time of the baby’s birth or, if
he was not employed at that time, the occupation he last
- the father’s address (if he is not married to the mother and
not living at the same address)
Information about the mother
- the mother’s forenames and surname (a maiden surname will also
be required if the mother is, or ever has been, married)
- the mother’s date and place of birth (town and country if born
in the UK; country if born overseas)
- the mother’s usual address at the time of birth
- the mother’s occupation (if the Mother is no longer working but
had been employed at any time before the birth this occupation can
be entered in the register if the mother so wishes)
- the total number of previous children
- if the mother was married to the baby’s father at the time of
the birth the registrar will need to know the date of that
Naturally, it is most important that the information recorded in
the register is correct. If a mistake is made in the spelling of a
name or surname, it may not be possible to make a correction. If it
is possible to correct the mistake then it will cause you some
considerable trouble (and possibly expense) to effect. Please bear
in mind that the Registrar will be making every effort to ensure
that you “get it right the first time” and a few extra minutes
spent double-checking the registration details could prevent a
great deal of time and effort later on.
Obtaining birth certificates
You will be issued with a ‘short’ birth certificate free of
charge at the time of the registration. This only happens once so
if you re-register at a later time you will not be given another
- the short birth certificate is suitable for claiming ‘Child
Benefit’ and it shows the baby’s names and surname, sex, date of
birth, and the registration district and sub-district
- the full birth certificate is suitable for applying for a
passport and it shows all the above details plus the parents’
details and the exact place of birth
You may purchase as many certificates as you like at the time of
registration for a fee of £4.00 per certificate. The day after the
registration the price of these certificates will increase to £7.00
until such time as the Register has been completed. Once the
Register has been completed and deposited in the vault, then the
cost of any further certificates that you may wish to purchase will
Please remember that if you chose to go to another Register
Office and make a birth declaration, the free ‘short’ certificate
will be forwarded on to you from Chelsea once the birth has been
registered here. If you wish to obtain any other certificates in
addition to the ‘free’ one then you will need to enclose the
appropriate payment in the form of a postal order made
payable to 'RBKC' (£4.00 per certificate at the time of
registration). The certificates will then be forwarded on to you
from Chelsea once the birth has been registered here.
Important: Copies of birth certificates are only
available from the office where the birth is registered and not
where the birth declaration was made.
If your child’s birth has already been registered and you wish
to apply for a birth certificate from the Kensington and Chelsea
Register Office, see Obtaining a copy of a
birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate.