Birth Registration

A birth must be registered within 21 days. In exceptional circumstances a short postponement can be arranged in consultation with the registrars. A birth can be registered anywhere in Scotland.

Married parents

Either parent can register the birth.

Unmarried parents

Both parents should register the birth. A father’s name will only be recorded on the birth certificate if he is present when registering.

Same-sex female parents

Married/civil partners: Either parent can register the birth on her own if all of the following are true:

  • you had your child by donor insemination or fertility treatment; and 
  • you were married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment.

Unmarried/non-civil-partners: Having made a parenthood agreement both parents can be registered on the birth certificate if you:

Same-sex male parents

Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.

For circumstances where both parents cannot attend together, please contact the registrar.

Documents you should bring when registering a birth:

  • the birth card issued by the hospital giving the child's date and time of birth
  • the parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable)

Please note that the registration can still proceed if these certificates are unavailable.

Documents issued when we register a birth:

  • birth certificate (abbreviated) which shows the child's name, date and place of birth (free of charge)
  • form EC58 containing the child's National Health Service Number which should be submitted to the family doctor
  • a full birth certificate can be purchased for a statutory fee.

When a birth occurs abroad

Register the birth according to local regulations in the country concerned and obtain a birth certificate. You may also be able to register the birth with the British Consul in that country for a fee. However, you are under no obligation to do so. A record of the birth will be sent to Scotland and you will thereafter be able to obtain a copy from National Records of Scotland.

Tell Us Once Service

The Tell Us Once service will be offered to you at the time of registering a birth. We pass on information of the birth of your child to other relevant departments within the council and government, such as:

  • Department for Work and Pensions – Job Centre Plus  
  • Housing Benefit Office
  • Council Tax Benefit Office
  • Library Services
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit


 

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