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Registering a Birth

By law you must register a baby's birth within 42 days.

The registration itself will take approximately 30 minutes. 



What to do if you have not registered the birth within 42 days

Please contact our office so we may assist

Telephone        0300 303 2472




Births can only be registered in the district where the event took place. 

If the birth took place in Cumbria please book as follows:-

1 Online

Please click on the following link to book an appointment.

Click to make an appointment

2 Telephone

Call  0300 303 2472

Calls will be answered Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm

Due to high call volumes you may be required to leave a voice message and a member of staff will return your call as soon as possible.  We recommend booking online if you are able to do so.

3 In Person

We would discourage clients from calling at the office to make an appointment as our staff will be engaged with clients.  This may result in a lengthy wait until someone is able to make an appointment for you.  This is unlikely to be for the same day.  If you wish to do so our service points are listed here:

Cumbria Registration Service Service Points

If the birth occurred outside Cumbria

Please read the guidance in the next section Where do I register a birth?


 If the birth occurred in Cumbria

The birth should be registered in the district in which the birth occurred

To make an appointment.

Click to make an appointment to register a birth

The service points for Cumbria are shown here. 

Cumbria Registration Service Points

If the birth occurred outside Cumbria but within England or Wales

The birth should be registered in the district in which the birth occurred.

If it is not convenient to go to the district where the birth took place, the information for the registration may be given in any Registration Office in England and Wales.

The particulars will be completed on a form of declaration and sent to the district where the birth occurred.

The office who receives the declaration will enter the information in the birth register.

Certificates can be ordered and paid for at a later date by contacting the office where the birth has been entered in the register.

The certificates will be posted to you.

Registering the birth outside the district in which it occurred will result in a delay in receiving the birth certificate.

If the birth occurred outside England or Wales

Please contact The General Register Office for advice on 0300 123 1837

Other information

Where one or both of the parents are not British you should contact the relevant Embassy or Consulate in this country after registering the birth. Any query regarding British Nationality for a child should be directed to the Home Office, Nationality Division, 3rd Floor, Indian Buildings, Water Street, Liverpool, L2 0QN.

The baby does not need to be taken to the registration office to show that the birth has taken place. The local health authority or the hospital where the birth occurred will notify the Registrar of the birth.

If baby's parents are married to each other

If baby's parents are married to each other, they can attend together or either parent can register of their own.

If baby's parents were married at the time of birth, both mother and father automatically have parental responsibility


If baby's parent's are not married to each other

The mother has automatic parental responsibility and may register the birth on her own but is not able to add fathers details

It is generally in your baby's best interests to have the father's details included in the entry.  If this is not possible at the time of registration it may be possible for this to be done at a later date.

Fathers details can only be entered in to the register in the following circumstances:-

Where both mother and father attend together to register the birth


Where father is unable to attend with the mother, it is possible for him to make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which would be produced to the Registrar.  Copies of this form may be obtained from any office in England or Wales.  The mother will also have to make a declaration at the time of registration


In extreme circumstances where the mother is unable to attend the Registration Office with the father, it is possible for her to make a statutory declaration acknowledging the fathers paternity, which the father should then produce to the Registrar.  He will also have to make a declaration at the time of Registration


Where mother and father have made a parental responsibility agreement or either of you has obtained an appropriate court order this should be produced to the Registrar and the birth registered by either of you to include the father's details.

 **If you and your female partner are the baby's parents, as provided for by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, the references above to father and marriage should be read as meaning female partner and civil partnership or marriage respectively**

Other people who may register births:

Although the majority of births are registered by the parents, sometimes neither the mother or the father are able to do this. In these circumstances, the registrar will arrange for the registration to be completed by whichever of the following people is best able to do so:                     

        the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born

        a person who was present at the birth

        a person who is responsible for the child

The right to be responsible for your child

Since 1 December 2003 the law has made it easier for unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility, for both parents to register the birth of your baby together.

Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights as well as responsibilities. Without it you don't have any right to be involved in decisions such as where they live, their education, religion or medical treatment. With parental responsibility, you are treated in law as the child's parent, and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.

Unlike mothers and married fathers, if you are not married to your baby's mother you do not automatically have parental responsibility for them.

Before this change, you could only gain parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother, signing an official agreement with the mother or getting a court order. You can still get responsibility in these ways - you might want to think about this if you have other children.

The Registrar will see you in private and will ask questions about your baby, and both parents.

These will be recorded and you will be asked to check this twice and sign that the information recorded is correct.

Please check this information carefully, as it is very difficult to correct this after you have signed.

The registration will take about 30 minutes. 

The information detailed below will be required:        


The birth notification provided by the hospital.

Date and place of birth  (If twins, triplets etc then the time of each baby's birth will 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.

A baby may be registered with any surname but if the surname is not the mother's or father's this may cause difficulties for the child in later life. 

If the parents are not married to each other and the baby is registered in the mothers surname it may be changed to the fathers surname later if the couple marry and subsequently re-register the birth. 

If a baby of unmarried parents is given the fathers surname this can not be changed at a later date.


Your forenames and surnames at the time of the birth.

Any other names you may have used.

Your maiden surname if you are or have been married previously.

Your date and place of birth.

Your usual address at the date of the birth.

Your occupation (job).  If you have been employed at any time before the birth this occupation can be used if you wish.

If you were married to baby's father at the time of the birth you will be asked for the date of marriage.

The number of previous children.

Any documents such as passport or birth certificate to confirm these details are helpful during the registration.

FATHER  (where his details are being recorded)

Forenames and surnames at the time of the birth

Any other name he may have used

Date and place of birth

Occupation at the time of baby's birth, or if not employed at that time, his last occupation (job)

Any documents such as passport or birth certificate to confirm these details are helpful during the Registration


It is important that the information supplied is accurate as any corrections to the register may be difficult to make.

What if I can't speak English?
Please bring someone to help you register together with passports and marriage certificates, where possible. You can ask a friend or relative to come with you but please remember that they cannot come instead of you.

After a birth has been registered, a short birth certificate showing the name, sex, date and district of birth is issued free of charge.

A full birth certificate is a complete copy of the entry in the register.  This is required for most purposes and can be purchased for a fee.

After the birth has been registered more copies can be purchased from Cumbria Certificate Services however the fee is more expensive after the registration appointment.

We also offer commemorative certificates which are a lovely gift for parents or grandparents and can be purchased during your appointment. Please ask the Registrar for more details.

Registration of a birth and one certified (short) copy of the entry are free of charge.

Copies of the standard (full) certificate can be obtained at the time of registration. 

Further copies can be obtained after the registration has been completed but these are more expensive.

For a list of the current fees click here

Fees are set by Parliament and reviewed regularly.

All certificates purchased are Crown Copyright and may not be photocopied.

Please contact Certificate Services for additional copies of births registered in Cumbria.  Cumbria Certificate Services

For certificates of births that were registered outside Cumbria please contact General Register Office

For all adoption certificates please contact General Register Office

For all certificates for births registered prior to 1837 please contact the Archive Centre