Registering a birth

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 birth must be registered by one of the child's parents. In a case where the parents are married to each other, only one parent need visit the registrar and either the mother or father may choose to register the birth.

Where the parents are not married to each other but both parents' names are to appear on the birth entry, both parents should visit the registrar, together, to register the birth.  If either parent is unable to be present at the time of registration, the parents should contact the registrar, who will explain how the birth may be registered.  If the father's name is not to appear on the child's birth certificate, the mother should register the birth alone.

In a situation where the mother has decided to register the birth alone but both parents later wish the natural father's name to be added, this may be done at any time in the future. Any local registrar will explain how this may be done.

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

What documents should I take to the registrar?

After the birth, the hospital, doctor or midwife will issue a form containing details of the birth and information about how to register the birth. This form should be presented to the registrar, to allow the birth to be registered.  If the parents are married to each other, their marriage certificate should also be presented to the registrar.

What documents will you receive?

After the birth has been registered, the registrar will provide you with the following documents:

  • Abbreviated certificate of birth - issued free of charge
  • Form EC58 (to register your child with your doctor) - issued free of charge
  • Full extracts or certificates of the birth may be obtained on payment of the current statutory fee.

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.