Make an appointment to register a birth
To make an appointment to register a birth at South Tyneside Register Office, call 0191 427 7000 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm).
Outside of the above times, call 0191 455 6111.
For all other enquiries, call the Register Office on 0191 424 6350.
When booking an appointment, let us know if you would like to make use of the Tell Us Once service.
How much does it cost to register a baby?
There is no cost to register your baby. The only charge is if you purchase a full birth certificate, that includes details of the child's parents or a short birth certificate, this certificate shows the baby's forename(s) and surname, sex, date of birth and district of birth only. The Registrar will advise you of the current fees.
Where do I register a birth?
All babies born in South Tyneside, whether at home or in hospital, must be registered in person at the register office within 6 weeks of the birth. You do not need to bring anything with you, but will be asked to provide certain information about the mother, father and baby.
You can do this at the register office in the district where the birth occurred. Alternatively, you can go to any register office in England and Wales and make a declaration of the particulars required for registration purposes.
Once the registration has taken place further birth certificates can be purchased.
Who can register the birth?
If the parents are married to each other at the time of the birth, either the mother or the father can register the baby. However, if the parents are not married to each other at the time of the birth, the father's details can only be entered in the register in the following circumstances:
- Where the mother and the father attend together before the Registrar to register the birth and both sign the register
- Where the father is unable to attend with the mother it is possible for him to make a statutory declaration in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths or Magistrate confirming that he is the father, which the mother should produce to the Registrar (copies of this form can be obtained from any Register Office in England and Wales)
- Where the mother is unable to attend the office with the father, it is possible for her to make a statutory declaration, in the presence of (the aforementioned authorities) confirming the name of the father, which the father should produce to the Registrar
- Where either parent has obtained a relevant court order which should be produced to the Registrar who will advise you further.
The mother can register the birth on her own but the father's details will not be recorded in the register. There are circumstances in which other people may be legally qualified to register the birth. However, these are unusual and you should contact the register office for advice.
Please remember one of the parents must register the birth in person. They cannot ask a friend or relative to register the birth on their behalf.
What do I need to register a baby?
You do not need to bring anything when you come to register your baby. As long as the child was born in South Tyneside, either at home or in the Maternity Hospital, South Shields we will have a notification from the Health Authority telling us where and when the birth took place.
However, if you come to register the baby within a couple of days after the birth it would be helpful to bring the baby's hospital tag with you as we will have to confirm the date of birth with the maternity unit. It is not necessary to bring the baby with you.
What the registrar will need to know?
- The date and place of the birth. If the birth is one of twins, triplets, etc the time of each baby's birth will also be required
- The sex of the child
- The forenames and surname the baby will be brought up in. If the parents are not married to one another, great care must be taken when choosing the child's surname
- The father's forenames and surname, and any previous names he may have had
- The father's date and place of birth
- The father's occupation at the time of the baby's birth, or if he is not working, his previous occupation
- The mother's forenames and surname, and any previous names she may have had. Her maiden surname will also be required if she is or has ever been married
- The mother's date and place of birth
- The mother's usual address at the time of birth, and at the time of registration if different
- The mother's occupation. If she has been employed at any time before the birth, this occupation can be entered if she wishes
- If the mother and father are not married to each other at the time of the child's birth the father's details can only be recorded if he attends with the mother. Other circumstances may apply which can be discussed with the Registrar.
What documents will I obtain from the registrar after I register my baby?
After the birth has been registered the Registrar can issue a short birth certificate. This certificate shows the baby's forename(s) and surname, sex, date of birth and district of birth only.
A full certificate, that records details of the parents and is an exact copy of the birth register entry, is also available from the Registrar.
There is a charge for both types of certificates (please see Register Office fees). Many parents purchase a full birth certificate at the time of the registration.
How much does it cost to register a baby?
There is no cost to register your baby. The only charge is if you purchase a full birth certificate or short birth certificate. Please see Register Office fees
How long after my baby's birth do I need to register it?
You have 42 days (6 weeks) after the birth to register your baby. If you have not registered by 5 weeks you will receive a letter reminding you to come to the office to register.
What happens if a birth is not registered within 6 weeks?
After 6 weeks you are liable to get a formal legal requisition demanding your attendance. If you do not attend after receiving this formal notice you are liable to prosecution. If you are likely to have any difficulty attending within the 6-week period please let us know and we will consider extending the period if there are good reasons for doing so.
What if the parents don't have English as their first language?
If English is not the first language of the parents and they would like someone to help with the registration, they should ask a friend or relative to come with them to the Register Office.
How do I show the father's details in the register if we are not married to each other?
The simplest way is for the father of the child to attend the Register Office with you and for you both to sign the birth register.
If the father is not available it is possible for him to make a legal declaration, before a solicitor or other person able to witness an oath, acknowledging his paternity. A statutory declaration form is available from your local Register Office. If you attend the Register Office with this form properly completed, the father's details can be inserted into the register.
If the father is not prepared to attend the Register Office or make a statutory declaration of parentage, the mother can make application for a court order naming the father. This court order will enable to father's name to be recorded in the birth entry.
What if we have moved out of the district since the birth of the baby?
If you have moved out of the district after the baby is born and the Register Office is too far away to attend, find the address of the nearest Register Office to you and you can attend there to give a declaration of the birth details. This declaration will then be sent to the register office in the district of birth for registration. The Register Office you attended to give the declaration does not hold any records of that registration. Any further certificates will have to be obtained from the Register Office in the district of birth. Please see Register Office fees
HM Passport Office
Changing your child's forename(s)
The Births and Deaths Registration Act allows changes to forename(s) to be recorded in the birth register. You can apply for this to be done if the new forename were given within 12 months of the birth being registered.
There is a statutory fee of £40.00 for each application. This is a consideration fee and, as such, is non-refundable. The fee must be paid at the point of application.
What you need to do
- If your child was baptised in a Christian church you will need a 'Certificate of name given in baptism' completed by the vicar/minister of the church where the baptism took place. A blank certificate is available from your local register office.
- If your child has not been baptised you will need to complete a 'Certificate of name not given in baptism' available from your local register office
- You can take, or post, the completed certificate to the register office in the district where your child was born. The registrar will add the new forename(s) to your child's entry in the birth register. If posting the application you will need to contact the register office to determine how to pay the fee.
- You should tell the registrar if you want a new birth certificate for your child. If you buy a full certificate it will show both the original and the new forename(s). If you buy a short certificate, only the new forename(s) will be shown. The registrar will inform you of the cost of the certificates. You should be aware that the passport office will generally want to see a full certificate rather than a short one.
- If there are any Court Orders about the naming of your child you must comply with the directions of the court.
- A change to your child's surname cannot be recorded in the birth register.
- The changes to your child's forename(s) must have been made within 12 months of the birth registration. You may have the change recorded in the birth register after the 12 months but you will need to provide documentary evidence that the name was changed within the 12 month period.
- Once your child has been baptised you cannot record a change to the Christian names given in baptism.
- You can only record a change to your child's forename(s) once.
What is the difference between a stillbirth and a death?
A stillbirth is a child who is born on or after the 24th week of pregnancy who after birth does not breathe or show any other sign of life. A death is when a person has lived, no matter how long, and subsequently dies. Therefore if a child is born alive and only lives for a matter of minutes the event must be registered as a live birth and a death.
Can I obtain a certificate from a stillbirth register?
Yes, a certified copy of the stillbirth registration can be obtained from the registrar at the time of registration on payment of the statutory fee. (Registrar will advise of current fee).
What do I need to produce to register a stillbirth?
A doctor or midwife who attended the birth or who examined the body after birth is required to give a medical certificate of the cause of the stillbirth. This document needs to be taken to the Register Office of the district in which the stillbirth took place. If there is some doubt as to whether the child was born alive it may be necessary for the case to be referred to the Coroner. If this is the case you should phone the Register Office before you attend to make sure that the Coroner's report has been received. Without this report the registrar will not be able to register.
What documents do I receive from the Registrar after registering a stillbirth?
The registrar will issue a document that allows a burial or cremation to proceed if the Coroner has not already done so. This document needs to be given to the funeral director as a stillborn baby cannot be buried or cremated before this certificate has been issued. There is no other document that you will need legally from the registrar.
Who can register a stillbirth?
The mother or the father of a stillborn baby is qualified to register if they are married to each other. If the parents are not married to each other the mother can register the stillbirth on her own. However, if the parents are not married to each other the father may still be qualified to register in some other capacity and in this case you should contact the Register Office to establish in what circumstances he would be able to register the still birth.
However, the father's details would not be included in the registration unless he attended with the mother to sign the register jointly or he had made a statutory declaration of his parentage before a solicitor or other person able to witness an oath. It is also possible for the mother to make a statutory declaration naming the father of the child. If the father attends with this document it is possible for him to register the birth on his own even though he is not married to the mother of the child. If the father or mother is not able to attend the Register Office there are other persons who may be qualified to register the stillbirth. You should phone the Register Office (0191 424 6350) for advice if this is the case.