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Register a birth

If your baby was born in England or Wales you must register its birth within 42 days.

Do not miss out on Child Benefit: information can be found on Claim Child Benefit. For your first child, this must be printed out, filled in, and sent to the Child Benefit office. If you do not have access to a printer, you can call 0300 200 3100 and HMRC will send you a form in the post. The form also contains information for the small minority of families who may be eligible for the High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). If you already have a Child Benefit claim, you can add further children by calling HMRC on the number above.

How to register a birth

To register a birth with us, your child must have been born in County Durham. If your child was not born in County Durham, contact the register office where the birth took place to make an appointment.

You must attend the register office to register a birth. 

Our register office is only open for pre-arranged appointments. You can Book an appointment to register a birth online, or Contact Registration Service by phone. Please do not visit our register office without making an appointment first. If your child has been born in Darlington Memorial Hospital, or another location in Darlington, you will need to register the birth with Darlington Borough Council - Register office as the birth took place within Darlington's area.

Who can register a birth

  • baby's mother
  • baby's father: may attend alone to register the birth only if he is married to the mother when the baby is born

If the mother and father are not married to each other at the time of the baby's birth, the father's details can only be entered in the register if both parents attend to register the birth.

You can choose to add the father's name later - see Corrections and changes to a birth certificate.

Information you need to register a birth

You will be asked questions about baby and also to confirm your own information.

You will need to bring at least one form of identification to help confirm your details (eg passport, driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, council tax bill, change of name deed).

The cost to register a birth

Registering the birth is free. A short birth certificate showing the baby's date of birth and name or a full birth certificate showing parent's details are available for a fee. If you want extra copies, you can buy extra copies from us - see How much does a certificate cost?.

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