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Birth registration corrections

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You can apply to correct a birth registration on the GOV.UK website:

Correct a birth registration

Frequently asked questions

What happens if there is a mistake on a birth certificate? 

At the time of your child’s birth registration, you would have been asked to carefully check all the details that you gave were correct. Each registration is a record of a life event. Correction of an error in a register can only be made in accordance with procedures set out by the General Register Office (GRO). You will have to apply for a correction in writing and support the request with documentary evidence.

How will the correction show on the new birth certificate?

The original information will still be shown as it was first given, but a marginal note will be added at the bottom of the certificate. This will describe what the correct information should be and the date the correction was made. All certificates issued thereafter will show the note in the margin.

How much does it cost to change or correct my child’s birth certificate?

From 1 November 2017, if the registration was less than twelve months ago you can still amend any forenames for your child on the birth certificate.

There will be an appointment charge of £40 for this process and an additional charge for the purchase of any new certificates.

For consideration by the Registrar/Superintendent Registrar of a correction will be £75.00

For consideration by the Registrar General of a correction will be £90.00

If the correction is applied you will need to return the original certificates and there will be an additional fee for a new certificate. 

How long does the process take to make a correction? 

In certain instances, we have the authority to deal with corrections without referral to the General Register Office (GRO). In most cases, however, you will need to submit correction requests to GRO. This takes around 20 working days.

Can I change the forenames of my child?

If any of the following have been decided on within 12 months of the registration of the birth, new names may be recorded in the birth entry: 

  • a new forename
  • an additional forename
  • a different spelling of the forename
  • the reversal of the order of the forenames
  • the omission of the forename
  • any combination of these

Please contact the Register Office for further details on this procedure.

Can I change the surname of my child?

There are only two occasions when you may be able to update the surname of your child as recorded on the birth certificate:

  1. when completing a re-registration to add the father/parents name on a birth certificate where originally just the mother was recorded
  2. when completing a re-registration following marriage between the parents of the child

What happens if the parents change address, occupation or names after the registration? 

The registration is a record of events at the time of the birth. Apart from re-registration cases, updated personal circumstances are not recorded on the birth certificate and there is no need to let us know of changes.