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How to register a birth

You can register a birth at any registration office in Scotland, as long as the birth happened in Scotland.

Find out about how to register a birth during coronavirus.

What documents you'll need

You should take with you:

  • the card issued by the hospital
  • if the parents are married or in a civil partnership - take the marriage or civil partnership certificate

You can still register if you don't have these documents.

Where to register

Visit Aberdeen City CouncilVisit Aberdeenshire CouncilVisit Angus CouncilVisit Argyll and Bute CouncilVisit Clackmannanshire CouncilVisit Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Visit Dumfries & Galloway CouncilVisit Dundee City CouncilVisit East Ayrshire CouncilVisit East Dunbartonshire CouncilVisit East Lothian CouncilVisit East Renfrewshire CouncilVisit Edinburgh CouncilVisit Falkirk CouncilVisit Fife CouncilVisit Glasgow City CouncilVisit The Highland CouncilVisit Inverclyde CouncilVisit Midlothian CouncilVisit Moray CouncilVisit North Ayrshire CouncilVisit North Lanarkshire CouncilVisit Orkney Islands CouncilVisit Perth & Kinross CouncilVisit Renfrewshire CouncilVisit Scottish Borders CouncilVisit Shetland CouncilVisit South Ayrshire CouncilVisit South Lanarkshire CouncilVisit Stirling CouncilVisit West Dunbartonshire CouncilVisit West Lothian Council

When the registration's complete

The registrar will give you:

  • a free partial copy of the birth entry made in the national register - also known as an 'abbreviated extract' - this won't include details about the child's parents
  • a form to register your baby with an NHS doctor

You can pay for a full extract of the birth entry which includes details about the parents.

Contacting other organisations

Having a child may affect your tax or benefits. Some local councils offer the 'Tell Us Once' service. This service reports a birth to several government organisations so you don't have to. The registrar will let you know if this service is available in your area.

If the birth happens abroad

You must register the birth according to the laws in the country where the child was born. You'll be given a local birth certificate.

This local birth certificate should be accepted in the UK. Depending on where you give birth, you might need to have the birth certificate translated and certified if it's not in English.

You can register the birth with the UK authorities. You don't have to do this but it means that a record of the birth will be sent to the National Records of Scotland and you can order a 'consular birth registration certificate' from New Register House.

Find out more about how to register a birth abroad.

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