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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.

It may also be possible to register a birth without going to a registration office. For example, by telephone or video call.

What documents you'll need

You should have both:

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

You can still register if you don't have these documents but it will be easier if you do.

Where to register

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries & Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilThe Highland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest 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 will not include details about the child's parents)
  • a form to register your baby with an NHS doctor

You can also 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 multiple government organisations at the same time, 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 them.

Find out more about how to register a birth abroad.

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