Changing the details on a birth certificateLast updated: 10 May 2012 14:34 UK
Changing the first name of my child
If you decide to change your child's first name(s) within 12 months of the date of the registration of the birth you are able to do so on the original birth registration.
If the child has been baptised in the Christian faith within the 12 month period after birth registration you can obtain a form from the Register Office to take to the Minister of the Church in which the child was baptised. Once this form has been completed it needs to be returned to the Register Office and the amended names can be inserted into space 17 of the original birth register. This process can be done at any time after the birth as long as the baptism took place within 12 months of the registration. You can then purchase certified copies from this amended registration.
The full copy certificate will contain both the original name and the new name given in baptism. The short version certificate will only record the child's amended baptismal forename(s).
If the child has not been baptised, but you wish to change the forename(s) of your child, you only need to complete a form at the Register Office and the same process and result will apply. Please contact us on 023 9282 9041 or pop into the office in Burnaby road to speak to one of the registrars.
Changing the surname of my child
If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and the father did not attend with the mother to register the baby it is possible to re-register the birth at any time in the future to include the father's details in the registration and change the surname of the child. A form is available from the Register Office that has to be completed by both parents.
The easiest way for the birth to be re-registered is for both parents to attend the Register Office together. However, it is possible for either parent to make a statutory declaration, before a solicitor or other person able legally to witness an oath, acknowledging parentage of the child. It is also possible for either parent to seek a Court Order naming the father. In any of these cases the birth will be registered again and certified copies of the re-registered birth can be purchased from the registrar.
However, if the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and it was decided to give the child the father's surname, and the father’s details are in the register entry, it is not possible to change the surname of the child in the entry back to that of the mother. The only alternative will be to consult a solicitor and make a statutory declaration or deed poll changing the surname of the child. This will not change the original birth registration. The statutory declaration or deed poll document should be attached to the birth certificate and this will provide evidence that the child is being brought up in a surname different to that recorded in the birth registration.
If the parents have married each other since the birth was registered the birth should be re-registered to accurately record the current legal status of the child. A form is available from the Register Office that must be signed by both parents. Either parent can attend the Register Office, with the completed form and a copy of the marriage certificate. The birth will then be re-registered and the child's surname can be changed as part of this process, to the father’s surname or double-barrelled for example. Certified copies of the re-registered birth can be purchased from the registrar.
A fee is not charged for re-registrations. If certificates of the amended entries are required then a small fee will apply.
Registrar of Births
The Register Office
Telephone: 023 9275 6597
The office opening hours are 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.