Changing a Child's Name After Registration
Changing Details on a Birth Certificate
Can I change 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 the parents can complete a form at the Register Office. Once again this process can be done at any time after the birth as long as it can be proved that the change of name took place within 12 months of the birth registration. Once the form has been completed the amended name(s) will be inserted into space 17 of the original birth registration. Certified copies of the amended registration can then be purchased. The full copy certificate will contain both the original name and the new name in space 17. The short version certificate will only record the child's amended forename.
Can I change the surname of my child?
Under normal circumstances it is not possible to change the surname after registration, unless this is by the re-registration process.
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.
Can I correct a mistake in the naming of my child at the time of registration?
If you made a mistake in the original birth registration it will be necessary for the person who registered the birth to prove that an error exists.
A registration is an historic record that records the details as they were intended to be on the day that the registration was completed. What information you will need to provide will depend on how soon after the birth was registered you realise a mistake has been made. If you realise you made an error within a couple of weeks of registration you should write a letter setting out what the error is and how it came to be made. This letter should be sent to the Register Office who will pass it on to the Registrar General's Office who have to authorise all corrections to names.
If there has been a longer time gap between registration and realising that an error exists, in addition to writing the letter setting out how the error came to be made, you will need to provide documentary proof, dated from the earliest infancy of the child, that you are bringing up the child in a name different to that recorded in the registration. This evidence could be in the form of a Clinic Card, NHS medical card or bank book. The letter along with the documentary evidence will then be submitted to the Registrar General's office for consideration.