National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Registering a Birth

Registering a Birth

  • Births which have occurred in Scotland, should be registered within the statutory period of 21 days from the date of occurrence
  • Births can be registered at any registration office (62 KB PDF) in Scotland

Who can register a birth?

  • Married Couples/Couples Civilly Partnered to each other

Where the parents of the child are married to or in a civil partnership with each other, either parent can register the birth and both parents’ details may be recorded on the birth entry.

  • Unmarried Couples/Couples not civilly partnered to each other 

Where the parents of the child are not married to or in a civil partnership with each other, the mother should register the birth as the primary informant. The father’s/parent’s details may only be recorded on the birth entry at the time of registration if s(he) makes a joint registration of the birth with the mother. If the father/parent is unable to attend the registration appointment with the mother, please contact the registrar for advice about completing the necessary declaration forms in order to have their details recorded in the birth entry.

Child born as a result of Assisted Reproduction

  • Married couples/Couples Civilly Partnered to each other

Where the parents of the child were married to or in a civil partnership with each other at the time the treatment took place, and consent for treatment was given by the birth mother’s spouse/civil partner, either parent can register the birth and both parents details can be recorded on the birth entry. Treatment may have taken place in the UK or elsewhere.

  • Unmarried Couples/Couples not civilly partnered to each other

If the birth mother was not married to or in a civil partnership with her partner at the time the treatment took place, the birth mother should register the birth as the primary informant. If the mother and her partner made a parenthood agreement prior to the treatment taking place, and the treatment took place under licence in the UK, details of the father/second parent may be recorded in the birth entry provided that both parents register the birth together.

How to register a birth

Please contact the registration office where you wish to register the birth and they will advise which birth registration services they offer.  

You may be offered an in-office appointment to register the birth, or you may be given the option to register the birth by telephone or during an online call (a ‘remote registration’). 

The following information will be required:

  1. Your contact details
  2. Information about the child’s date, time and place of birth
  3. Child’s full name
  4. Information about the parent(s) to be shown in the birth entry including full name(s), marriage/civil partnership details (if appropriate), occupation and home address. You will also be asked for additional information which does not appear on the register entry but is gathered for statistical purposes. 

During your appointment the registrar will ask you to confirm the accuracy of the information given and each informant will be asked to provide a signature for the register entry, to confirm its accuracy.

The following documents will be helpful in completing the birth registration:

  • Birth notification card/letter from the hospital
  • Child’s parent’s marriage or civil partnership certificate if the ceremony took place outwith Scotland
  • Child’s parent's birth certificate if born outwith Scotland
Remote Registration
  • Please scan or photograph the documents detailed above to the registrar. The registrar will confirm the email address for receipt of these documents.  The documents should be in English or accompanied by an English translation.
  • During your remote registration appointment the registrar will create a template of the entry and either read this back to you or send a draft to you via email to confirm the accuracy of the information given. 
  • Once you have confirmed the accuracy of the entry the registrar will ask you how you usually sign your signature. This will be added to the entry by the registrar, followed by the word “(Transcribed)”.

What happens after the registration has been completed?

The registrar will provide an abbreviated birth certificate free of charge.  

You will also be issued with a National Health Service in Scotland Healthcare for your Baby (Form EC58), free of charge, which should be used to register the child with the NHS.  

You will be given the opportunity to purchase a full birth certificate for your child. 

These documents can be given to you immediately if you are in the registration office or posted to you if your registration is being completed remotely.

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment (101 KB pdf) helps eligible families with the expenses of having a new child. It is a payment of more than £640 for a first child and more than £320 for other children. You can apply from 24 weeks of pregnancy until your baby is 6 months old.

Check if you are eligible for a payment, and apply online at mygov.scot/benefits