Registering a Birth
By law all births occurring in Northern Ireland must be registered. You must register your baby's birth within 42 days of the date of birth. You will require proof of the birth for a variety of purposes, i.e. to register the baby with a doctor and to claim child benefit, etc.
Who can register a Baby?
The following people can register a child's birth:
• the mother or father of the baby – if you are a married couple. However in the case of a child born outside marriage, the name of the father can only be recorded in the entry of birth if both parents are in attendance and sign the registration together. If either parent is unavailable, you should speak to the Registrar. Further information on unmarried fathers is available from the birth registration form
• maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, maternal aunt or maternal uncle of the baby who has knowledge of the birth
• occupier of the premises where baby was born
• any person present at the birth
• any person having charge of the child.
A birth can also be registered to two female parents under certain circumstances. For further information, we advise you to call a member of the registration staff.
Lisburn Registration Office Tel: 028 9250 9262/3
Castlereagh Registration Office Tel: 028 9244 7822
Where can the birth be registered?
• In any Registration Office in Northern Ireland, providing the baby was born in Northern Ireland.
Castlereagh Registration Office operates an appointment system. To make an appointment please contact the Castlereagh Registration Office on 028 9244 7822.
You do not need an appointment to visit Lisburn Registration Office, though please note that a queuing system is in operation. Customers should arrive at least 45 minutes before the stipulated closing times. However Registration Staff deal with very sensitive issues and waiting times will vary. Please note Mondays and Fridays are extremely busy days and longer waiting times may apply. On occasions you may be asked to return. If your visit to the Lisburn Office is not urgent you may prefer to call on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
What information will I need to bring with me?
• You will need to fill in a birth registration form. You can download a copy of this Birth Registration Form by clicking here GRO4.
What you receive when you register?
Once the registration has been completed, a member of the Registration Staff will issue the following:
• HS123 Infant Registration Sheet to register baby with Doctor to obtain a medical card
• 1 free short birth certificate automatically issued at the time of registration
Additional certified copies of Short or Full Birth Certificates may be purchased at a cost of £8.00 each at the time of registration.
What is the purpose of registration?
The records provide positive information about individuals and are used for many legal and administrative purposes (for example; National Insurance, Education, Transfer of Property, Employment, Obtaining a Passport, etc).
They provide valuable statistics (for example, Fertility Rates, Population Estimates, etc). The statistics are published yearly in the Registrar General Annual Report.
A “Birth Registration” Form is filled in by the person registering the baby (normally the mother).
Please note that a registration cannot be easily changed once completed.
To order a Certified Copy of a Birth Certicate after the time of Registration
Certified copies of all births registered in Northern Ireland may only be obtained from: General Register Office, NISRA, Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR.
Telephone the General Register Office – 0300 200 7890 (ringing from within N Ireland/UK) or + 44300 200 7890 (ringing from outside N Ireland/UK) and paying by debit/credit card.
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro (Certificates can be ordered on line)
The General Register Office, NISRA, Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR, provides help and advice about the following issues:
- re-registration of birth, for example, if you want to add the father’s name after the initial registration
- recorded name changes
Detailed information about all these topics is available from http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/