Registering a birth or death

Register a birth

A baby born in Scotland must be registered within 21 days. You can do this at any Registration Office in Scotland. You will need an appointment for this and the appointment can be carried out either “remotely” or in person.

Who can register

If the baby's parents are married to each other or in a registered civil partnership either parent can register the birth.

If the baby's parents are not married to each other or in a registered civil partnership the mother can either:

  • Register the birth on her own (the father's name will not to be recorded)
  • Register the birth along with the father. His name will be recorded in the register
  • Register the birth along with another woman under certain circumstances

Read detailed guidance on who can register a birth.


There may be circumstances where both parents cannot attend together and we can advise on this. There are declarations forms we provide to allow both parents' names to be recorded.

A court can also declare that a parent's name is added to the record.

Documents to take to the registrar

  • The birth card or print-out issued by the hospital giving the child's date and time of birth
  • The parents' marriage or registered civil partnership certificate if applicable. Please note that the registration can still proceed if this is unavailable

Documents the registrar will give you

  • Abbreviated birth certificate which shows the child's name, date and place of birth (free of charge)
  • Form EC58 containing the child's National Health Service Number which should be given to the family doctor

A full birth certificate can be bought at the time or later.

Find your local registration office

How to pay

The preferred method of payment is credit or debit card, but in some circumstances cash or cheques will be accepted.

The role of Councillors

In certain circumstances you may need the help of a Councillor for witnessing declarations.

Find your local councillor