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Register a birth

In this section

  1. Register a birth
  2. Documents to bring to the appointment
  3. What you will be asked
  4. Changing your child's first name

Changing your child's first name

You can change your child's first names once within 12 months of their birth being registered.

It costs £40, which is not refundable and must be paid when you apply for the name change. 

If your child was baptised in a Christian church you will need a 'certificate of name given in baptism' completed by the minister of the church where the baptism took place. We can provide blank certificates.

If your child has not been baptised, you will need to complete a 'certificate of name not given in baptism', available from the register office. 

Take or post the completed certificate to the register office in the district where your child was born. The registrar will add the new names to your child's entry in the birth register. 

If you want to buy a new birth certificate for your child, the full certificate will show both the original and new first names. The short certificate will only show the new names. 

There are some conditions to changing your child's first name:

  • you must follow any court orders in place about naming your child
  • a change to your child's surname cannot be recorded in the birth register
  • you must make any change to your child's first name within 12 months of registering their birth
  • once your child has been baptised you cannot record a change to the Christian names given in baptism
  • you can only record a change to your child's first names once