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Register a birth

A birth occurring in Scotland must be registered within 21 days.

When a baby is born in Scotland, you can register their birth anywhere in Scotland.

Birth registrations can be registered remotely over the telephone. A telephone appointment is perhaps more convenient for many new parents and your appointment can be done in the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, if you would prefer to come into an office, you can register the birth of your baby at a face-to-face appointment at one of the following offices – Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes or Kirkcaldy.

If parents are married to each other:

  • Either the mother or father can register the birth

If parents are not married to each other:

  • The mother should register the birth herself, or
  • If the father’s name is to be entered in the register, both the mother and father should be available during the telephone appointment, or both attend the office for the appointment. (Should there be circumstances where both parents cannot be available for a telephone appointment or cannot attend together, please contact the Registrar for advice)

A woman who is not married to, or in a civil partnership with, the mother can only register the birth and be named in the register as a parent if the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 apply to them and:

  • She jointly signs the register with the mother;
  • She and the mother sign declarations that she is the parent (contact your local registration office for the forms); or
  • A court declares that she is the parent and the mother registers the birth

Information on who has parental responsibilities and rights for a child is available in the Scottish Government publication Family matters on the Scottish Government website.

Only in exceptional circumstances is it possible for another relative to register the birth. You should contact the Registrar in advance for advice.

What you will need for your appointment:

  • Birth card or A4 letter sheet from maternity hospital or midwife. If this has been misplaced or lost please attend the appointment and the Registrar will contact the relevant hospital/midwife to confirm birth details
  • Parents' birth certificates (if available)
  • Marriage certificate (if available)

Telephone Appointments: Once the appointment is booked please take a picture/scan of the birth card/letter from the hospital, and also the parents' birth certificates and marriage certificate if applicable, and email these documents to with a note of appointment date, time and office.

Face-to-Face Appointments: Please take these documents with you to the appointment.

Once registered, you will be issued with:

  • A free abbreviated birth certificate
  • A letter to register your baby with your doctor


There is no charge to register the birth of your baby. However, if you would like a full birth certificate with details of the parents, this costs £10 at the time of registration.

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Contact Us

If you are unable to book your appointment online then please telephone 03451 55 00 77.