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Re-register your child or change their name

How to change a child's name or re-register a child.

Last updated: 26 November 2021

Re-registering your child's birth

You can re-register a birth if:

Parents have married after the birth

If the parents have married after the child was born and you want the natural father’s details to be on the birth record, you must re-register your child’s birth.

Fill in an application for re-registration following parents' marriage and return it to the Register Office.

Parents aren’t married

If you want the father’s name on the birth record, both parents will need to fill in an application form to re-register a child’s birth and return it to the Register Office.

If one of you can’t be there, that person also needs to fill in a statutory declaration of parentage form.

If the child is 16 years of age or over, you must get their written consent before their surname can be changed.

Changing your child's name

Can I change my child's first name?

You can change a child’s first name if you give them new names:

  • in baptism or;
  • by regular use in 12 months after you registered the birth

Please note:

  • if your child was baptised, only the baptismal names can be added to the register
  • first name changes can only be made once – any further changes can't be recorded
  • you must comply with any court orders about the naming of your child

Who can change it?

Only the child's:

  • mother
  • father
  • guardian

How can I change it?


If your child was baptised in a church. The vicar or minister of the church needs to complete the certificate of name given in baptism form.

Certificate of name

If not, you will need to complete a certificate of name not given in baptism form.

Send the form to the original register office. If you don't live in the same area, contact your local register office and ask about re-registration by declaration.

What happens next?

Once we process the paperwork, the Registrar will contact you to arrange an appointment.

The easiest way to register a birth is for both parents to attend the appointment.

Can I change my child’s surname?

You can only change your child’s surname if there is a mistake on the original birth record.

Further questions

If the information above has not answered your questions, you can email the Register Office.