Birth certificates explained

A birth certificate is an important record that documents a person's birth. It is sometimes referred to as a birth extract.

Full certificate

This certificate is a full replica of the register page that was signed on the day of registration, and it is commonly referred to as a birth certificate. It shows all recorded parents' details as well as the child's. 

It is this full certificate that will be needed to apply for a nursery and school place, and to obtain a passport in the future.

You will have the option to purchase a full certificate when you register a birth. These cost £10 per certificate.

Order additional or replacement certificate

If you decide not to buy a full birth certificate at the time of the registration but later require one, or if the one you have become lost or damaged, you can purchase one at any point in the future.

The fee is £10 if ordered within 1 month from the original date of signing. After 1 month the fee increases to £15, and £10 for any additional copies.

Order a copy of certificate

Abbreviated certificate

By law, all children are issued with an abbreviated certificate at the time of the birth registration. This is a simple certificate showing the child’s full name, date, and place of birth. You can use it to apply for certain benefits or to open a bank account.


You may hear a registrar referring to an 'extract'. This is the legal term for what is more commonly referred to as a birth, marriage or death certificate. Extracts and certificates are the same document.

The term extract is used because details contained on the page are extracted from the original registration page which was signed on the day of the birth registration, and which is kept and stored by the Registrar General.