Changing the name on your birth certificate
Births are registered under different rules in —
☞ You need to follow the rules in the part of the U.K. where you or your child were born.
Generally speaking it is not possible to change the original details on a U.K. birth certificate. It is a historical record of the facts at the time of birth.
The same thing applies to adoption certificates, and for naturalisation / registration certificates issued by the Home Office. The name on those documents is the name you were known by at the time they were issued.
There are some cases where you can re-register a birth or make a correction to an existing record.
You can also record a change to a name in some limited cases.
This can be done instead of, or as well as, a change of name by deed poll. It is not compulsory.
You can make a correction to a birth certificate so long as you can prove that the original details given were wrong.
Some of the details that you can correct are:
- the wrong man being registered as the father (you’ll normally need a DNA test)
- spelling mistakes in names (you’ll need to prove that the correct spelling was in use at the time of birth)
Correcting a name on a birth certificate is difficult and there is no guarantee of success.
☞ If you haven’t got any documentary evidence that the “correct” name was in use, dating from the time of birth, you’ll need to apply for a replacement deed poll.
You can document the correction with a replacement deed poll even if you’ve never had a deed poll before. It will show the “correction” as a change of name — from the name on the birth certificate to the name which was actually used. This is acceptable for any purpose including passport applications. It’s also much easier, quicker, and cheaper than applying for a correction.
Re-registering a child’s birth is free but can only be done in the following cases:
- adding the father’s details (if they were not originally put on the birth certificate, or they have been removed by way of correction)
- registering the marriage of the child’s parents
- you have changed your gender and you’ve got a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)
You can record a change to a name on a birth certificate in some limited cases.
Where this is possible, it can be done instead of, or as well as, a change of name by deed poll. Recording a change of name on a birth certificate is not compulsory.
In Scotland, it is possible to record a change of name for both adults and children, with limitations. This costs £ 55 and takes up to 2 weeks.
In Northern Ireland, it is possible to record a change of name for both adults and children, with limitations. This costs £ 50 and takes up to 3 weeks.