Correct a registration

How to correct a mistake on a marriage or civil partnership registration, a birth registration or a death registration.

Change your child’s first name

You can change your child’s first name within 12 months of the birth being registered. You may have the change recorded in the birth register after 12 months but you will need to provide documentary evidence that the name was changed within the 12 month period.

You can only record a change to your child's first name(s) once. If there are any court orders about the naming of your child you must comply with the directions of the court.

The fee

It costs £40 to apply to change your child’s first name. This fee is payable on application and is non-refundable, regardless of whether your application is accepted or not.

What you need to do

Depending on whether your child was baptised or not, there are different routes to take to change your child’s name.

If your child was baptised 

If your child was baptised in a Christian church you will need a 'Certificate of name given in baptism' completed by the vicar/minister of the church where the baptism took place.  A blank certificate is available from your local register office.

Once your child has been baptised you cannot record a change to the Christian names given in baptism.

If your child was not baptised

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

You can take, or post, the completed certificate to the register office in the district where your child was born. The registrar will add the new first name(s) to your child's entry in the birth register. If posting the application you will need to contact the register office to ask how to pay the fee.

New birth certificates

You should tell the registrar if you want a new birth certificate for your child. 

If you buy a full certificate it will show both the original and the new first name(s). If you buy a short certificate, only the new first name(s) will be shown. 

The registrar will inform you of the cost of the certificates. You should be aware that the passport office will want to see a full certificate rather than a short one.