Birth Certificates for Passport Applications
A very common question when applying for or renewing a British passport is often "Do I need a birth certificate to apply for a British Passport? Well this can depend on the type of application and/or the circumstances and reasons for your renewal/replacement of your Passport.
First Time Passports
You will always need a birth certificate when applying for your first ever British Passport, this is true for both Adults and Children. A birth certificate is also required if you are renewing an old Blue Cover Passport issued prior to 1988. At the time of the application a valid birth certificate is required as evidence of a person's name, date and place of birth, as well as proving your nationality.
Lost or Stolen Passports (optional, but recommended)
If you're replacing a Lost or Stolen Passport you will be asked to provide additional information on the Passport Renewal Form. This information includes details of your parents and also includes information relating to the loss or theft of your passport.
Providing your full UK Birth Certificate to accompany your Lost or Stolen Passport Application is (optional) but can speed up the process. We would highly recommend sending it along with your application (or if you have booked an urgent fast-track appointment take it along with you as a supporting document). This is because the process for Lost or Stolen Passport renewals will involve a verification process whereby the Passport Office will often need to request your birth certificate details from the General Registry Office in order to confirm details provided on the Application Form, providing your Birth Certificate without the need for them to request can result in a faster renewal time.
Abbreviated/Short Versions will NOT be accepted
Please also note that when providing a birth certificate that it must be the full version (showing the full parents details). Abbreviated version that simply show the applicants details will not be accepted.
Foreign Birth Certificates
If you are applying for you first UK passport but you are currently living outside the UK you will also need your birth certificate. This also applies if you are making a Change from British Overseas Territories Citizenship to British Citizenship.
If you were born abroad and have subsequently obtained British Citizenship, please note that all documents provided including your birth certificate will need to be the Full Translated Versions in English. The Passport Office will not accept versions in other languages.
How to obtain a copy of your Full Birth Ceritificate
The information below ONLY applies to England and Wales.
You can find information about the fees for copies of birth certificates in Northern Ireland on the NI Direct website at: www.nidirect.gov.uk. And for Scotland please visit www.nrscotland.gov.uk
Obtaining Duplicate Birth Certificates
If you have lost you or your child's birth certificate and need a replacement to apply for a passport, then there are several ways in which you can do this.
Your Local Registry Office
If you know what registry office you were registered at then you can contact them directly, either online, by phone or in person. There is a fee of around £10 per copy (although this can vary) and some local offices have priority fee, if you need your birth certificate fast. Please note - some of the priority services are subject to appointment and where your records are held.
If you are having problems locating your local register office then visit www.gov.uk/register-offices and you will find a list of every office in the UK.
If you'd rather you can also download a copy of the birth certificate application form and print it out, then all you need to do is fill out the relevant detail and send it back to the address on the form Birth_Sept_2013.pdf.
You should provide as much information about the birth as possible. If you do not know your exact date of birth, a search will be made for one year either side of the year you give. If an entry cannot be traced, you will get a refund.
Please note - you can no longer pay by cheque so please make sure you have a viable means of payment. Debit and Credit cards are the most widely accepted.
The General Registry Office
You can contact the General Register Office either by phone, post or email. And they have a priority service available for £23.40, and your certificate will be sent the next working day by first class post if you order by 4pm.
General Register Office
Certificate Services Section
PO Box 2
Contact the Passport Office Adviceline
(Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-4pm)
Please remember that only originals or replacement birth certificates (from the above official sources) will be accepted when applying for a UK Passport - NO photocopies or un-readable certificates in other languages.
Although urgent services for birth certificates and passports are available we always advise you do not book your travel until you have received your passport.
Most Registry Offices or other means of obtaining a birth certificate do not accept cash or cheques.