When a baby is born, registering their birth is very important.

Children have a right to be named and have proof of their identity in the community.

By registering your child’s birth, you can apply for a birth certificate.

You can order a birth certificate when you register the birth or later on.

Birth certificates are one of the most important identity documents that help a person access school, employment, licences, and government support.

Registering a birth

The parents of a child are responsible for registering their birth,

You must register the birth within 6 months of birth.

You can register:

You can only use these forms to register a birth that happened in the ACT. If your baby was born outside the ACT, you need to register the birth with the authority in that state or territory.

Register a birth in the ACT

Apply for a birth certificate

When you register you can apply for a copy of your child’s birth certificate.

You can order an official birth certificate, a commemorative certificate, or both.

You cannot use commemorative birth certificates for legal purposes or as identification.

Read about birth certificates.

What you'll need

When you apply you need to prove your identity with 3 forms of identification:

  • at least one Primary proof of identity document
  • one or 2 Secondary proof of identity documents.

View the acceptable forms of identification.

You’ll also need to pay a fee.

Turnaround times

Registration and issuing a birth certificate usually takes 15 business days.

If your application is incomplete or Access Canberra needs more information, we will contact you.

Read more about birth certificates.

Changing details on the register

Once a birth is registered you can still make changes to the record.

Changing names or sex

If you want to change the child’s name or the child’s sex, there are separate processes.

Read more about name changes.

Read more about changing the sex on the birth register.

Adding a parent

A parent is anyone presumed to be a parent under the Parentage Act 2004.

If you want to add a parent to a birth that’s already been registered:

  1. complete an Application to add details of parentage after registration of a birth [PDF 200KB] [DOCX 181KB]
  2. provide 3 forms of proof of identity, with at least one being Primary proof of identity.
  3. submit it:

There are no fees unless you apply for an updated birth certificate.

Adding a parent does not change the child’s registered name.

Read about name changes.

Adding relationship details

If you want to change the parents’ relationship details, for example to include your marriage or civil partnership or union details:

  1. complete an Application to note relationship details [PDF 175KB] [DOCX 161KB]
  2. provide 3 forms of proof of identity, with at least one being Primary proof of identity.
  3. submit it:

There are no fees unless you apply for an updated birth certificate.

Updating these details does not change the child’s registered name.

Read about name changes.

Making a correction

A correction is for a mistake on the register, such as fixing a misspelling of the place of birth for the child’s father.

You can’t make changes such as to a child’s name or sex using this process.

If you want to fix a mistake on the register:

  1. Complete an Application to correct a register [PDF 180KB] [DOCX 176KB]
  2. Provide 3 forms of proof of identity, with at least one being Primary proof of identity.
  3. Provide evidence to support the correction.
  4. submit it:

If there are 2 parents on the child’s birth registration then both parents must apply.

If one parent is deceased, you’ll need to provide their death certificate with your application.

There are no fees unless you apply for an updated certificate.

Early pregnancy loss

If you experienced the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks' gestation you don’t need to register a birth.

You can apply for an early pregnancy loss certificate.