Births

Cover image: application for birth certificateThe Registry records all births that occur in NSW. We use the details from the birth registration record to produce a NSW birth certificate. Parents are responsible for registering the birth of their newborn within 60 days. More information about births:

New identity requirements for birth registration

The Registry has extended the proof of identity requirements to birth registrations. Each parent is required to produce three identity documents from the categories shown at: Birth certificate - Identification.

This move will strengthen privacy protection, better secure your child's identity and reduce errors. New birth registration forms have been distributed to hospitals throughout NSW. If you require further information, phone: 13 77 88, or:

Registering a birth

Registering the birth of your child is important so that your child is officially recognised by the State of NSW, giving them the same rights as other people. Without registering your child, it may not be possible for them to access public facilities such as Medicare or Centrelink.

  • It's a simple process creating an official public record of your child's identity;
  • it's one of the few officially accepted ways to identify your child to most government and private organisations;
  • it's an essential part of your child's future;
  • it's free to register.

Register within 60 days

Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, parents must register the baby within 60 days of birth. There is no fee for registering a birth.

The Registry keeps a permanent record of the registration so parents or children can obtain a birth certificate at any time. Some information may also be used for important medical research and community planning purposes, but is kept strictly confidential and only you or your child, or a legal guardian can purchase a copy of the birth certificate.

Birth Registration Statement

The hospital supplies the new mother with the "Birth Registration Statement". This form must be completed accurately and mailed to the Registry within 60 days of the birth. A birth certificate application is included and the usual certificate fee applies.

If any changes to the child's name are requested by the parent/s, they will need to pay and apply for a: Change of Name.   

Please phone 13 77 88 if you:

  • require assistance to complete the birth registration, or
  • have not registered your child's birth within 60 days, or
  • have misplaced the birth registration.

Registering births from same sex relationships

From 17 September 2008 the Miscellaneous Act Amendment Act means that both women in a same sex defacto relationship may be recognised on their child's birth certificate. The same Birth Registration Statement is issued by the hospital to all mothers.

Registering a homebirth

All births are registered according to two sources of information; the Birth Registration Statement (BRS) usually supplied by the parents, and a notification provided by:

  • the hospital in which the birth occurred (or a child and mother taken to within 24 hours of the birth), or
  • by a doctor or registered midwife who attended the birth, or
  • by independent witnesses who saw the birth occur.

Every birth must be confirmed by a notification, as shown in the requirements below.

Unplanned homebirth - child in hospital within 24hrs

If the birth occured at home or in a location other than a hospital and the child is taken to a hospital within 24 hours of the birth;

  • The hospital should notify the Registry of the birth and should provide the mother with a BRS.
  • The mother must complete the BRS and send to the Registry within 60 days of the birth.

Birth with a registered doctor or midwife

If the birth occured in a location other than a hospital with a registered doctor or registered midwife in attendance;

  • The registered doctor or midwife will advise the Registry of the birth. They will also provide the mother with a BRS.
  • The mother must complete the BRS and send it to the Registry within 60 days of the birth.

Birth without a registered doctor or midwife

If the birth occured in a location other than a hospital without a registered doctor or midwife in attendance and the child was NOT taken to a hospital within 24 hours of the birth:

  • The mother should consider having two independent witnesses present at the birth (can't be parents of the child).
  • The witnesses must have seen the birth occur and complete a Section 44 Notice containing specific questions about the birth (prepared in the Registry).
  • Call us on 13 77 88 and provide your name and home address, and names and addresses of the two witnesses who saw the birth occur.
  • Section 44 Notice will be prepared and posted to you, along with a Birth Registration Statement (BRS).
  • Section 44 Notice will be prepared and posted to the witnesses.
  • Section 44 Notices must be completed and returned to the Registry by the dates specified on each Notice.
  • Complete the BRS and send it to the Registry within 60 days of the child's birth.

Late registration of a birth

Late registrations (longer than 60 days after the birth of a child) are more complex. You will save yourself delays in getting your child's birth certificate in the future if you have your child registered on time.

It is the State's priority to support parents to register their child. Late registrations involve strict verification of the child's details, and more proof of identification will be required. For this reason, it is not always possible to process these applications urgently due to the extra requirements.

As parents, you may use any of the following to prove your identity:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Driver's Licence
  • Passport
  • Social Security Benefits Card
  • Immigration or Citizenship Papers
  • Certificate of Aboriginality
  • Centrelink Statement.

Additionally, you must prove your child's identity with one of the following:

  • Medicare Card
  • Pre-school or school report
  • Medical Certificate from family doctor showing full name and date of birth
  • Health Insurance Commission Immunisation Certificate
  • Centrelink Letter (if child's full name is shown).

The Registry does not accept either the Blue Book or a Social Security Benefits Card as ID for the child. The only acceptable Identification is listed above.

Photocopies are only accepted if certified by a qualified witness as true and correct copies of the originals. The following persons can certify your ID.

  • Justice of the Peace
  • notary public
  • legal practitioner (holding a current practising certificate)
  • a person authorised to administer an oath under section 26 of the Oaths Act, 1900.

Registration is free

NSW law says that every child must be registered and this is best done as soon as possible. Once your child is registered you don't need to do anything else until you want to purchase a birth certificate.

A birth certificate provides legal evidence of age, place of birth, and parents' details. Without this proof of identity, provided by birth registration, your child may not be able to access some of their rights and privileges, including their:

  • School attendance
  • Healthcare (through Medicare)
  • Passport
  • Driver's Licence
  • Social Security Benefits through Centrelink)
  • Participation in organised sports
  • Bank account
  • Inheritance.

If your Birth Registration Statement is lost or destroyed

It may be possible to obtain another form from the hospital where your child was born. Otherwise, apply for a birth certificate from the Registry and we will contact you to assist with the registration. For more information, please contact us.