Register a birth
Procedures for registering a birth during lockdown
Babies will only be required to be registered during lockdown only if more than 42 days will have elapsed from the date of birth to the present date. All other babies will be required to be registered after the lockdown period has finished.
Until further notice all birth registrations to be carried out in the Douglas Civil Registry will follow the guidelines as set out below. For the time being the Commissioners at Peel and Ramsey will still be registering births using their own protocols if you wish to use their services.
The requested process for the Douglas Civil Registry is as follows:
The person registering the birth (informant) is to submit details to be registered via the online service below. The informant is to purchase as many certificates as required during this process. If more are requested at a later date then they can be purchased online too.
The registrar will transcribe all the details onto a document which will be e-mailed to the informant with a request that the informant checks it very carefully and either confirms it is correct and registration can proceed or, alternatively, clearly marks any amendments required. If any changes are required, the registrar will make the necessary changes and resend the draft to the informant for checking again. This process will take place as many times as required until the informant agrees that the draft accurately reflects the information to be registered.
Once the informant is content that all details are correct, they can make an appointment to register the birth.
The registrar will be in the office and will open the doors at the appointment time to allow for the registration to take place. If the informant is early they can knock on the window and the registrar may be in a position to allow them to enter early. The informant is to wear a face mask at all times whilst in the Civil Registry and they must sanitise their hands prior to entering the office.
The registrar will prepare the register so that the informant only needs to come into the office to sign the register and collect any paid for certificates. The informant will still need to make sure all details are correct before signing but if the process has been followed then there should not be any errors.
For married couples only one person needs to attend to sign the register. For an unmarried couple, both parents will need to attend if both wish to be in the register.
Once the registration process has taken place the registrar will sanitise the office and pen as required.
Births on the Isle of Man must be registered within 42 days from the date of the birth.
To register a birth you will need to make an appointment with the Civil Registry in Douglas, or at any registration office irrespective of where on the Island your child was born.
If registering the birth in Douglas, you can save time by providing the birth information online prior to your appointment.
Appointments in Douglas where information has been provided take approximately 5-10 minutes, whereas appointments without advance information take around 30 minutes.
Isle of Man
+44 1624 687039
If after making an appointment you are unable to attend for whatever reason, or you are going to be late for your appointment, please telephone and advise the office as soon as possible – the Registrar may still be able to see you that day, or may provide you with a new appointment time.
Do I have to pay to register a birth?
There is no charge for registering a birth.
At the time of registration you can obtain a short birth certificate free of charge which shows only the child’s name, sex, date of birth and place of birth.
A long birth certificate can be purchased at the time of registration, or any time thereafter, at a cost of £11 per copy. This is a certified copy of the original entry in the Register of Births and is usually required by the Passport Office, banks, building societies, schools and such like.
You can also obtain further copies at a later date if required.
There is no requirement for your child to be present when you register the birth.
Please bear in mind that there is a legal obligation to register a birth within 42 days and by failing to do this, a qualified informant may be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.
Who can register a birth
- If the parents are married to each other, either parent can register the birth. The details of both parents will be entered in the Register of Births.
- If the parents are not married to each other and the father's details are to be entered in the Register of Births, both parents will be required to attend the registration appointment together.
- If an unmarried mother wishes to register on her own, she must bear in mind that the father's details will not be entered in the Register of Births.
Section 3(3) of the Civil Registration Act 1984 (as amended), sets out the legal position in relation to persons qualified to give information concerning a birth. The persons, known as qualified informants, are as follows:
- The father and mother of the child
- The occupier of the house in which the child was, to the knowledge of that occupier, born
- Any person present at the birth
- Any person having charge of the child
Any person who wilfully gives false information to the Registrar relating to the particulars to be entered in any register is liabile to prosecution, and on conviction, to the punishment prescribed by law.
Documents and information needed
Although not essential, it is extremely helpful if you can bring the following documentation to your registration appointment to verify information:
- Discharge papers issued by the Jane Crookall Maternity Ward
- Birth certificates for each parent whose details will be entered in the Register of Births and change of name documentation (if applicable)
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Passport or current driving licence
Information recorded in the register must be accurate at the time of the birth. The information recorded is:
- Date and place of birth. If registering more than one child, the time of the birth will also be recorded
- Forename(s) and surname
- Forename(s) and surname
- Place of birth. The town or parish if born on the Isle of Man, otherwise the country as it was known at the time of his birth
- Occupation. When a parent is not currently employed outside the home, the most recently held previous occupation should be given. 'Unemployed' cannot be entered in the Register of Births.
- Usual address
- Forename(s) and surname, including maiden surname (if applicable)
- Previously used surname. If married more than once, the surname entered would be from the most recent marriage
- Place of birth. The town or parish if born on the Isle of Man, otherwise the country as it was known at the time of her birth
- Occupation. When a parent is not currently employed outside the home, the most recently held previous occupation should be given. 'Homemaker' is an acceptable term for a non-married woman or 'Housewife' for a married woman working in the family home. 'Unemployed' cannot be entered in the Register of Births.
- Usual address
It is important that the information recorded in the Register of Births is correct. If a mistake is discovered after registration, for example in the spelling of a name, it will put you to some trouble to have a correction made. You should therefore bring the documentation listed above.
A child can be registered with either the mother or the father's surname but we must point out that if a non-marital child is given the father's surname and the relationship then ends, the name cannot be changed in the Register of Births. However, if the child has the mother's surname and the parents then marry, they can apply to re-register the birth to legitimise the child. A new entry would be made in the Register of Births and the child could then take the father's name.
If you are not married to the father of your child and the father's details are to be included in the entry, both parents must attend the registration appointment together to sign the Register of Births. If there is difficulty in achieving this, the Registrar can advise you.
When twins or other multiple births occur, it is necessary to state the exact time of each birth. The registration of multiple births should be done at the same registration appointment and by the same qualified informant. Please inform the Registrar when you make your appointment.
A still born child is a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not breathe or show any other signs of life at birth.
By law, a still-born child should be registered. This gives the bereaved parents the opportunity to name their child and have him or her officially acknowledged. You will also be able to hold a funeral for your child.
In the unfortunate event that you have to register a still-birth, you should contact the Civil Registry in Douglas or at a registration office where appropriate arrangements can be made with you by the Registrar.
If you have suffered a still-born bereavement, whether you are a parent or other family member, the following organisations can offer a range of support services:
- Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity
- Tommy's - Research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage, and providing information for parents to be.
See also - Related legislation