Registrar of Births

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The full title for the Registrar of Births is the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, and their duties are to record these events that occur in their district. These events must be recorded in a certain procedure as specified and defined by law.

A birth in England and Wales is required to be registered within six weeks (42 days), in Scotland within three weeks (21 days), and in Northern Ireland within six weeks (42 days).

In some cases the registering of the birth, which is the responsibility of the parents, can be registered at the hospital. If this is not possible, the registration will take place at the local register office, If this is the case, then an appointment will need to be made with the Registrar of Births, where one or both parents can register the birth.

In the case of rural Scotland, the registrar may be located at the local post office, or work from their own home.

The registrar will conduct the interview, will complete the relevant forms and then will issue a formal birth certificate. Further copies will be available for purchase.

Registrars in England and Wales are trained in coordination with the General Register Office. The Registrar's General Certificate of Competence in Registration Law and Practice can be taken. In Scotland a Registration Certificate of Proficiency is usually taken, after a minimum of two years experience.

Some other duties are to report any deaths which are deemed to have occurred in suspicious circumstances, to collate statistics to supply to the ONS.

In addition to the post of Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths and the post of Registrar General, there is also the posts of assistant registrar, deputy registrar and superintendent registrar. A superintendent registrar can conduct non-religious marriage services.

In Scotland, the only posts are assistant registrar and registrar.

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