Birth Certificate UK
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On a birth certificate issued in England and Wales it states: 'Warning: a certificate is not evidence of identity'. Also printed on the back on modern 'portrait' certificate are the following notes:
Note (1) Births and Deaths.
This certificate is issued in pursuance of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953. section 34 provides that any certified copy of an entry purporting to be sealed or stamped with the seal of the General Register Office shall be received as evidence of the birth or death to which it relates without any further or other proof of the entry, and no certified copy purporting to have been given in the said Office shall be of any force or effect unless it is sealed or stamped as aforesaid.
Note (2) Births.
A name given to a child (whether in baptism or otherwise) before the expiration of twelve months from the date of registration of its birth, may be inserted in Space 17 of the entry in the birth register under the procedure provided by Section 13 of the Biths and Deaths Registration Act 1953. If the parents or guardians wish to avail themselves of this facilitiy at any time, they must deliver a certificate of baptism or of naming to the registrar or superintendent registrar having the custody of the register in which the birth was delivered. This certificate must be in the prescibed form and can be obtained on application to any registrar.
An identity theft concern comes from the 'Day of the Jackal' passport fraud, where someone was able to obtain official identity documentation by pretending to be some British who had passed away many years ago. In the book, the 'Jackal' chooses from a graveyard a baby boy who, if alive now, would be the same age as the assassin.
Having then obtained the full British birth certificate of the dead boy, from the Central Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, he then successfully applies for a passport. Some concerns remain that this situation still exists, but the current government has stated that only '0.03% of all issues are fraudulent'.