Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1953 c. 20


Births and Deaths Registration Act , 1953

(1 & 2 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 20

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the registration of births and deaths in England and Wales with corrections and improvements made under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act, 1949.

[14th July 1953]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Registration of Births

Part I

Registration of Births

S-1 Particulars of births to be registered.

1 Particulars of births to be registered.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, the birth of every child born in England or Wales shall be registered by the registrar of births and deaths for the sub-district in which the child was born by entering in a register kept for that sub-district such particulars concerning the birth as may be prescribed; and different registers shall be kept and different particulars may be prescribed for live-births and still-births respectively:

Provided that, where a living new-born child is found exposed and no information as to the place of birth is available, the birth shall be registered by the registrar of births and deaths for the sub-district in which the child is found.

(2) The following persons shall be qualified to give information concerning a birth, that is to say—

( a ) the father and mother of the child;

( b ) the occupier of the house in which the child was to the knowledge of that occupier born;

( c ) any person present at the birth;

( d ) any person having charge of the child.

S-2 Information concerning birth to be given to registrar within forty-two days.

2 Information concerning birth to be given to registrar within forty-two days.

In the case of every birth it shall be the duty—

a ) of the father and mother of the child; and
b ) in the case of the death or inability of the father and mother, of each other qualified informant

to give to the registrar, before the expiration of a period of forty-two days from the date of the birth, information of the particulars required to be registered concerning the birth, and in the presence of the registrar to sign the register:

Provided that—

(i) the giving of information and the signing of the register by any one qualified informant shall act as a discharge of any duty under this section of every other qualified informant;

(ii) this section shall cease to apply if, before the expiration of the said period and before the birth has been registered, an inquest is held at which the child is found to have been still-born.

S-3 Information concerning finding of new-born child to be given to registrar within forty-two days.

3 Information concerning finding of new-born child to be given to registrar within forty-two days.

Where any living new-born child is found exposed, it shall be the duty of the person finding the child, and of any person in whose charge the child may be placed, to give to the best of his knowledge and belief to the registrar, before the expiration of forty-two days from the date on which the child was found, such information of the particulars required to be registered concerning the birth of the child as the informant possesses, and in the presence of the registrar to sign the register:

Provided that the giving of information and the signing of the register by any one of the said persons shall act as a discharge of any duty under this section of any other of them.

S-4 Registrar's power to require information concerning birth.

4 Registrar's power to require information concerning birth.

Where, after the expiration of forty-two days from the date of the birth of any child or from the date when any living new-born child is found exposed, the birth of the child has, owing to the default of the persons required to give information concerning it, not been registered, the registrar may by notice in writing require any qualified informant—

a ) to attend personally at the registrar's office, or at some other place appointed by the registrar within his sub-district before such date (being not less than seven days after the receipt of the notice nor more than three months after the date of the birth or finding) as may be specified in the notice; and
b ) to give information to the best of that person's knowledge and belief of the particulars required to be registered concerning the birth; and
c ) to sign the register in the presence of the registrar

Provided that any such requirement shall cease to have effect if, before the date specified in the notice and before the person to whom the notice is given complies with it, the birth is duly registered.

S-5 Registration of births free of charge.

5 Registration of births free of charge.

Where the registrar receives personally from any qualified informant, at any time before the expiration of three months from the date of the birth of any child or from the date when any living new-born child is found exposed, information of the particulars required to be registered concerning the birth of the child, then, subject as may be prescribed in the case of an alleged still-birth where no certificate such as is mentioned in subsection (1) of section eleven of this Act is delivered, he shall forthwith register the birth and the particulars, if not previously registered, in the prescribed form and manner without any fee or reward from the informant:

Provided that if in pursuance of a request in writing the registrar registers the birth—

a ) at the residence of the person making the request; or
b ) at the house at which the birth took place, that house not being a public institution

the informant shall pay to the registrar a fee of one shilling and sixpence.

S-6 Registration between three and twelve months from date of birth.

6 Registration between three and twelve months from date of birth.

(1) Where, after the expiration of three months from the date of the birth of any child or from the date when any living new-born child is found exposed, the birth of the child has not been registered, the registrar may by notice in writing require any qualified informant—

( a ) to attend personally at the district register office before such date (being not less than seven days after the receipt of the notice nor more than twelve months after the date of the birth or finding) as may be specified in the notice; and

( b ) to make before the superintendent registrar a declaration according to the best of the declarant's knowledge and belief of the particulars required to be registered concerning the birth; and

( c ) to sign the register in the presence of the registrar and the superintendent registrar.

(2) Upon any qualified informant attending before the registrar and superintendent registrar, whether in pursuance of a requirement or not, and making such a declaration as aforesaid and giving information concerning the birth, the registrar shall then and there in the presence of the superintendent registrar register the birth according to the information of the declarant, and the superintendent registrar before whom the declaration is made, the registrar and the declarant shall each sign the entry of the birth.

(3) On the registration of a birth under this section, the declarant shall pay a fee of three shillings and ninepence to the superintendent registrar and, except where the delay was caused by the failure of the registrar to make a requirement under section four of this Act or otherwise by the registrar's default, a like fee to the registrar.

(4) This section shall not apply in the case of a still-birth.

S-7 Registration after twelve months from date of birth.

7 Registration after twelve months from date of birth.

(1) Where, after the expiration of twelve months from the date of the birth of any child or from the date when any living new-born child is found exposed, the birth of the child has not been registered, the birth shall not be registered except with the written authority of the Registrar General and in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, and the fact that the authority of the Registrar General has been obtained shall be entered in the register.

(2) On the registration of a birth under this section, the informant shall pay a fee of seven shillings and sixpence to the superintendent registrar and, except where the delay was caused by the failure of the registrar to make a requirement under section four or six of this...

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