In Scotland you can make the following amendments to certain certificates:
- change of name
- add or amend parentage details, known as re-registration of birth
- correct errors
Change of name
Any person whose birth is registered, or who was legally adopted, in Scotland can apply to have a change of forename(s) or surname(s) recorded on their birth or adoption certificate.
The following number of name changes may be recorded:
- only 1 change of forename(s) and 1 change of surname(s) may be recorded for a child under 16 years of age
- if a change of forename(s) within 12 months of DOB has already been recorded, no further change of forename(s) may be recorded before the child reaches 16 years of age – this doesn't prevent recording a change of surname
- if you're 16 years of age or over, you may record 1 change of forename(s) and up to 3 changes of surname(s) - a period of 5 years must elapse between successive changes of surname(s).
Visit your local registration office for the following application forms:
- 12 months old or under: application for a change to a child's name within the first 12 months of birth can be made by completing a Form 21. The person making the application must have parental responsibilities for the child.
- Under 16: application for a name change for a child under 16 years of age can be made by completing a Form 23. The person making the application must have parental responsibilities for the child.
- 16 and over: a person can apply for a name change by completing a Form 24. Information on parental responsibility, fees and downloadable forms can be found on the National Records of Scotland (NRS) website.
Your new certificate
Any birth or adoption certificate issued after the recording of the change will show the new forename(s) and surname(s). The original forename(s) and surname(s) will be shown at the bottom.
Re-registration of birth
Re-registration in Scotland is the creation of a new birth entry to:
- add the natural father's/parent's details
- alter parentage details
- add the parents' marriage or civil partnership details (if this took place after the birth was originally registered)
Who can apply for re-registration?
Under 16: anyone who has parental responsibilities in relation to that person (even if they're also under 16 years of age) can apply.
16 and over: you must apply on your own behalf.
If the person whose birth is to be re-registered has died, or was a still-born child, application may be made by:
- the person's mother or, if the person's mother is married, by her husband if he is the natural father
- a person registered as the father/parent of the child in the birth entry, if the mother has also died
How to apply
The application form RR1 is available from, and should be returned to, any registration office in Scotland.
There's no fee for the re-registration procedure. After the re-registration is complete a new birth certificate can be issued showing the new details for a fee of £10, or £15 if applied for after 1 month of the re-registration.
If a father was not previously named on the birth certificate, there are additional forms which must be completed: Declaration Form 26 and DPF or Form 27 and DPM. These forms are available from any of our registration offices or the NRS website.
Please note: to post your certificate there will be an additional £1 charge for administrative purposes.
What happens next?
Registrars can deal with certain applications for re-registration immediately without reference to National Records for Scotland.
Otherwise they will send the completed RR1 form to The Registrar General, Re-registration Unit for processing.
Applicants are notified by the Registrar General when authority has been given for the re-registration. A qualified informant will be instructed to go to the registration office to re-register the birth.
Please note that anyone over 16 years of age must apply for the re-registration but cannot act as informant. In these circumstances the following person can act as informant:
- mother or father
- any relative of the applicant who has knowledge of the birth
- any person present at the birth
- any occupier of the premises in which the child, to the knowledge of the occupier, was born
Correction of errors
A registrar can correct certain clerical errors made by a registrar (for example an obvious spelling error or a transposition of letters or figures) to a birth, still birth, death, marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate. They can also correct a prescribed error (error in information given by the informant). Proof of the correct facts to be recorded must be produced to the registrar.
This can only be done at the registration office where the registration took place, before the entry has been examined . After examination has taken place, the error must be corrected by the Registrar General.
This can be done at any time once it has been examined at your local registration office. If the certificate is incorrect, proof of the correct facts to be recorded must be produced to the registrar.
Some errors can only be corrected on the authority of the Registrar General for Scotland. In this case they will authorise the correction and a formal notification will be sent to the registration office where the event was registered.
The fee chargeable would be the cost of a new extract: £15
Any amendments to lair certificates should be requested through our Bereavement Service.