What is a short-form birth certificate?
Over the years, the UK registration offices have issued many types of birth certificate. The most common of these was a Short Birth Certificate. This type of birth certificate was traditionally given free of charge to new parents when they registered the birth of their child. Short certificates were also issued from Somerset House to persons that were adopted at one time. This was to prevent the adoptee from knowing that they were adopted and to protect the identity of the birth parent(s).
The problem with this type of certificate however, is that these certificates do not record the names of either parent. Due to current identify fraud legislation, most official organisations, both in the UK and abroad, will no longer accept a Short-Form certificate as evidence of identity.
But you don't have to worry. Even though you may only have ever been issued with with a short certificate, the details needed to issue a replacement full (long) birth certificate will have been recorded by the registrar at the time of the birth, so you can safely order a replacement here.
Long form certificates can be used for all official purposes including:
- Employer identity verification
- Passport applications
- Visa Applications
If you need to present a birth certificate to an overseas government authority, there are different rules that apply. You will usually need to add one or more levels of authentication to the certificate before it will be accepted. For more details, please see our article on using official documents in a different country.