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What is a Long-form Birth Certificate?

There are two types of birth certificates issued in the UK:

  • Short-form birth certificates, which contain only the child’s details.
  • Long-form birth certificates (also known as ‘Full’ or ‘A4’ certificates), which include both the child’s and the parents’ details.

The Long-form certificate also shows the exact place of birth, the occupation of the father (and more recently the occupation of the mother), and the address of the person registering the birth.

Why do I need a Long-Form Birth Certificate?

Long-form certificates are essential when applying for ancestral visas to establish parentage for entitlement to residency, for passport applications, employment purposes and are now the only type accepted for all other official purposes. Whilst both Short and Long Birth Certificates are issued by UK Government Register Offices, changes to government policy has devalued the Short certificate in an attempt to reduce the employment of illegal immigrants. The short-form certificate is now being phased out.

Why was I given a Short certificate and not a Long one?

When a birth is first registered, parents are issued with a free copy of the Short certificate, whereas Long Certificates are only issued upon request for an additional fee.

Can I get a Long certificate if I only ever had a Short version?

When a birth is registered, a long version of the certificate is archived both locally with the registrar and centrally in the appropriate regional record. As such, even if you were only ever provided with a Short certificate, it is possible to request a full version at any time. Vital Certificates will only produce Long certificates as standard. We are able to obtain a Short-form on occasion, should you request this specifically, though not always.

Will my new copy look the same as my original?

Dependent on when the certificate was issued, and where it was produced, your new copy may not look the same as your original. Some areas produce certificates in landscape format, some in portrait. However, each version is valid and can be used as official ID purposes.

How can I order a Long Birth Certificate?

Our replacement Birth Certificate service is fast and reliable. Order a Government-Issued UK Birth Certificate today.