This page covers what happens when:
- You’ve applied for a birth certificate; and
- We’ve advised you that we don’t have a record of the birth.
It’s for people applying for their own certificate, or parents registering their child later in life.
It’s also for agencies assisting someone in these circumstances.
The birth must have occurred in Victoria.
A birth must be registered in Victoria before we can issue a birth certificate.
Step 1: Apply
If you’re not sure whether the birth was registered, but you need a birth certificate, apply to get a birth certificate.
When we receive your application for a birth certificate, we will:
- Check that the birth was registered in Victoria
- Contact you if we don’t have a record of the birth. We’ll ask you to get confirmation of the details of the birth. This may be from a hospital, or the people present at the birth. You should then do the following:
Step 2: Get confirmation from the hospital or people who attended the birth
Born in a hospital
Contact the Victorian hospital where the birth occurred. Ask them to provide you with a letter on official letterhead, confirming the birth.
Born in a hospital no longer operating
If the hospital is no longer operating, contact the Victorian Department of Health , or a health service connected to the hospital. They may hold records from that hospital.
Ask them to provide you a letter on official letterhead, confirming the birth.
Born at home
Home birth with a doctor or midwife
If a doctor or midwife was present, they will have notified us that the birth occurred. You just need to register the birth.
Home birth without a doctor or midwife
If you gave birth without a doctor or midwife, you need to register the birth.
You’ll also need to provide both of the following:
- A letter on official letterhead from a health practitioner who:
- Saw the mother during pregnancy, and
- Examined the child after the birth.
The letter should contain the details in the 'Health practitioner’s letter' below.
- A statutory declaration from another person in attendance at the birth.
Health practitioner’s letter
The health practitioner’s letter should include all the following information:
- The practitioner’s Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) number.
- When they examined the mother and child
- Mother’s full name
- Child’s full name
- Date of birth
- Time of birth
- Place of birth (full address)
- Sex of child
- Weight (if known)
- If it was a multiple birth (e.g. twins, triplets)
- Confirmation of whether child was born alive.
Unable to get confirmation
If you can’t do any of these things, email email@example.com and let us know. We will discuss your situation with you and try to help you further.
Step 3: Send us the documents to assess
Email your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Assess all the documentation you provide; and
- Search any ‘life event’ records relating to you and your sibling(s). Life events include birth, death and marriage records.
We will let you know what you should do next. We will probably ask you to do one of the following:
- Provide more documents/information. For example, we may ask you to get a ‘certificate of no record’ if the birth might have occurred in another state or territory. We will discuss this with you if this is the case; or
- Proceed to register the birth.
Step 4: Register the birth
There is no fee for registering a birth.
The registration form may ask for information that you don’t know. If this occurs, write ‘unknown’. This won’t appear on the birth certificate.
Some questions are mandatory if you apply online. This means that you might not be able to register the birth online if you don’t know all the information.
If you're in this situation, or you can’t apply online, email email@example.com. You can request a paper Birth Registration Statement.
If you need help completing the birth registration, please contact us.
Provide evidence of name
- Your own birth, you will need to give us records of your life in the community
- Your child’s birth, you will need to give us records of your child’s life in the community.
These records should be from as early in life as possible.
This is so we can register the birth using the name you or your child have been using in the community.
Examples of records of life in the community include:
- Medicare card and/or Centrelink card
- Baptism/christening certificate (if applicable)
- School records (primary and/or secondary)
- Immunisation and/or medical records
- Tax file number
- Driver’s licence.
When registering, you don’t need to order another birth certificate if you already ordered one in Step 1.