Before 1837, there was no requirement in British law for the keeping of vital records. In that year, the "Births and Deaths Act 1874" came into effect and it became illegal not to give the authorities birth, marriage and death certificates.
Death Certificate Copy 1.2 In 1834, the "Births and Deaths Act" was passed into law and went into full effect three years later, on July 01, 1837. This act made it a legal requirement for everyone to have an official certificate of birth, marriage and death.
Description: Before 1837, there was no requirement in British law for the keeping of vital records. In that year, the "Births and Deaths Act 1874" came into effect and it became illegal not to give the authorities birth, marriage and death certificates. This law is still in effect today and in fact has been amended to include other important details. While the law does not state that you must keep a birth certificate copy for your own records, there are many good reasons why you might wish to do so. Since 1969, more details about births have been listed on birth certificates. In that year, the format of the certificates was changed from landscape to portrait in order to make it more of a document than a mere certificate. In addition, information such as the child's surname and gender were listed alongside of the parents' names. This was seen as necessary, since on occasion there could be confusion as to whether the child bore its mother's or father's surname and many names are no longer gender-specific. As long as one or both of the parents are British citizens or the child is born in the U.K., there should be a birth certificate on record. These records are public and are therefore available to all members of the public, whether they are the individual's records, immediate family records or the records of perfect strangers. The applicants details are also kept on record, to track identity theft, should it occur. At birth, parents are given a short form birth certificate that is not as detailes as the one that is kept on record. The long form or "Full Certified Birth Certificate" is the one that is kept on public record and is the one you will obtain if you apply for a birth certificate copy.