Certified birth certificate translation

Approved Translation Ltd
Approved TranslationsMonday, 1 March 2021

When will we need a birth certificate translation? Do translators need special skills to translate birth certificates? In what situations will an ordinary translation suffice, and when will a certified translation be required? How much should a certified translation cost?

What is a birth certificate?

A birth certificate records the birth of a person. The original purpose was to provide evidence of title to inheritance, for taxation, and the determination of available military manpower.

There are two types of birth certificate in the UK. The short version ("Abbreviated") which contains only the child's details, and the full version which also contains the parents’ details. Once a birth is registered, extracts of the short or full certificate can be purchased at a cost of £11 from local authority that registered the birth.

Who is qualified to translate birth certificates?

Translation industry is not a regulated industry in the UK, however state institution examiners have to adhere to specific guidelines when translation services are required. These guidelines require translators to be chartered members of a professional organisation such as the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. The translation guidelines are consulted whenever a vital document is to be issued on the basis of a document that has been issued in a langugae other than English.

Such is the case with birth certificates. Translation service is required when creating a new birth certificate record based on foreign documents or when applying for a British passport for a child born abroad. In the UK a birth certificate is required for passport purposes as evidence of a person’s name, date and place of birth.

Birth certificate translation

Upload your documents, review a quote, pay and receive completed translation within hours

Translating birth certificates with Approved Translations

Translation of birth certificates is one of our specialities. All the services we provide, including birth certificate translation, are executed in line with our mission. Its most important principles are:


The translation shall be carried out by registered and verified translators who have a degree in translation and are registered with an official organisation such as the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. The translated documents will be stamped and delivered by post, electronic copy will also be made available for download from our website via the client portal.


By using our services you can be assured that your files will be transmitted via an encrypted connection, stored in an encrypted manner on our drives, and that they will be made available only to staff members with appropriate access for the purpose of valuation and translation.


We place particular emphasis on automating the translation process. After uploading your birth certificate files via form to request a quote, you will receive an email with a quote and a link to a page where you can make a payment after registering with us. After making the payment, you will be able to track the progress of your order. We will notify you by email as soon as the work is completed and the finished translation is available for download and posted to the specified address.

History of birth certificates in the UK

In the UK, as in many European countries at the time, births were initially registered with churches, who maintained registers of births. This practice was initiated by Thomas Cromwell on 5 September 1538 when he ordered the clergy to keep records of every baptism, marriage and burial. The state continued to rely on the records of religious institutions until the 19th century.

National system of civil registration in England and Wales was formally established by the creation of the General Register Office (GRO) in 1837. In Scotland it was the The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1854 which transferred this responsibility to the State and created the General Register Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The creation of the offices did not immidiately contribute to the increase in the number of birth registartion. More widespread and compulsory registration of births with the United Kingdom government was introduced 1853 by the Vaccination Act which tied the vaccination against smallpox of all infants to their birth registration, and parents could be fined for non-compliance.

Although the Vaccination Act had an effect of a large increase in the number of birth certificates registered, it was the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1874 that officially imposed the requirement on parents to register their newborns with a penalty of a £2 fine.

  1. HM Passport Office, Birth certificates and the full birth certificate policy
  2. Anglia Research, The history behind your birth certificate