How to Obtain Birth Certificate in Nigeria

Once a child is given birth to in a hospital a document stating the child’s date of birth, location and details of parents will be given and this is a birth certificate. It is given by the National Population Commission.

Apart from the case of birth certificate given at child birth, there are cases where teenagers and even adults who have lost their birth certificate or if one reason or another do not have a birth certificate, apply for an attested birth certificate or an original certificate of birth. No matter how careful you are with protecting your birth certificate, it might still get lost, misplaced or destroyed by no fault of yours. This is not strange at all so if you find yourself in this category just know that you are not alone and that you can still obtain your birth certificate.

That being said, do you need a birth certificate for your child or for yourself and you don’t know how to go about it? We are here to provide you with the necessary information to help you achieve this.

Have it in mind that the body that is in charge of registering every newborn in Nigeria is the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC). They can be found in all the 36 states in Nigeria and they have centers in various locations across the country. Some of the information that will be contained in the birth certificate include date of birth, information about your parents, country and state.

As we have already pointed out, the National Population Commission is the body responsible for registering births as well as issuing birth certificates in Nigeria. You can also do the registration for your relatives or other family members, but there are required documents for this and you will need to present them before you can commence the registration for someone other yourself.

It is also important that we point out at this juncture that you shouldn’t be surprised if you receive an “Age Declaration Affidavit” as that is usually the case if you are above the age of 18 in most areas. From the age of 18 and below you will be able to receive a birth certificate upon request. This however is highly dependent on your area or local government because there are cases where local government areas issue certificate of birth to persons who are over the age of 18 and who should have gotten the attestation.

The “Age Declaration Affidavit” used to be a sufficient document on its own in years past but recently, it will have to be accompanied by an attestation letter issued by the National Population Commission in order to be considered sufficient enough.

Cost of Obtaining Birth Certificate in Nigeria

Now that we are done explaining what a birth certificate is and the information that are contained in it, we will now proceed to discuss the cost of getting it.

You will be pleased to know that it is not at all expensive as it will cost you only about 2,500 Naira. This charge is for the process of getting a certificate of Birth and it covers both the service charge fees as well as the fee for the certificate itself.


According to the National Population Commission Act, persons that are eligible to apply for their birth certificate are those that were given birth to after the year 1992. Those who were given birth to before 1922, will receive Attestation of Birth Certificate. The reason why it is this way is because it is from the year 1992 that the population commission began the official documentation of births in the country. It therefore follows that they cannot issue a Birth Certificate to persons given birth to before the said time.

If you are wondering about the legal implication, both the attestation of a birth certificate and the birth certificate are both recognized and serve the same purpose so there is no cause for worry.

Procedures For Getting A Birth Certificate In Nigeria

Now you know about the cost of obtaining a Birth Certificate as well as the eligibility requirement, we will now delve into the procedures and steps for getting a birth certificate in Nigeria.

Bear it in mind that apart from the NPC office, other places that you can get a birth certificate from include; local government headquarters, branch offices of the National Population Commission, as well as hospitals.

We will now discuss below, the procedures and steps that you have to take for the application of your birth certificate.

1. Collect & Fill Data Form

Whether you are applying for a birth certificate for those given birth to from 1992 or an attestation of the certificate of birth for those given birth to before 1922, you have to go to any branch of the National Population Commission around you, collect and then proceed to fill the appropriate Data form. This is the first step that you have to take before moving on to the other aspects of the procedure.

2: Present Valid Documents

When you are done filling the application form, you have to submit it together with some documents. These documents are as follows;

a. An affidavit sworn to at the High court of the state by the applicant.
b. A copy of a valid means of identification. An international passport or national identity card/slip will suffice.
c. Passport photograph of the applicant.

3. Wait For Documents To Be Verified

After you have submitted the application form together with the required documents, you will then have to wait their verification after which your application will then be processed.

You can also handle the application for someone that is application by proxy. In this case you will have to present a proxy form and still tender the required documents listed above for the person that you are applying for.

How To Obtain A Declaration Of Age In Nigeria

Let us now take a look at what is known as a Declaration of Age in Nigeria. This can be used in place of a birth certificate, if you have misplaced it or in a case where it has been damaged. You can get it by swearing an affidavit in a High court in Nigeria.

For this process of swearing an affidavit for the purpose of Age Declaration, you have to go with certain documents which include a passport photograph, a photocopy of birth certificate or if it is not available a proof of birth. If you cannot provide a proof of birth then any of your parents either your mother or your father will have to swear to an affidavit stating your date of birth.


Getting an Age declaration in the country is not costly at all as it will only cost from about 200 Naira to 1000 Naira service charges included.

Advantages of Owning a Birth Certificate

Needless to say, having a birth certificate in Nigeria is very important. This way, the government will have documentation and this is for the child’s safety as well as making administration easier for the government.

Apart from that, without having a birth certificate there are a lot of important things that you will not be able to do such as applying for an international passport or visa, registering in schools, applying for scholarships, job applications, vying for political positions, etc. Imagine not being able to do all these and even more all because you do not have a birth certificate, it is obviously a better option to have a birth certificate.

Different Ways of Getting a Birth Certificate in Nigeria

Let us now look at the various ways that one can get a birth certificate in Nigeria as this varies depending on the time of birth as well as the place of birth. For instance the process of getting a birth certificate for a child given birth to in a hospital is quite different from that of a child who was not given birth to in a medical facility. It is also different processes for someone who is now an adult and wants a birth certificate maybe after misplacing the one he had or if he has not ever one, to getting a birth certificate for say someone who is say two months old.

That being said, let us now get into it. The different ways that you can get birth certificate in Nigeria include:

1. Getting birth certificate in Nigeria when a child is given birth to in a hospital.

After a child is born in a hospital or any medical institution, that hospital will then proceed to give a proof of birth or a birth report. This is then taken to any branch of the National Population Commission that is accessible. It can also be taken to the local government headquarters in some instances. When you get to the National Population Commission branch that is near you or your local government headquarters, you will provide the proof of birth that was issued to you by the hospital or medical institution and then a birth certificate for the child will be issued to either the parents or guardian of the child.

Please bear in mind that the proof of birth will cease to be valid after a particular length of time unlike the one issued by the National Population Commission.

Also note that the said birth certificate is free if gotten within sixty days of Acquisition.

2: Getting birth certificate in Nigeria for a child that is not given birth to in a hospital or medical institution.

It is not uncommon for a child to be given birth to outside a hospital or medical institution. Some people are more comfortable giving birth to their children at home or in a church or anywhere that they feel that they are okay at and will be best for them.

If that is the case and you want to get a birth certificate for the child then you have to pay attention to the next paragraph.

The first thing to do is to locate a court in the local government area where the child was given birth to and swear to an affidavit. The affidavit sworn to at the court will act as proof of birth for when you get to the national population commission. When you have tendered the proof of birth, which in this case is the affidavit, you will then be issued an official birth certificate and that is that.

3: Getting a birth certificate in Nigeria for a person under the age of 18

For the better part of this article, we have discussed how some people might have lost or misplaced their birth certificates or could be that they never had one and now wish to get one for themselves. We also spoke about how this is not out of the ordinary as it is quite common so do not be worried if you fall in this category. Just follow the steps and guidelines that we have already listed above and you are good to go.

We have no doubt that this write up will help you a lot with regards to getting a birth certificate but if you need more clarification, then feel free to contact the help desk of any National Population Commission office.


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