Using all capitals for names starting Mc/Mac on birth certificates

Katherine McDermott made this Freedom of Information request to General Register Office

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Katherine McDermott

Dear General Register Office,

I have just registered the birth of my daughter at the Registry Office. As our surname starts McDE... I assumed the lower case 'c' would be on the birth certificate, however, I was told by the four registrars working today that their practice is to capitalise all the letters in a surname.

It is my understanding that this is incorrect, can you confirm whether you have a rule/policy that the surname needing to be all in capitals overrides the traditional means of capitalising this name.

I am keen to make sure my daughter's birth certificate is correct and an error is not being made in one of the Registry Offices.

Yours faithfully,

Katherine McDermott

FOI, General Register Office

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GRO Casework,

Dear Ms McDermott,

Thank you for your e-mail (below), which has now been passed to this Section for response.

I would like to say that you are correct in your understanding of GRO policy in this regard. We do have a policy for capitalising surnames in birth registrations, however this is only to help differentiate the surname(s) from forename(s) in a birth entry. It would certainly be acceptable for the surname(s) in your daughter's birth entry to be recorded as 'McDERMOTT'.

Therefore, if you wish, please now contact the register office where your daughter's birth was registered, as they should have been made aware of this registration and should also be prepared to replace the certificates you had previously obtained with others which show the surname(s) as 'McDERMOTT'.

Kind regards,

Barry Whittaker
Corrections Manager
Casework Team | Civil Registration

Her Majesty's Passport Office, General Register Office
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