Maternity exemption certificates

If you’re pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months, you are entitled to:

free prescriptions and dental treatment

  • free NHS dental treatment
  • free NHS prescriptions, if you have a valid maternity exemption certificate

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to speak to your midwife, doctor or health visitor. They’ll complete the application for you. You can apply as soon as they confirm that you’re pregnant.

Get a digital maternity exemption certificate

With our online maternity exemption service you could get your certificate straight away if you have an email address. Just ask your midwife or doctor.

Otherwise, you’ll get your paper certificate in the post within 10 working days of us receiving your application.

We no longer send plastic cards due to cost and their impact on the environment. Read our exemption certificate article for more information.

When it expires

Your certificate will expire 12 months after either:

  • your due date
  • the birth of your baby

If your baby is born later than expected, you can extend the expiry date.

It’s your responsibility to check the expiry date. If you claim free prescriptions and your certificate has expired, you may have to pay a penalty charge of up to £100.

You can access more information on the following areas

  • Refund of prescription charges
  • Replacement certificates
  • Change of name or address
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Extending your certificate