Registering a Birth
Births must be registered within 42 days (6 weeks). It is free
to register a birth.
Births are always registered within the district
where the birth took place. So if, for example, your child was
born in Bedford Hospital it will be registered with Bedford Borough
Council's Registration department.
You can however attend any
Register Office in England and Wales to give the information
required for the registration. This information will be sent to the
office where the birth took place and once the registration is
complete a free short birth certificate will be forwarded to you.
If you wish to purchase a full birth certificate, you will need to
call the Register Office where the birth will be
registered and order one.
You can book an appointment to
register a birth online, or by calling 01234 718 028.
If you need to register a stillbirth please do not book online,
please call us on 01234 718 028 and speak to a Registrar who can
talk you through the process. You can also e-mail us on email@example.com
Who can register the birth?
If the parents were married to each
other before the baby was
born then only one of them needs to attend the
appointment to register their child, however they are both welcome
If the parents were not
married to each other before the baby was born then the mother has
to come to the appointment. For the father's name to appear on the
birth certificate as well both parents must come in
If the parents were not
married to each other before the baby was born and one of them cannot attend, in order
for both the mother and the father's details to appear on the birth
- If the father cannot attend with the mother he
must make a legal declaration in front of a solicitor to confirm
that he is the father, the mother should bring this with her at the
appointment. (forms are available at any Register office in England
- If the mother is unable to attend the office
then she must make a legal declaration confirming the name of the
father, which he should bring with him to the appointment. (forms
are available at any Register office in England or Wales)
- If either parent has obtained a relevant court
order this should be given to the registrar who will advise.
If you are a same sex couple and want both of your names to
appear on the certificate or if none of the above applies please
contact us on 01234 718 028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
before booking an appointment.
In all cases the birth must be registered within 42 days (6
What you need to bring
You do not need to bring the child to the appointment, however
they are welcome.
The registrar will ask you for the following information;
- date and place of birth of the child
- full name of the child
- full name of the child's parents (and whether you have been
known by any other names)
- mother's maiden name (if applicable)
- address of child's parents
- occupation of child's parents
- parent's dates and places of birth and date of marriage (if
It will help the Registrar if you can bring any documents with
you that confirm the above information.
e.g. passports, council tax bill, driving licences,
marriage/civil partnership certificate, birth certificates, deed
It is free to register a birth and you will receive a short
birth certificate automatically. This shows details of;
- Baby's name
- date of birth
- district in which the birth occurred
Due to the limited amount of information shown on the short
birth certificate it is not generally accepted as proof
of identity or nationality, therefore we recommend that you
get at least one full birth certificate. This will show all
of the details that are recorded in the register. Each
certificate costs £4 if bought at the time of the appointment. You
may purchase as many certificates as you wish and can pay by card
with the Registrar.
Appointments are 30 minutes long.