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Register a birth

All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the child being born.

If your child was born in Bedford Hospital the birth must be registered by with us regardless of where you live.

If you can’t go to the Register Office for the district where your child was born, you may attend any Register Office in England and Wales to give the information by “Declaration”.

The registrar will post your “Declaration” to the office for the district where the birth took place and you will need to contact that Register Office to purchase any certificates you may require, which will then be posted to you.

Book an appointment to register a birth

Using our online system is the quickest way to book an appointment:

Book your appointment to register a birth 

Appointments are 30 minutes long. Please be on time for your appointment. If you are more than five minutes late we may not be able to see you and you will have to make another appointment.

Registrar address 

Your confirmation email will include: your booking reference number, date, time and location of your appointment, and what you need to bring.

Civil Registration Service
Bedford Borough Council
Old Town Hall
St Paul's Square
Bedford 
MK40 1SJ

Please enter through the Customer Service Centre entrance on Horne Lane and report to the information point. One of our colleagues will take you to the waiting room.

Email: civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk

Who can register a birth

  • If the biological parents were married to each other before the baby was born, either parent may register the birth on their own. However both parents are welcome to attend.
  • If the biological parents were not married to each other before the baby was born, both parents will need to attend the appointment for the father’s name to be included in the registration. If either biological parent cannot attend please email us at civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk 
  • For same sex couples it may be possible to have both names appear on the certificate. 
  • If none of the above applies please email us at civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk before booking an appointment.

In all cases the birth must be registered within 42 days (6 weeks).

You do not need to bring the baby to the appointment, however baby is welcome.

What the registrar will ask you 

  • The date, place and time of the birth (the time will only be included if the baby is one of a multiple birth - twins, triplets etc).
  • Whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
  • The full forenames and surname by which the baby is to be brought up.
  • The full forenames and surname, and any other names currently or formerly used by the father or parent (where the father or parents' details are to be entered in the register).
  • Date and place of birth of the father or parent.
  • Occupation of the father or parent at the time of the baby’s birth (or previous occupation if not currently employed).
  • The full forenames and surname, and any other names currently or formerly used by the mother, including maiden surname.
  • Date and place of birth of the mother.
  • Occupation or previous occupation of the mother.
  • Date of marriage if applicable.
  • The address or addresses of the baby's parents.
  • The number of previous children by the mother.

It will be helpful if you can bring documents with you to confirm the above information, although this is not essential  

Details of our privacy policy (Word).

Register a stillbirth

If you need to register a stillbirth please do not book online. Please telephone 01234 718028 and ask to speak to a Registrar who can talk you through the process.

You can also email us on civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk

Birth certificates

It is free to register a birth. The certificate you receive is a certified copy and will cost £11 per copy, payable by credit or debit card only on the day.  

Order a copy of a birth certificate 

If you need to apply for further copies of a birth certificate at any stage after attending your appointment (a certified copy) please order online here:

Order a copy of a birth certificate

Standard issue 

  • order online
  • available in 15 working days
  • collect from Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP or have it sent by Royal Mail second class post
  • standard service is £11 per certificate

Priority service

  • subject to availability
  • call 01234 718028 to arrange a priority service
  • priority certificate orders received by 3pm are available for collection from Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP from 4pm the next working day, or
  • sent by Royal Mail first class post
  • priority service fee is £35 per certificate

We can't guarantee postal delivery as we are reliant on the Royal Mail postage service. We accept no liability for loss, damage or failure of delivery of certificates

Other types of certificates 

Making changes to the record or certificate

You can correct some information on a birth certificate:

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