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Registering a birth

You must register the birth of your baby within 42 days of the birth in England or Wales.

If your child was born in Bedford Hospital the birth must be registered by Bedford Borough Councils Civil Registration Service, at Bedford Register Office, by appointment only.

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.

To register a birth at Bedford Register Office please book an appointment to register a birth online, or by calling 01234 718 028.

Please be prompt for your appointment. If you are more than 5 minutes late you will have to make another appointment.

Appointments are 30 minutes long.

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 contact us on 01234 718 028.

For same sex couples it may be possible to have both names appear on the certificate, please contact us on 01234 718 028 if you would like to discuss this with a Registrar.

If none of the above applies please contact us on 01234 718 028 or via civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk before booking an appointment.

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

What you need to bring

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

The registrar will ask you for the following information;

  • 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 (if not in current employment, the occupation last followed)
  • 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, e.g. passports, council tax bill, driving licences, marriage/civil partnership certificate, birth certificates, deed poll documents. Please don’t worry if you can’t find documents or forget to bring them – the registration can still go ahead.

Details of our privacy policy (Word, 83KB).

Birth certificates

It is free to register a birth.

Any certificates required will cost £11.00 per copy, payable by credit or debit card only

If you need to apply for certificates at any stage after attending your appointment please order online at: Request a birth certificate copy

Registering a stillbirth

If you need to register a stillbirth please do not book online. Please telephone 01234 718 028 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