Register a birth

All babies born in England must be registered within 42 days (6 weeks) of the baby’s date of birth, at a face to face appointment with a registrar. The birth must be registered at the local register office where the baby was born.

You will need to book an appointment to register a birth and the appointment will take up to 30 minutes. Registering a birth is free however there is a fee for all certificates.

For information on stillbirth registration, please visit our register a stillbirth page.

Book an appointment to register a birth

The quickest and easiest way to book an appointment to register a birth is to use our online appointment booking system. If you can’t find a suitable appointment, check our website again in a couple of days. We release birth registration appointments, 1-2 weeks ahead. More appointments will become available soon.

When to call before booking an appointment

There are some circumstances where you will need to contact us first before you book an appointment online. Please call us on 01234 718028 if:

  • you have a disability and/or specific access requirements
  • you are not the parent of the baby who is going to be registered at the appointment
If your child is 12 months old and has not yet been registered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please email your full name, telephone number and current address to civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk.

Once you have booked your appointment, we will send you a confirmation email. Please read the email carefully as it will include important information about your appointment.

Book your appointment to register a birth 

Who can register a birth

If you are married or in a civil partnership

If you are legally married or in a civil partnership with the other parent at the time of birth, you both automatically have joint legal parental responsibility.

Only one parent needs to attend the appointment to register the birth.

If you're not married or in a civil partnership

If you’re not married or in a civil partnership with the other parent at the time of the birth and if you would like the other parent’s details to be recorded on the register, both parents will need to attend the appointment to register the birth. If one parent is unable to attend, depending on the circumstances, the parent registering the birth must bring a fully completed and signed Statutory Declaration of parentage form.

The Statutory Declaration of parentage form allows the other parent to be registered without them attending the appointment.

You can find more information on parental responsibility here.

Please email civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk if:

  • a parent cannot attend or a court order is in place and you need further guidance
  • if you are a same sex couple and you would like both parents’ details to appear on the register

Documents to bring to your appointment

If you have the following documents, please bring them to your appointment:

  • baby’s red book
  • a passport or birth certificate for each parent
  • your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • a driving licence, Council Tax or utility bill
  • any change of name documents (change of name deeds)

If you are unable to bring any of these documents, the registration can still go ahead.

When to bring an interpreter

If you and the other parent do not speak and understand English fluently, you will be required to bring an interpreter to your appointment. This can be a friend, a relative, or a professional interpreter. Parents cannot translate for each other.

Certificates

Birth certificates cost £11 each. Please bring your debit/credit card to your appointment so you are able pay for your certificate. We do not accept cash/cheques or any other type of payment. 

You can find out about applying for a formal correction, how to purchase any further certificates and a certificate of naming on our correct a birth registration page. A fee is charged for corrections.

How to find the Register Office

The Register Office is located at The Old Town Hall, St. Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SJ.

The entrance to the Register Office is through the black wooden door. This is located under the statue of William Harpur on St Paul’s Square.

Privacy policy

View the full privacy statement for civil registrations.