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.

Please read the information on this page carefully before making your booking online.

When to contact us before booking an appointment

There are some circumstances where you will need to contact us first before you book an appointment online. Please email and include your full name, telephone number and current address 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
  • your child is 12 months old and has not yet been registered due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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

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 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.


Birth certificates currently cost £12.50 each. You can pre-order and pay for your certificates when you book your appointment online. 

Please have your debit/credit card ready so you are able to pay for your certificate(s). We do not accept cash/cheques or any other type of payment. 

If you have pre-ordered your certificate(s), you will be able to collect them at your appointment.

If you prefer not to pre-order your certificates, you can apply for and purchase them online after attending your appointment by visiting our order a certificate page.

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

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.

All appointments take place at Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford. Appointments are available Monday to Saturday.

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.

By booking your appointment online you are confirming you have read and understood the information on this page.

Book your appointment to register a birth

If you need support to use the online appointment booking system, and don't have any family or friends who can help, please contact us.

How to find the Register Office

Borough Hall is located at Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP.

Privacy policy

View the full privacy statement for civil registrations.