Registering a birth

Registering a birth

 Baby

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. This page will help you with the legal procedures at this happy time. 

You need to register the birth within 42 days. This needs to be a Register Office in the county where your baby was born.

Registering a birth is free and takes around 20 minutes.

You need to book an appointment to register the birth.

Book your appointment

 

Who can register the birth?

Marital statusWho can register the birth
If parents are married at time of birth or conception Either the mother or father can register the birth on their own.
If parents are not married at time of birth or conception
  • Both parents can attend and sign the birth register together.
  • If you are not married at the time of the birth, the father’s details can only be included in the register if both parents go together to register the birth.
  • The mother can register without the father, but his details will not be included. It may be possible to re-register at a later date and add his details.
  • Where there is a parental responsibility agreement in force or either parent has an appropriate court order, this can be presented at the time of registration.
If neither the mother nor the father can attend Please contact the Register Office.

If your baby was born in Buckinghamshire

If your baby was born in Buckinghamshire, the birth must be registered in Buckinghamshire. If you don't speak or understand English please bring someone who can translate for you.

The appointment process:

  • To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded and correct spellings please bring documents with you such as baby’s NHS Red book, your passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates. We can still register the birth without these documents.
  • You don't need to bring your baby to the appointment
  • You get a short birth certificate for free at the appointment
  • Full birth certificates cost extra, you need these for passport applications – Fees
  • Extra copies of certificates can be issued at a later date but cost more after the day of registration.

Information you'll be asked by the Registrar:

  • Baby’s name, date and place of birth
  • Parents’ names, places of birth, occupations and addresses

Extra information that will be asked but won't be on the birth certificate:

  • If the parents were married to each other at the time of the birth and the date of the marriage
  • If the mother has had any other children
  • Parents’ date of birth

Book an appointment

Book an appointment to register the birth

If the baby was born outside Buckinghamshire

We cannot register the birth or issue a birth certificate if the baby was not born in Buckinghamshire. To find the Register Office where your baby can be registered, please visit GOV.UK.

Alternatively, you can ‘make a declaration’ to the registrar in Buckinghamshire and we will send it to the correct office for you. If you ever need copies of certificates you will need to contact the office the birth was registered at rather than where you made the declaration. If you do not speak or understand English please bring someone who can translate for you.

The appointment process:

  • The Registrar will take the details and send signed paperwork to the Register Office of the District where the birth took place.
  • The birth will be registered at that Register Office and the certificate(s) will be posted to you approximately 5 days after your appointment.
  • You will need to bring a cheque book or postal order, no other payment can be accepted as your fee will be posted.
  • A short birth certificate is issued free by the office registering the birth. If you need more copies or a full certificate you will need to purchase them from that office.
  • To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded and correct spellings please bring documents with you such as baby’s NHS Red book, your passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates. We can still register the birth without these documents.
  • You don't need to bring your baby to the appointment.

Unmarried couples

  • For unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility, both parents need to register the birth of your baby together
  • Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights as well as responsibilities. Without it, you don’t have any right to be involved in decisions such as where the child lives, their education, religion or medical treatment. With parental responsibility you are treated in law as the child’s parent and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.
  • Unlike mothers and married fathers, if you are not married to the baby’s mother you do not automatically have parental responsibility for them
  • You can also get responsibility by marrying the child’s mother, signing an official agreement with the mother or getting a court order – you might want to think about this if you have other children

Parentline Plus has a free helpline where you can talk through the options and ask for advice.