Congratulations on the birth of your baby. We hope that the following information will help you with the legal procedures at this happy time. It will help you to take the documents and information you need. Registering a birth is free and takes around 20 minutes.
By law, you must register the birth within 42 days of your baby being born.
Where to register the birth
You must register the birth in the registration district where your baby was born. Both Buckinghamshire Register office, Aylesbury and Beaconsfield Old Town Registration Office can register babies born at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Wycombe General Hospital or at home in Buckinghamshire. If your baby was born elsewhere please contact one of our offices for advice.
Book an appointment to register a birth or call:
Aylesbury Area – call 01296 382581
Appointments are available at the Buckinghamshire Register Office in central Aylesbury from Monday to Friday or at the Buckingham Centre on alternate Thursdays. MAP
Beaconsfield Area – call 01494 475200
Appointments are available at the following locations:
- Beaconsfield Old Town Registration Office from Monday to Friday
- High Wycombe Library Registration Office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Amersham: Chiltern District Council offices on Thursdays MAP
Please note that you need to have an appointment to register a birth.
What documents are needed?
You don't need to bring any documents with you when you register a baby.
Births are registered in the district in which the baby was born.
Who can register the birth?
If you are married to the baby’s father or mother at the time of the birth, either parent can register the baby.
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. If your circumstances are different to these, please contact one of our offices for advice.
If you are not married to your baby’s father, you do not have to have the father’s details included in the register. If the father’s details are not included at the time of registration, it may be possible to do add these later.
If the father’s details are recorded in the register he has equal parental responsibilities.
Normally, you will give the surname of the mother or father. Once the surname has been registered, you can only change it if one of the following applies:
- You apply to re-register the birth because you are not married to each other and the father’s details were not included in the original registration, but you both now wish to include them
- You marry each other after the registration. In this case, you should re-register the birth, even if the child was given the father’s surname in the first registration.
This is a complicated subject, so please contact one of our offices if you need more advice.
What information will the Registrar ask for
About your baby:
- Place and date of your baby’s birth. If you have had twins or triplets we will need the time of each baby’s birth
- Whether the baby is a boy or girl
- The baby’s first names and surnames. Please ensure you have the correct spelling of all names.
About the baby’s mother
- First names and surname. Surname before she was married and any other names used
- Date and place of birth
- Usual address and postcode on the day the baby was born
- If married to the baby’s father at the time of birth, the date you were married
- The number of children you have
About the baby’s father (if these details are to be included)
- First names and surname and any other names used
- Date and place of birth
Information for 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. You can contact them via their website, which is given below under 'Other useful websites', or call them on 0808 800 2222 or Textphone 08007 836783.
You will be given a free birth certificate that shows your baby’s names, date of birth, where your baby was born and their sex. This is called a short birth certificate and will enable you to claim Child Benefit.
If you would like a full/standard birth certificate showing the registration with parents' details (required for passports, driving licences, nationality issues), this will be offered to you at the time of registration. You may have more than one so please make sure you have enough money with you.
Information on costs and fees
Please note that we are unable to accept card payments in our Buckingham, Amersham and High Wycombe Library offices.