Register a birth
We continue to register births during the current lockdown. However, there are fewer appointments due to other demands on the service at the moment.
Births usually have to be registered within 42 days, but this rule does not apply at present. If you do not wish to register the birth now you do not have to. You can claim child benefit without a birth certificate.
Not all our offices can accommodate face-to-face appointments due to social distancing. Therefore, we currently have some appointments that are completely face-to-face and some that are in two stages.
You will be told which process applies to you when you arrive at the office.
If your appointment is not face-to-face, it will be carried out in two stages:
- The first part will be over the telephone before you enter the office
- The Registrar will then see you briefly to check and sign the register page in person
Due to coronavirus:
- if you are married, only one parent can attend the registration office
- if you are not married, both parents need to attend
- do not bring babies or children with you to your appointment
- wear a mask or face covering if you have one (we can supply one if not)
- do not attend if you develop a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
Our registration offices in Aylesbury and Beaconsfield Old Town are open for appointments. Our offices at High Wycombe Library are currently closed. If you don't speak or understand English, please bring someone who can translate for you.
If you have an urgent need for a birth registration and cannot get an appointment quickly enough, please email us providing the details of why the registration is urgent: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your baby was born outside Buckinghamshire or in Milton Keynes, contact your nearest Register Office.
Who can register a birth
If the parents are married at the time of birth or conception, either the mother or father can register the birth. Only one parent will see the Registrar but the details of both parents will be included on the birth certificate.
If the parents are not married at the time of birth or conception:
- 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 should be presented before the registration appointment
If neither the mother nor the father can attend, please contact the Register Office.
The appointment process:
- Please bring your baby's red NHS book
- To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded, and correct spellings, please bring documents with you such as your passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates. We can still register the birth without these documents.
- Please bring a payment card to pay the fee for the birth certificates required, view our registration service fees
- Extra copies of certificates can be issued at a later date
The 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 or been married before
- Parents’ dates of birth
- 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.
Corrections to Birth Registrations
If you need to make a correction to a birth registration, please contact us for advice on what to do next. We will let you know whether to use one of the links below and complete a correction application form. This should be then sent to us with supporting documentation.
Apply for your baby's first passport