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Register a birth

Registering a birth

How to register a birth

Book a birth registration appointment

Appointments can be booked on-line for our Chippenham, Salisbury (Bourne Hill) and Trowbridge (County Hall) offices. If you wish to be seen at an outstation please telephone 0300 003 4569 to make an appointment.

All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the child being born.

You should do this at the local register office for the area where the baby was born or at the hospital before the mother leaves. The hospital will tell you if you can register the birth there.

If you cannot register the birth in the area where the baby was born, you can go to another register office and they will send your details to the correct office.

Re-registering a birth

The re-registering of a child's birth occurs for the following reasons:

  • If the natural parents marry after the birth of their child they are required under the Legitimacy Act 1976 to apply for the re-registration of their child's birth. Form LA1 must be completed and signed by the both the natural parents, but it is only necessary for one of the parents to attend the registration office with their marriage certificate.
  • A birth may be re-registered to include the details of the natural father where the parents were not married at the time of the birth, have not married since and no father's name was recorded at the time of the birth, or at the time of the original registration. Form GRO185 must be completed. Both parents must attend to re-register

The re-registration takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes.

How much does it cost?

We provide the above services free of charge, there is a charge for the issue of any certificates. 

A full certificate includes all birth details and parents details and is the type of certificate required for any official purpose e.g. passport application. A short certificate does not show parents' details and only records the names, date of birth and place of birth of the child.

Registering a stillbirth

How to register a stillbirth

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Last updated: 1 October 2019 | Last reviewed: 1 October 2019