By law, you have to register your baby within 42 days of their birth with a registrar in England. You will then get a birth certificate. You will receive a short-form certificate free of charge, containing only your baby's details, and a full certificate containing your details for a small charge. The hospital will usually be able to provide you with details of where to find your nearest registrar office or just see the list below for offices in your borough.
If you're married, either parent can register your baby, but if you're not, and you would like the father's details on the birth certificate, you both have to do it together. If one of you is unable to attend, then the other will have to show the registrar a form (available from the registrar's office) called a Statutory Declaration which says who the father is.
The registrar will ask for the following details:
It is vital that all the information recorded in the birth register is completely correct as mistakes can take quite a bit of time and trouble to put right. This is why you must check the information very carefully before signing the register
Some registrar offices provide interpretation services, but it's always best to check before you go.
You are welcome to bring a friend or relative along to help you understand and answer the registrar's questions - but they won't be able to sign the register on your behalf.
You don't have to take anything along - although it is very useful to bring the mother's hospital discharge summary if you have one. The health authority or hospital where the child was born will notify the registrar of the birth.
Whether or not there is provision for registering at the hospital, you can go to any registrar office - though things will take a day or two longer if you go to one which does not cover the district in which the baby was born. This is because the registrar will need to forward your information to the district where the birth took place in order for the registration to take place - and it is from here that the birth certificate will be sent to you. Registrar office opening hours vary from one district to another and most operate an appointment system.
You will need to allow about half an hour to complete the registration process once you are with the registrar.
For further information, contact the main General Registrar Office on 0151 471 4805 or your local registrar office.
Barking and Dagenham
Arden House Register Office
198 Longbridge Road
Tel: 020 8270 4744
Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm
Barnet Register Office
182 Burnt Oak Broadway
Tel: 020 8731 1100
Open: Monday to Saturday 9.00am - 4.00pm
Camden Town Hall
London WC1H 9JE
Tel: 020 7974 1900
Open: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm, (except 1st Thursday of month 9.00am - 1.00pm) by appointment only; Saturday 9.00am - 12.30pm for emergency registration of births and deaths
The Register Office
1 Gentleman's Row,
Enfield EN2 6PS
Tel: 020 7527 6350
Open: Monday to Friday 8:30am - 6.00pm
Hackney Town Hall
Tel: 020 8356 3000
Open: Monday to Friday 8.00am - 6.00pm
Tel: 020 8489 2605
Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Tel: 01708 433481
Newham Registration Service
207 Plashet Grove
Tel: 020 8430 3616 / 020 8430 3617
Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm, Wednesday 10.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday: Urgent requirements/appointments only
Queen Victoria House
794 Cranbrook Road
Tel: 020 8708 7160 / 020 8708 7162
Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 11.30am appointment only
Tower Hamlets Register Office
Bromley Public Hall
Tel: 020 7364 7882
Open: Monday to Friday 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.00pm, except Wednesdays when the office is closed 11.30am to 2.00pm.
Waltham Forest Register Office
The Old Vicarage
106 Grove Road
Tel: 020 8496 2716
Open: Monday & Tuesday: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Wednesday to Friday: 9.00am - 12.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm
First Wednesday of every month: Closed 9.00am - 1.00pm
Saturday and Sunday: By appointment only
written by Siobhan Tattan
(KidsZone • London)