Registering a birth
When must I register a baby's birth?
How do I register a birth?
Where do I register a birth?
Who can register my baby's birth?
Can I register at another register office?
What surname should I use?
What documents do I need to take to my appointment with the Registrar?
What happens when I see the Registrar?
What information will the Registrar ask for?
What certificates will I get?
Do I need extra copies of the birth certificate?
What will it cost?
What if I cannot speak or understand English?
How do I get a copy of a birth certificate after registration?
I need to add my baby's father's details onto a birth certificate
Baby's natural parents have married following baby's birth registration, what do we need to do?
You must register the birth of your baby within 42 days (6 weeks) of the day on which your baby was born.
You can register your baby's birth by appointment only. Please call 01908 372101 (option 1) between 9.30am and 4.30pm to arrange an appointment with a Registrar. Please ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to allow time for booking in or we might not be able to see you.
You can register your baby's birth at:
The Register Office
502 Avebury Boulevard
Saxon Court is the council building opposite Debenhams. When you arrive, please check in with reception who will let the Registrar know you are waiting.
Please make a note of your appointment location and time and ensure you arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment time as all locations can be extremely busy and you may encounter a queue at reception. If you arrive late for your appointment we may need to re-schedule.
If the biological parents of the baby were married to each other at the time of the birth then either parent can register the baby. If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth, the father's details can only be included on the register if one of the following happens:
- Both parents go together to register the birth.
- If the father cannot go with the mother he can make a legal declaration in front of a solicitor confirming that he is the father. The mother should give this to the Registrar. You can get copies of the declaration form from the gov.uk website
- If the mother cannot go to the office with the father, she can make a legal declaration in front of a solicitor confirming the name of the father. The father should give this to the Registrar.
- If either parent has a court order, they should give this to the Registrar.
If you are not married to your baby's father, you do not have to have the father's details included on the register.
You do not have to bring your baby with you.
If your baby was born within the Milton Keynes registration district then the birth has to be registered in Milton Keynes. However, if it is difficult for you to visit our office, you can go to any register office in England or Wales to give the details we need to register your baby's birth and pay for any certificates you wish to purchase with a postal order. The register office taking these details will then send these to us and once we receive them we will register the birth and post the birth certificates direct to you.
Normally, you will give the surname of the mother or the 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 on the register.
- You marry each other after the registration. In this case, you must 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 visit the gov.uk website or contact the register office if you need more advice.
When registering a birth, you will need to take your letter from the hospital, which is called “Registering the birth of your baby”, or baby’s red book, if you are unable to locate this letter.
At the appointment you will be asked questions regarding names, dates, addresses and places which will feed into the register entry. In order to ensure the accuracy of the information recorded, and to reduce the need for corrections in the future, which can be difficult we ask you to bring supporting documentation with you (eg passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates for both parents).
It is also a good idea to write down baby's full name and bring this with you (especially if you are not both there to check the register entry).
The Registrar will see you in private and will ask questions about your baby and both parents.
The Registrar will put the information on a computer file which will generate the register entry.
You will be asked to check the information in the register and to sign that it is correct. Please check the information very carefully. It is not easy to correct the details on a birth certificate after you have signed the register.
The registration will take about 30 minutes.
About your baby
- The place and date of your baby's birth. If you have had twins, triplets and so on, we will need the time of each baby's birth.
- Whether your baby is a boy or a girl.
- Your baby's first names and surnames (it is useful to write this down and bring it with you).
About you - the baby's mother
- First names and surname. Your surname before you were married if you are, or have been, married.
- Your date and place of birth.
- Your usual address on the baby's date of birth.
- Your job at any time before the birth (you do not have to tell us this).
- If you were married to the baby's father at the time of the birth, the Registrar will ask for the date you were married.
- The number of children you have had.
About the baby's father (If you want their details to be included in the register)
- His first names and surname.
- His date and place of birth.
- His occupation at the time of the baby's birth. If he was not working at that time, his last job.
You will get one free short birth certificate which shows:
- the baby's names;
- the baby's date of birth;
- the district baby was born in;
- and whether baby is a boy or a girl.
All other certificates must be paid for. A full certificate is recommended as this is needed for all official purposes.
We strongly recommend that you purchase a full birth certificate which includes the parents' details as baby will need this to get a passport and for job applications later on.
We provide printed copies only.
Registering the birth and the short birth certificate are free. If you want extra copies of the short certificate or a copy of the full details in the register, there is a charge please see these charges on our Register Office Fees paysThe fees are set by Parliament and are regularly reviewed.
Many people buy a full copy of the birth certificate at the time of registration. If you ask for copies later, these will cost more.
If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help you register, you can ask a friend or relative to come with you.
Milton Keynes Council also has a language service providing Interpreting and Translation Services for those who need additional support.
Please remember that, if registering a birth, one of the baby's parents must be present.
If the birth occurred in Milton Keynes and has been registered already the quickest way to get copy certificates is to apply online using a credit or debit card.
If the birth occurred in another District you will need to contact them for a copy certificate.
If, at the time you registered your baby's birth, baby's biological father's details were not included and you wish these to be added, you need to re-register your child's birth. Detail of the process you need to follow can be found under the section "Re-registering a birth"
If, after a child's birth registration, the biological parents have married each other, then the child's birth needs to be re-registered. Details of the process you need to follow can be found under the section "Re-registering a birth".