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 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?
- How do I add my baby's natural 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.
You can book an appointment online using the Registration Services online booking system or alternatively you can call 01908 372101 between 9am and 5.15pm, Monday to Friday. You will need to have a credit or debit card to hand when booking your appointment in order to pay for any full birth certificates you wish to purchase.
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.
Please bring the following documentation to your appointment to help ensure records are accurate and complete:
- Baby's red book or the letter called "Registering the birth of your baby" from the hospital and NHS number, if available
- Parents’ passports or birth certificates
- Documentation confirming any change of name, such as a deed poll (if applicable)
- Parents’ marriage/civil partnership certificate (if married)
- A recent utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill
- Spelling of all baby's names
The Registrar will see you in private and you will be asked:
- The date and place of the child's birth
- The child's given name(s) and surname
- The sex of the child
- If more than one child was born (as in the case of twins or triplets), time of birth for each baby
- The names, surnames and places and dates of birth of the parents and any other names by which they have been known
- The parents' occupations
- The mother's home address at the time of the birth
- The date of the parents' marriage, if applicable, and number of previous children
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 to confirm that it is correct. Please check the information very carefully as it is not easy to correct the details after you have signed the register.
The registration will take approximately 30 minutes.
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 at the time of booking your appointment. A full certificate, which shows baby’s parents’ details, 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 this will be needed when applying for a passport, registering with schools and doctors’ as well as job applications.
Registering the birth and the short birth certificate are free of charge.
If you want additional 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 pays.
The 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 baby’s natural parents were married to each other when baby was born only one of the parents needs to attend the appointment. If baby’s natural parents were not married at the time of the birth, baby’s mother must attend and if the natural father’s details are to be entered into the register then he must also attend the appointment.
Please note: partners cannot translate for each other.
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 the district where the birth took place in order to purchase 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".
Last Updated: 23 August 2017