Register a birth

Register a birth

Book an appointment to register a birth and find out about birth certificates.

When to register

You must register a birth within 42 days of the baby being born. This is a legal requirement. We understand that many parents have been unable to register their baby's birth within 42 days because of the coronavirus rules. You won't be penalised for this.

Who can register the birth

See who can register a birth on GOV.UK.

Where to register

You should register the birth at the local register office for the area where the baby was born. You can check which council covers the area where the baby was born on GOV.UK.

How to register

Baby born in Bristol

You can  normally register a birth in Bristol at either Bristol or Southmead Register Office. The Southmead Register Office is temporarily closed.

Book an appointment

You must make an appointment to register a birth. Don't visit the Register Office unless you have an appointment.

Bristol Register Office
The Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1JG.
The entrance is on Broad Street.
Access guide on the AccessAble website.

If you can't get to Bristol Register Office
If you can’t register the birth at Bristol Register Office, you can go to another register office in England or Wales and they'll send the details to us. This is called making a declaration.

Find a register office on GOV.UK.

Baby born outside Bristol

In England or Wales

If the baby was born in England or Wales, but outside Bristol and you can’t get to the nearest register office to register the birth, you can usually book an appointment at one of our register offices. We’ll take all the details of the birth and pass them onto the right office. This is called ‘making a declaration’. 

You can't make a declaration at Bristol Register Office at the moment. For more information, see register a birth on gov.uk.

Outside England or Wales
If the baby was born:

What to bring to the appointment

It helps us if you bring something to the appointment that shows your full name, such as:

  • your passport or driving licence
  • a bank statement
  • a gas, water or electric bill
  • your marriage or civil partnership certificate

You don’t need to bring the baby to your appointment.

Try not to bring other children or babies to your appointment. We understand that this won't be possible for everyone, so if you come to your appointment with babies or children, you'll still be able to attend.

Try to bring a credit or debit card with you for contactless payment for the birth certificate. We don't accept Amex cards. If you can't bring a credit or debit card, we'll accept cash.

Disabled access

If you have a disability or need help accessing the Register Office, email register.office@bristol.gov.uk before your appointment.

What to do when you arrive

We're following social distancing and hygiene guidelines. You must make sure that there are 2 metres between you and anyone else at all times, and follow the one-way system in the building.

Don't come to your appointment if:

  • you've had coronavirus symptoms in the past 7 days
  • a member of your household has had coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days
  • you've been in contact with someone who's had coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days

Instead, call us on 0117 922 2800 to rearrange. We'll rebook your appointment as soon as it's safe to do so.

Arrive at the Register Office 10 minutes before your appointment. You must wait outside the building until the Registrar asks you to come in. If there's a queue, use the social distancing markers on the pavement.

When you come into the Register Office, we'll:

  • give you a surgical mask
  • ask you to wash and sanitise your hands
  • give you disposable gloves to wear

At the end of your appointment, the Registrar will take you out of the building. Put your mask and gloves in the bins provided, or you can keep them.

What information we need to know

When registering the birth, we’ll ask you for the:

  • baby’s place and date of birth
  • time of birth, where more than one baby was born
  • baby’s names and sex
  • parents’ names and any previous names
  • parents’ addresses
  • parents’ places and dates of birth
  • parents’ jobs
  • date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership, if any

Birth certificates

Certificates cost £11 each.

If your baby was born in the Bristol area and you’re registering the birth in Bristol, you can buy copies of the birth certificate straightaway.

If you’re giving details of the birth at a register office in a different area to where the birth took place (making a declaration), you’ll be able to buy certificates a few days afterwards. You can't make a declaration at Bristol Register Office at the moment.

Once we have the details, you'll be able to buy copies of the birth certificate at any time.

Correcting a mistake on a birth certificate

When registering a birth it’s very important that you check the register page presented to you by the registrar.

You are signing to say that the information is correct and true.

Once signed the responsibility for the entry being correct lies with the person who registered. 

If you notice a mistake after your appointment, we might not be able to correct it. If we can correct it, you’ll be charged a fee of £75 or £90, depending on what needs to be changed.