When and where to register
All births, by law, must be registered within 42 days with a Registrar of Births and Deaths. You can register a birth through any Register Office in England and Wales. The registration will be recorded in the district where it occurred. If you attend an office outside the district where the birth took place they will forward the details of the registration to the correct office, who will then register the birth and issue certificates. This is called a declaration.
There are four main offices in Wiltshire and opening hours and days vary. All registration offices operate an appointment system to prevent unnecessary waiting; therefore you should telephone to make an appointment. The registration takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes.
Who can register
If parents are married when the baby is born, either parent may register the birth. If the baby’s parents are not married, and they want the father’s details to be included in the register, both parents should attend the office together to register the birth.
If the father’s details are not entered at the time of registration, there are special procedures for them to be added at a later date if required. Please contact a registration officer for details.
Meeting the Registration Officer
You will be seen in private and asked the following questions about the baby and his/her parents:
- The place and date of birth of the baby;
- The baby's name, surname and sex;
- The baby's parents' names, surnames, places of birth and occupations;
- Address at time of birth;
- Mother's maiden name and any previous names used.
The details will be entered on to a computer and you will be asked to carefully check that they are correct before signing the register or declaration.
Payment and Certificates
The service is free of charge. A short birth certificate will also be issued free of charge, however this certificate does not show parents’ details. The parents will have the opportunity to purchase one or more full birth certificates, which includes parents' details, usually required for official purposes eg. Passport. For more information please see registration fees.
If you have registered by declaration, the office that your details will be sent to will issue the certificates.
- General Register Office
- Names Dictionary - Name Meanings
- Baby Name Centre - Baby Name Finder
- Baby Naming - Baby Name Finder
- National Family & Parenting Institute
Last updated: 7 August 2012