How to register a birth

Following the most recent government guidance, masks and social distancing are no longer required. We do, however, strongly advise you to follow these precautions while attending your registration appointment to protect both staff and guests.

In the continued interests of safety, we politely request that children do not attend. Your baby does not need to be present for the registration if alternative arrangements can be made. 

Please note that due to safety measures for public and staff, we currently have a limited availability for appointments.

You can use our online system on the Somerset County Council website to book an appointment. If you are unable to use our online system, please phone us on 01823 282251.

We currently offer appointments for babies born in North Somerset.

Babies born in the Bristol registration district to North Somerset residents can also be registered at the Weston and Clevedon offices, due to a reciprocal agreement we have with the Bristol Register Office.

If your baby was born elsewhere please contact the Registration Service in the area they were born for more information.

Who can register a birth

If the parents are married to each other at the time of the birth, either parent can complete the registration.

If the parents are not married to each other at the time of birth and the father’s details are to be shown on the child’s birth certificate, both parents should attend together.

If it is not possible for both parents to attend together, the law allows for one parent to complete the registration by bringing with them a ‘statutory declaration’ which has been signed by the other parent in front of a ‘Notary Public’ (solicitor or magistrate, for example).

If you need to register via statutory declaration, please contact your local Register Office. We can advise you on the process and correct forms. 

You can find more information and a form to download on the GOV.UK website.

What you need to bring

When you arrive for your appointment, the registrar will ask you for the following information:

  • the child's full name and surname
  • child's date and place of birth
  • full name and surname for both parents
  • place of birth for both parents
  • parents’ occupation

You can use the following documents to confirm your details. However, these are not essential and you can go ahead without them:

  • passport or birth certificate
  • driving licence
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • any name change documents

After you've registered

Once you've registered, you will be given the opportunity to purchase a full certificate. This is a detailed copy of the birth entry with parents names, occupation, and place of birth as well as the details for the baby.

Certificates are £11 each.

Any correction requested to the registration will be subject to a non-refundable fee of £75 for consideration of the correction. In some circumstances, this will increase to £90 if the correction needs to be authorised by the General Register Officer. 

We cannot guarantee the correction will be authorised.  

It is therefore very important that all documents are carefully checked at the point of registration.

Child benefit claims

You will need to register your baby before being able to claim Child Benefit. 

Information about Child Benefit and the claim form can be found on the GOV.UK website. 

How to claim

For your first child, you will need to do the following: 

  • print out and fill in the form
  • post to the Child Benefit office
    • if you don’t have access to a printer, you can call 0300 200 3100 and HMRC will send you a form in the post. The form also contains information for the small minority of families who may be eligible  for the High Income  Child Benefit Charge  (HICBC). 

If you are already in receipt of child benefit, you can add further children by calling HMRC on the number above.

Please use our online system on the Somerset County Council website to book an appointment wherever possible.

Babies born outside North Somerset

If your baby is born outside of North Somerset, you can register the birth ‘by declaration’ at any Register Office in England or Wales.

If you register by declaration you won’t receive a birth certificate immediately – they will be sent to you once the registration has been competed in the district of birth. This usually takes about a week.

You can book a registrar appointment by using our online booking system. Please note you will be redirected to Somerset County Council’s website to book.