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Registering a birth

How and where to register your child's birth.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. If your baby was born in Oxfordshire, you can register the birth at any of the Oxfordshire Registration Offices located in Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Didcot, Henley, Oxford or Witney.

You must book an appointment in advance to register a birth.

If you are resident in Oxfordshire and your baby was born in England or Wales, but outside Oxfordshire, you may be able to complete a declaration of the particulars of the birth at one of our offices. This declaration will be sent to the registration office in the area in which the birth took place. There will therefore be a delay in completing the birth registration and in receiving copies of your child’s birth certificate.

Who can register the birth? 

  • If the parents were married to each other, or in a registered civil partnership with each other at the time of the birth, the mother, father or second female parent can register the birth.
  • If the parents were not in a marriage or not in a registered civil partnership together, the father or second female parent must attend the appointment with the mother if their details are to be included on the registration; if the mother attends alone, no father's or second female parent's details will be recorded.
  • If two female parents are not in a marriage or registered civil partnership together, both must attend the appointment and meet the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act if the second female parent’s details are to be included on the registration; if the mother attends alone, no second female parent details will be recorded.

Details the registrar will need to know

At the appointment the registrar will ask you to confirm:

  • Place and date of the birth
  • Forenames and surname you have chosen for the child
  • Sex of the child
  • Parents' names, surnames and address (including any former names)
  • Places and dates of parents' birth
  • Date of parents' marriage or civil partnership (if applicable)
  • Parents' occupations
  • Mother's maiden surname (if applicable).

Documents to bring to the registration appointment

  • Please bring either your baby’s red book or your hospital discharge notes to the appointment as the registrar will need to know your baby’s NHS number.
  • It can also be useful to bring your personal ID documents such as your passport and birth and marriage/civil partnership certificates to confirm details for the birth entry (e.g. parents’ place of birth, exact spelling of names and whether a name has an accented character).

Ensuring the accuracy of the information recorded

It is vitally important that the information contained in a birth registration is accurate, as it is a legal record of the details of the child and parent(s). A hard copy of the register page will be provided at the appointment and the opportunity to check it very carefully before signing will be given. It may be possible to apply to the Registrar General for a correction to a birth registration at a later date, but there will be a fee of either £75.00 or £90.00 for the application and evidence of the correct information will be required.

Birth certificates

No birth certificates are issued free of charge. The cost for each birth certificate is £11. If you would like the birth certificate to be issued to you at the appointment, please make payment for certificates by debit/credit card in advance when booking the registration appointment.  Alternatively you can order certificates after the appointment and these will usually be posted to you within 15 days of ordering.

We can only issue certificates at the appointment if you have paid for them in advance.

Support with registering a birth

If English is not your first language and you would like some support with the birth registration appointment, please ask a friend or relative who is fluent in both English and your own language to accompany you to the appointment and act as an interpreter. The interpreter cannot register the birth on your behalf; you must attend together.

If you have any other additional needs or special circumstances and may need some support to register your baby please contact the Customer Service Team on 0345 241 2489 or complete the online enquiry form.

Book an appointment to register a birth

You can book an appointment to register the birth at any of the Oxfordshire registration offices

The process of booking an appointment to register the birth will take you through a series of questions that you will need to answer to book the appointment.    If you wish to apply for births certificates to be issued at the appointment, you will also need a debit or credit card to make payment at the time of booking the appointment.

Alternatively, you can contact us on 0345 241 2489 for assistance to book an appointment.

Child benefit

You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you've registered the birth of your child. Child Benefit can be backdated for up to three months. Information about Child benefit can be found on GOV.UK including the Child benefit claim form CH2.

For your first child, this must be printed out, filled in, and sent to the Child benefit office. If you don't have access to a printer, you can call 0300 200 3100 and HM Revenue and Customs (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 already have a Child benefit claim, you can add further children by calling HMRC on the number above.

Registering your child with a doctor

New parents can register their baby with a doctor's practice without a birth certificate.