Somerset County Council

Register a birth


You can book online for an appointment to register a birth. On this page you can find all the information you need before your appointment. If you would like a confirmation of your booking, you must give us a valid email address.

You must register the birth of a baby within 42 days. You will be given a private appointment with the Registrar and the registration will take around 30 minutes. Your baby does not need to be present at the appointment.

You can register the birth at any Register Office in Somerset convenient to you. Please see the contacts information below for the opening hours of all Somerset Register Offices.

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What you need to bring
When you arrive for your appointment the registrar will ask you for the following information:

  • The full name and surname in which the child will be brought up
  • Date and place of birth of the child
  • Full name and surname of the parent(s)
  • Parent(s) place of birth
  • Parent(s) occupation

Documents required to confirm your name, date and place of birth and your marital status: 

  • Passport or birth certificate
  • Driving licence
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Any name change documents

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 at the Register Office together. 

If it is really 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 are thinking of registering a birth in this way, please contact your local Register Office, who will be able to give you more advice, as well as the correct form to sign.

You can find more information and a download of the form on the General Register Office website.

After registration
After the registration you will be issued with a short birth certificate free of charge. 

A short certificate shows the child's name and sex, as well as their date and place of birth. This can be used to claim child benefit. A full certificate is required to apply for a passport.

If you require a full certificate, the cost is £4 at the time of registration. After this, the fee increases to £7, and once the register is archived, £10. A full certificate includes details of parents' names, occupation and place of birth as well as the details included in the short certificate.

Somerset is a 'Unified District', which means that if your baby was born in Somerset you can register at any office in the county.

Babies born outside Somerset
If your baby was born outside Somerset, you can register the birth 'by declaration' at any Register Office in England or Wales. This means that the details you give to the Registrar will be sent to the correct district to be registered. 

If you decide to register by declaration, you will not receive any birth certificates immediately; these will be forwarded to you once the registration has been completed in the district of birth, usually within a week. 


Contact details and opening times of our Register Office and all our Registration Offices 

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