Following the most recent Government announcement, masks are no longer legally required. We do however strongly advise our customers to wear them while in our buildings.
Social distancing is no longer mandatory but we are continuing to take precautions in our offices where possible to protect both staff and guests. We politely request that children do not attend if at all possible. It is not necessary to bring your newborn baby with you if alternative arrangements are available.
You may now claim Child Benefit or Universal Credit while waiting to register your child. New parents should complete the Child Benefit Claim Form stating COVID-19 as a reason for non-registration in a cover note, while existing recipients of Child Benefit may add their newborn’s details over the phone with the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100. This can be backdated by up to 3 months.
At present we have reduced availability as a result of the safety measures we have had to put in place. This is for the safety of the public and registration staff. Appointments for birth registrations are available in Taunton, Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Williton and Yeovil for births that happened in Somerset, and in Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon for births in North Somerset and Bristol. We will update this information as more offices are opened for face to face appointments.
Please note we are only making appointments for babies born in Somerset, North Somerset, and Bristol residents. If your baby was born elsewhere please contact the Registration Service in the area they were born for more information.
Please use our online system to book an appointment wherever possible.
If you are unable to use our online system, please phone us on 01823 282251
Where can you register
You can register a birth at the following Register Offices in Somerset:
Who can register
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, and we will give you more advice, as well as the correct form to sign.
You can find more information and a form to download on the General Register Office website.
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 the child will be brought up using
- Date and place of birth of the child
- Full name and surname of the parents
- Parents’ place of birth
- Parents’ occupation
You can use the following documents to confirm your details, but 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
The full certificate is a full copy of the birth entry with parents names, occupation and place of birth as well as the details included in the short certificate.
Both types of certificate are £11 each.
Somerset is a ‘Unified District’, which means that if your baby was born in Somerset you can register at any office in the county.
Please note that if you ask for any correction to the registration you will be charged a non-refundable fee for it to be considered. We cannot guarantee that the correction will be authorised. The fee will be £75 and made payable to the Local Registration Authority.
Sometimes this fee will increase to £90 if the correction needs to be authorised by the General Register Office. So, it is very important that you check the document carefully at your registration appointment.
The short certificate is no longer offered at the point of registration. This type of certificate shows only full name, sex, date of birth and (in most cases district of birth). This is not suitable for passport applications.
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. They will be forwarded to you once the registration has been completed in the district the child was born in and you have arranged payment.