Registering a birth
All births must be registered in the area where your baby was born within six weeks (42 days) of the date of birth.
If the birth occurred outside of Essex or in Thurrock or Southend, please call 0845 603 7632.
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a free service that notifies multiple local and central government departments that you have had a baby. By telling us this information, we can tell all relevant departments and agencies on your behalf. For more information, see our guide.
Who can register a birth?
- The mother of the baby
- The father of the baby provided he was married to the mother at the time of the birth
- The mother and father jointly if they were not married to each other at the time of the birth
- The mother or father can attend alone if they were not married to each other at the time of the birth, but she/he needs to bring a statutory declaration acknowledging the child’s paternity. Copies of this form can be obtained from any registrar in England or Wales
- The mother, if she was not married to the father, can register the birth alone and not include details of the father. If the father’s details are not entered at the time of registration this can be done at a later date or following the marriage of the father and mother
The registrar will ask you to confirm the following information:
- when and where the birth took place
- the sex of the baby
- full name/s of the child/children and the correct spelling
- full names of the parent/s and the correct spelling
- addresses and occupation of parents
- dates and places of birth of parents
- the date of marriage and the mother’s maiden name, if the parents are married
Babies born outside of Essex or in Thurrock or Southend
If the birth did not occur in Essex but you live in Essex it is possible to give the details to any registrar in England or Wales. This is called registering by declaration.
The registrar receiving the declaration does not register the birth but will send the information to the appropriate registration office where it will be registered. This can cause a delay in the registration process of up to five working days.
Where a declaration is being made, payment for any certificates should be made by cheque. The registrar will advise you of the name of the payee.
You will be given a birth certificate free of charge that shows the baby’s full names, sex, date and place of birth. This certificate does not include parents' details but you can purchase a full birth certificate which does include these details.
Registration and the birth certificate are free. A full birth certificate costs £4 on the day of registration, £7 thereafter while the registrar holds the register, and then £10 if you purchase it at a later date.
You may wish to welcome your new arrival(s) into the family by having a naming ceremony
. A naming ceremony is a formal and dignified non-religious ceremony offered by the Essex Registration Service to welcome a child into a family.
Essex New Parent Guide
If you are a new parent, you may find the information in our new parent guide