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Register a birth

Last updated 15 August 2014

Register Office opening hours

Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.  Please note Birth Registrations are only done Monday to Friday.

We are closed on Bank Holidays and Sundays, with the exception of obtaining burial certificates for burial within 24 hours. Please call Waltham Forest Direct between 9am-11am. This service is not available Christmas Day.

When must births be registered?

Every birth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place within 42 days of the date of birth.

Who can register a birth?

If parents are married at the time of birth or conception, either the mother or father can register the birth on their own.

If you are not married, to ensure both parents’ details are included on the birth certificate, there are several options:

  • both parents attend the register office and register the birth together
  • if one parent cannot go to the register office, they will need to complete the statutory declaration form - the parent registering the birth should give the completed form to the registrar at the time of registration
  • both parents attend and sign the birth register together
  • if the father cannot attend the register office, he will need to complete the statutory declaration form - the mother should give the completed form to the registrar

If the father's details are not included in the birth register, it may be possible to re-register at a later date.

  • In exceptional circumstances, if the mother or the father cannot attend, the following people can register the birth, but you should contact the Register Office in advance for advice on 020 8496 3000
  • occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
  • someone who was present at the birth
  • someone who is responsible for the child

The registration process

Registration is by appointment only, call 020 8496 3000 to book. Online booking services will return later in the year.

To make birth registration more easily accessible to new parents, we now do Birth registrations at Walthamstow Library, Leyton Library and Leytonstone Library.

Registering a birth is free of charge. Charges for certificates are shown below:


Type of certificate Fee
Statutory certificate £4
Certificate - inquest £4
Certificate - Open Book (which means up to the first month after registration) £7
Certificate - Closed Book (which means after the first month of registration) £10
Search fee £18
Copy certificates - Standard Service
Copy certificates - Priority Service (1 working day) £20

On the day of attendance for registration, please arrive and book in at reception before your appointment time. Please allow ample time for parking, as spaces are restricted. If you are late, your appointment will be rebooked.

What information is needed to register a birth?

Please bring along the Birth Notification Sheet, issued by a Midwife. If you do not have the Birth Notification then please bring along your baby's red health book.

The Registrar will ask you for the following information:

  • the date of birth
  • where the baby was born
  • the baby’s full name
  • the mother’s full name and maiden name, if married
  • the mother’s job
  • the mother’s address
  • the mother’s date and place of birth

If father’s details are to be included:

  • the father’s full name
  • the father’s date and place of birth
  • the father’s job
  • the father’s address
  • if the parents are married we need to know the date of the marriage

Registering a baby not born in Waltham Forest

Where the baby was born in another area, but you wish to register in Waltham Forest, a facility exists where you may give details of the birth by declaration.

We will take the details of the registration and forward them by post to the Registrar of the area where the baby was born. The Registrar in that office will make the entry in the birth register from the details on the declaration and will then forward to you, the short birth certificate issued free of charge.

You should allow at least seven working days between giving the birth declaration and the receipt of documents. If you have not received anything after this time you should contact the Register Office for the area in which the birth took place and not the office that took the declaration of birth.

The information required by the Registrar taking the declaration of birth is the same for the registration of a birth.

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