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Register a birth

Book a birth registration appointment and discover how to register a birth.

Last updated: 13 April 2023

Important: We can only complete a birth registration where the birth occurred in Waltham Forest. If your birth occurred in another borough, we can complete a Birth Declaration which will need to be finalised in the borough of birth and may take two weeks longer.

Register a birth

A birth should be registered within 42 days of the child being born.

You must make an appointment to register the birth of a baby, which will take place at our Walthamstow or Leytonstone Libraries.

Please arrive on time for your appointment. We reserve the right to cancel your appointment if you arrive more than 5 minutes after your appointment time and you will be required to re-book.

Book a birth registration appointment

It is best to register a birth in the district where the baby was born. If your baby was born in Waltham Forest, please make an appointment using our online booking system. 

If your baby was born outside of the borough, you should still make an appointment using our online booking system so you can carry out a birth by declaration. We'll record details of the registration and post them to the registrar in the district where your baby was born. The registrar will then post the birth certificate to you, and you will pay them directly.

Documents required for your appointment

To ensure the information recorded in the register is accurate, please bring with you any discharge papers and your baby’s red book in addition to:

  • A passport, driving licence, or birth certificate for each parent
  • If the parents are married, they should bring their marriage certificate
  • Any name change documents such as a deed poll or a change of name deed
  • Proof of address such as a driving licence or a Council Tax bill

If English is not your first language and help is needed, you should bring an interpreter to the appointment. Errors that are identified after the registration is complete cannot be easily corrected.

Certificate costs

Registering a birth is free. All birth certificates (short and long form) are £11 each.

You can purchase a short birth certificate at the time of the registration appointment.

You are advised to purchase a minimum of 3 certificates to be used for official purposes, and you can buy extra copies at your registration appointment if needed.

When you make your booking, you'll be asked for payment by debit or credit card. We do not accept cash.

Additional information

If you don't have a computer or are unsure of how to book an appointment online, you can call us on 0208 496 3000 for support.

For all our services, please visit our Register Office webpage.

If you need a copy of a birth certificate, read our copy certificate information for costs and how to apply.

To make a general enquiry to the Register Office, this can by done through My Account.

You can read the GOV.UK guide to registering a birth for more details, such as procedures for unmarried parents, how children impact your taxes, and how to make child benefit claims.