Register a birth
Every birth in England and Wales must be registered within 42 days (6 weeks) of the child being born.
Book an appointment to register a birth
You can book, cancel or amend a birth registration appointment.
You can also contact us to book an appointment:
The appointment will take place at one of our Dorset Council register offices.
Who can register a birth
Either parent can register the birth on their own. They can include both parents' details if they were married when the baby was born or conceived.
If you weren't married to each other when the baby was born or conceived then the mother can register the birth alone, but only her details can be recorded.
If you would like the father's details to be recorded then both parents must attend and both sign the register. If it is not possible for the father to attend please contact us for further advice.
If you have special circumstances such as a parental responsibility agreement in force, or court order, or circumstances in which the unmarried mother is unable to attend please contact us for further advice.
Read more information on who can register a birth .
Where to register a birth
You can register a birth in the Dorset Council area at one of our register offices.
What you'll need to tell us
The registrar will need to know:
the date and place of the birth (the time is only required in the case of multiple births e.g. twins)
name, surname and sex of the baby
date of parents' marriage if applicable
mother's maiden surname
We'll also need to know:
We recommend that you bring your passports or birth certificates to prove this information and prevent mistakes.
You can buy a birth certificate at your appointment for £11. We accept cash, cheques and credit cards.
Births outside of the Dorset Council area
If the baby was born outside of the Dorset Council area (including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) you should register the birth in the district where the birth took place.
If that's not convenient, you can still attend an office in the Dorset Council area to make a 'declaration'. We'll send the details to the register office in the district where the baby was born and they will send you the birth certificate, usually within a week.
For more information about how we handle your personal data read the Registration Service Privacy Notice.