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Birth Registrations

Whilst the registration system we use has improved, there are still intermittent technical problems which may mean your appointment may take longer than usual or the registrars may need to complete a manual registration.

Unfortunately, in some cases we may not be able to issue a certificate at the time of registration. We are sorry for any inconvenience or distress that this may cause.

To manage the backlog of births, we have opened birth appointments up for several weeks in advance. Those parents that have received a letter from us for ‘older births’ are being asked to email in. The appointments are restricted due to other services having to take priority, but they can be booked online, when there is availability. If there are no appointments showing, this means they have all been booked.

If you have entered your babies date of birth and your message reads ‘We are currently only registering babies born before…’ you will not be able to book your appointment until a later date. If you have an urgent request to register your baby, please email in with your contact details, date and place of birth for baby and your circumstances for the urgent request to Registrars@southampton.gov.uk

Currently you can still claim child benefit before registration and the 42 days deadline is a little more ‘relaxed’ so please do not worry if you haven’t registered your baby/child within 42 days.

Birth appointments are face to face in the offices. We are still limiting those attending the appointments to only those necessary to make the registration legal. For example, for married/civil partnership parents, only one parent attends the office. You can bring baby/child to be registered with you, but it is not essential. Please do not bring additional siblings or persons with you. If you must, you will be asked to complete the registration over the telephone in the car park and then come into the building separately. For example, unmarried parents (as both must legally sign) or siblings attending due to childcare.

We appreciate your patience during this time.

Parents requiring a translator appointment to register baby

You are not allowed to book a birth appointment online if you need help/support with your English. The translator appointment takes longer and we have specified slots to allow enough time for the registrars and customers. These are restricted due to room availability and staffing. You will need to get a friend or relative to interpret for you. Please email us your interpreters phone number to registrars@southampton.gov.uk. Please include your details and date and place of birth for baby and we will call your interpreter to arrange a time for you to attend the offices WITH your interpreter. The same rules apply regarding the older births with translators taking priority. If you have an urgent request, please email us and this will be looked at on a case by case basis if we have availability.

If you have booked an appointment online AND you need an interpreter, you will NOT be seen for that appointment. We cannot accommodate those translator appointments within back to back appointments with the birth appointment times allocated.

Babies born to Parents living in the Channel Islands

If you live in the Channel Islands and have had to come to Southampton to have your baby, you will need to register the birth BEFORE you leave the mainland. Please ask your midwife to contact our offices on Registrars@southampton.gov.uk with your contact information and we will call you.

Re-registration of baby after natural parents have married or formed a civil partnership with each other

We have currently suspended this service due to the backlog. Providing the natural father is listed on the original entry, he has parental responsibility for the child. We will update the webpage once this service can resume.

Re-registration of baby to add the natural father

These are still being provided for, albeit with a limited availability. As soon as the natural father is on the registration, he gains parental responsibility for the baby/child. Please email the completed re-registration form to registrars@southampton.gov.uk and we will advise regarding availability of appointments.

Birth appointments - what you need to know

A birth must be registered within 42 days (six weeks) to obtain a birth certificate for your baby.

A birth registration appointment lasts about 20 minutes. If more than one baby is being registered, or an interpreter is assisting, it may take up to 40 minutes. Due to the high demand of our appointments, please be aware that your appointment may have to be rescheduled if you are more than five minutes late.

Although you must attend in person, you do not need to bring the baby with you.

If the birth you wish to register occurred at one of the following locations an appointment should be booked at Southampton Register Office:

  • Princess Anne Hospital
  • A home birth at an address within the Southampton City Council boundary. This is essentially postcode areas SO14-SO19 however, there are some exceptions, so please check with the local authority of the area where you should register the birth

Book an appointment to register a birth

If your baby was born at the Princess Anne Hospital, but you don't live in the city, you can register the birth at offices in the Hampshire registration district.

Hampshire offices will also be able to issue your certificates at the time of registration.

If you live further afield, you can make a declaration of the facts at any Register Office in England or Wales. The birth certificates will be sent from the Southampton Register Office in due course.

Why not plant a tree to commemorate your child's birth? This is a fantastic opportunity to mark the birth of your child and contribute to a greener city. Find out more about the next tree planting event in Southampton.

What documents will you need to take to the registration?

If you have been given a red baby book, please bring this with you. Please also bring proof of current and past names, and current address for the Mother and the Father or second female parent. It is advisable to bring:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Deed poll
  • Driving licence
  • Proof of address
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate

What the registrar will need to know

Details the registrar will need are:

  • Place and date of the birth
  • Name, any middle names, surname and sex of the baby
  • Parent/s full names, surnames, previous surnames and address
  • Places and dates of parent/s birth
  • Date of parent/s marriage or civil partnership (if applicable)
  • Parent/s jobs
  • Mother's maiden surname and any previous married surnames

Not all of this information may be required, depending on who is registering the birth. Please read the information on corrections to registrations before attending your appointment.

What does it cost to register a birth?

It does not cost anything to register a baby’s birth. Registrations effected from 1 November 2017 will no longer receive a free short certificate.

A full birth certificate contains all the information that appears in the register entry and is the certificate you will require to obtain a passport or open a bank account for your child.

These certificates are available to purchase at the time of registration at a cost of £11.00 each. We recommend you purchase at least two full certificates at the time of registration. You can order a certificate any time after the registration.

Other services of interest

Southampton Registration services also perform a Naming ceremony

Southampton has many Sure Start Children’s Centres across the City offering support for all families with children under five.

Sign your family up to Southampton libraries to hear of news activities and events.