How to register a birth

Find out how to register a birth in Suffolk, book an appointment to see a registrar and make changes to birth registrations.

Our registrars can register the births of all babies born in the county of Suffolk. You can register at any of our offices regardless of where in Suffolk your baby was born.

Book an appointment

  • Face to face appointments are available Monday to Friday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • If you're not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together
  • There is no on-site car parking available. Please use the public car parks nearby.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Bury St Edmunds office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Bury St Edmunds

  • Face to face appointments are available on Thursday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • We cannot take card payments at this office – cash only.
  • If you're not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together 
  • There is no on-site car parking available. Please use the public car parks nearby.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Bury St Edmunds office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Haverhill

  • Face to face appointments are available Monday to Friday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • If you're not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together.
  • There's no on-site car parking available. Please use the public car parks nearby.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Ipswich office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Ipswich

  • Face to face appointments are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • If you are not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together
  • There is on-site car parking available for the duration of your appointment.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Lowestoft office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Lowestoft

  • Face to face appointments are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • If you are not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together 
  • When you arrive at the office, please press the intercom buzzer which is on the door panel
  • There is no on-site car parking available. Please use the public car parks nearby.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Stowmarket office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Stowmarket

  • Face to face appointments are available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and take about 20 minutes
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • If you're not married to the father (of the child) and want his details to appear on the birth certificate, both of you will need to attend the appointment together 
  • There is no on-site car parking available. Please use the public car parks nearby.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter to the appointment with you. Appointments may take longer if an interpreter is needed. Contact Woodbridge office to book an longer appointment.
  • You will sit with a registrar who will be wearing a face covering and sitting behind a screen
  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the appointment time.
  • You're welcome to use the NHS COVID-19 app. QR codes are visible on arrival.
  • We would encourage you to wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser before and after your appointment.
  • As appointments are booked every 20 minutes, you will not be seen (and will miss your appointment) if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.
  • There is space for a maximum of 3 people in each appointment room.
  • Please check the register page very carefully before you sign it. The responsibility lies with you to look for any errors on this legal document. Corrections cost up to £90.

Registering more than one baby/child

Appointments may take longer if you need to register more than one baby. Contact us to book an appointment if a longer time is needed.

Book a face to face appointment at Woodbridge

Appointments are not available at these offices.

We can also offer limited appointments for Suffolk residents whose babies were born in Norfolk or Cambridgeshire. This service is not available in all offices.

If your baby was born in:

  • Cambridgeshire and you're a Suffolk resident, you can register your baby at the Bury St Edmunds office and Haverhill offices only.
  • Norfolk and you’re a Suffolk resident, you can register your baby at Lowestoft office only.

If you are Suffolk resident and your baby was born elsewhere in England or Wales, you may be able to complete the preliminary paperwork at one of our offices and we will send it on to the relevant district where the registration will be completed. This process is much slower and will involve a delay in receiving your certificate. Please contact one of our offices to find out more about this service.

To register a birth you will need to know the following:

  • date and place of birth - the time of birth will be recorded if you are registering twins, triplets, etc.
  • baby's gender
  • full name(s) of the baby - and the correct spelling
  • forenames and surname of the parent(s), including any names that have been used previously
  • date and place of birth of the parent(s)
  • addresses and occupations or previous occupations of the parent/s
  • number of previous children by the mother
  • date of marriage and the mother's maiden name (if applicable)

You can bring the health authority's notification of your baby's birth and your own passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates to help with spellings and information. However, these documents are not required for the registration to take place.

Short certificate

Costs £11 per copy. This shows only the baby's name and date of birth.

Full certificate

Costs £11 per copy. This will include details of the parent(s).

There is an error on the birth certificate – what should I do?

Once an entry is signed as being accurate the entry is considered complete. A legal process has to be followed to make changes. This will usually require referral with appropriate evidence to the Registrar General. If there is an error on your child's birth certificate please contact one of our register offices for guidance.


Can I change my child’s forenames?

You can change a child’s forename in the following circumstances:

  • If new forenames were given in baptism or by regular use within 12 months of the birth being registered.
  • If your child has been baptised, only the baptismal names can be added to the register - the minister with custody of the baptismal register needs to confirm this using a 'Certificate of name given in Baptism' form available from your local registration office.

Please also note:

  • You must be the mother, father or guardian of the child to make the change.
  • Forename changes can only be made once – any further forename changes cannot be recorded.
  • You must comply with any court orders in force about the naming of your child.

The fee applicable to this process is £40. Please contact one of our offices for details.


Can I change my child’s surname?

You can only change a child’s surname in their original birth record to correct a spelling mistake or at re-registration following marriage of the natural parents/addition of the natural father’s details.


What happens if the natural parents of a child marry each other in future?

If the natural parents of a child marry each other at any time in the future, the child’s birth entry must be re-registered to reflect this. This is a legal Requirement which must be carried out regardless of the surname your child has been given at birth.

If you wish to re-register your child after you marry the child's natural father, you should read the information from GOV.UK about adding a father's name to a birth certificate.

To re-register a child's birth following the marriage of natural parents, complete the relevant form available from GOV.UK or your local registration office (PDF, 88KB).

As part of this process you will have the opportunity to change the surname of your child if you wish.

When you have completed the form please contact your local registration office to complete the process.

There is no charge to re-register your child unless you would like a replacement birth certificate which is charged by statutory fee (currently £11 for both full and short certificates).


What is parental responsibility?

A child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child.

A father has this responsibility if he is married to the child’s mother or is named as the father on the child’s birth entry (only for births registered after 1 December 2003).


Can I add the natural father's name to the birth entry?

Adding the natural father’s details into the birth entry will give you both equal parental responsibility. In the first instance, you should read the information from GOV.UK about adding a father's name to a birth certificate.

To add a father's name to a birth certificate, complete the relevant form available from GOV.UK or your local registration office. Please contact your local office.

As part of this process you will have the opportunity to change the surname of your child if both parents agree to this.

When you have completed the form please contact your local registration office to complete the process.

There is no charge to re-register your child unless you would like a replacement birth certificate which is charged by statutory fee (currently £11 for both full and short certificates).


Can I remove or amend the father’s details from the birth entry?

A paternity correction can only be made when it has been proven either by a DNA test or a court order that the man named on the certificate is not the natural father of the child.

To correct a birth registration, please read the information on GOV.UK. You are also able to download the relevant forms. When completed, the form needs to be taken to a Registration Office with all the documents required as proof and the necessary payment.

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