Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Local BMD cert prices to increase

A huge thanks to Sharon Hartas from UKBMD (www.ukbmd.org.uk) for a tip on Twitter that I have since followed up and confirmed. Sharon had tweeted that local certificate prices in England and Wales were set to increase from April 1st 2012 to £10 each, but was unsure of the GRO situation. I have called the GRO in Southport and have obtained the following information:

From April 1st there are indeed a couple of revisions kicking in to the statutory legislation for local certificates.
  • If you register a birth, marriage or death at a local registrar's office, the cost to obtain a certificate at the time of registration is to rise from the current £3.50 to £4.
  • For historic certificates - i.e. those that we use for our genealogical research - the price is to rise from £9 to £10.
  • There is to be no change for the cost of certificates obtained from the national GRO for England and Wales at Southport, which remains at £9.25.

It is worth bearing in mind that local certificates will have a statutory charge of £10 - but in the past many local authorities have gone beyond the statutory price with additional costs for 'admin'. So it is possible that for some areas you may actually pay more.

This is a bit of a game changer, in that local certs were previously cheaper than those obtained nationally, by a small factor of 25p. Now they will be 75p dearer. It should be noted though that locally obtained certs are often more accurate, with no chance for copying errors to creep in before being sent to the central GRO. Some entries are also missing from the national indexes. To search for indexes to the records held locally, visit UKBMD - and as Sharon stated on Twitter, it may be worth getting those orders in now, if you wish to order from your local office, before the prices go up.

(With thanks to Sharon @sharonhartas)

UPDATE: Apparently these changes are due to the Registration of Births Deaths and Marriages (Fees) (Amendment) Order 2012, laid before Parliament on 9th March.

(With thanks to John Reid at http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com)


British GENES on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES and Twitter @chrismpaton


  1. Only a matter of time before the centrally ordered ones go up too, I fear! :-(

  2. Was it my imagination, or weren't DOVE, MAGPIE and EAGLE supposed to make certs more accessible and cheaper? Guess I must have been hallucinating. Thank goodness the pound is now at $1.55 CDN instead of the over $2 it used to be.

  3. The DOVE (Digitisation of Vital Events) project was meant to digitise the records to make it easier for orders to be processed, whilst EAGLE (Electronic Access to GRO Legacy Events) was the creation of a new index. I've actually forgotten what MAGPIE stood for, but it all ended up a bit bird-brained really, half completed and badly handled, and it's been a comedy of errors ever since really. There was never an intention, however, as far as I can remember, for those records to have been made available cheaper and online in an English version of something like ScotlandsPeople. Which is a real pity!