Release historic Birth, Marriage, and Death certificates for viewing online
Responsible department: Home Office
At present it is only possible to view the details of births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales since 1837 through certified copies of the entries purchased from the General Register Office (GRO) at £9.25 each. It has long been argued that the older certificates (subject to a time limit) could be transferred to The National Archives, and with current technology, could be scanned and made available for viewing online on payment of a more modest fee. Family historians typically want to see the information on several certificates in order to find the correct one, rather than own expensive legally certified copies. Enabling this would require a change in the law. If parliament could effect this change, then the original registers held by local registrars, should be the ones scanned, rather than the copies held centrally by the GRO. For a summary of reform proposals, see: (http://www.parliament.uk/Templates/BriefingPapers/Pages/BPPdfDownload.aspx?bp-id=SN02722)
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