(UK) General Register Office Extends Birth and Death Records PDF Trial #general
Jan Meisels Allen
In 2017 the United Kingdom's General Register Office (GRO) held a
three phase pilot on accessing birth and death records by pdf. The GRO
extended the final phase which was supposed to run for three months
starting October 12, 2017. However in the current issue of Who Do
You Think You Are? Magazine, they write the GRO confirmed to them that
the latest pilot delivering PDF copies of birth and death records has
been successful and they will be extending the pilot. They were also
advised that "further changes" would be communicated in due course".
During the 3-month pilot they had over 79,800 PDF applications and
processed providing a less expensive and quicker alternative to
ordering print copies. See: https://tinyurl.com/yazf8y2h
The GRO has yet to establish a permanent PDF scheme and it may take
legislative action by Parliament to make it permanent.
A PDF is not a certificate as they do not have the official crest and
signature of issuing authority as would a regular certificate. A PDF
will have no "evidential" value, and therefore a paper certified copy
[certificate] is required for official purposes, e.g. if applying for a
passport, driving license, or where required to give notice of marriage.
The extended pilot covers PDF copies of those historical digitized civil
registration records held by GRO (i.e. birth entries >from 1837 - 1916
and death entries >from 1837 - 1957). Modern records are not covered
during the extended pilot. A GRO index reference is required to be
provided with the application. You can find the GRO index references by
logging on to the GRO online ordering service and accessing the GRO
online indexes. A PDF will cost £6.00 each.
For information on the extended pilot please see the questions and answers
on their website. You first have to register (it's free) to access the
rest of the website:
That will then open the window of "what would you like to do?" On the
right there is a menu of items. Click on the "About the PDF Pilot." That
will take you to the "Extended PDF Pilot: About the Pilot.
Thank you to Gail Dever of Genealogy a la carte for informing us about the
Who Do You Think You Are Article.
To read the previous postings about the three-phase pilot on the IAJGS
Records Access Alert, the IAJGS Records Access Alerts archives which may
be accessed at:
You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS
Records Access Alert go to:
http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts. You will
receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription
will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization
affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee