Historical Australian Birth, Death and Marriage Records

Australian-BDM-certificates

Birth, death and marriage records (best known as BDM records or certificates) are without a doubt an important part of a family historians research. You can glean so much from just one certificate: alternate name spellings, address, mother’s maiden name, father name, or even no father listed, witnesses, informants and more.

I’ve created a listing below giving details of the Registrar of each Australian state and territory, when their records started, details of their privacy period, and cost of their BDM certificates.

While most Australian registrars still require you to submit details and a physical paper copy of the certificate is mailed out to you, the Queensland and Victorian registrars are moving with the times, as they’ve recently digitised their historical certificates and now offer them as downloads. Wouldn’t it be nice if EVERY state offered this?

While indexes are useful, they most certainly don’t give you all the details that a certificate does. So if you can, it pays to get a copy of the original, or at least a transcription of it if that’s offered.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
registration commenced 1 January 1930
(records prior to 1930 were registered in the NSW Registry)
births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years, and deaths over 30 years
Printed copies – $45.00
Registrar: Access Canberra

New South Wales (NSW)
registration commenced 1 March 1856
births over 100 years, marriages over 50 years, and deaths over 30 years
Printed copies – $32.00
Registrar: NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Search the free index online: NSW BDM Index 1788-1986

Northern Territory (NT)
registration commenced 24 August 1870
(records between 1856-1863 were registered in the NSW Registry)
(records between 1863-1870 were registered in the SA Registry)
births over 80 years ago, marriages over 60 years ago, and deaths over 30 years ago
Printed copies – $44.00
Registrar: NT.gov.au

Queensland (QLD)
registration commenced 1 March 1856
births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years ago, and deaths over 30 years ago
Printed copies – $29.00
Download copies – $20.70
Registrar: Queensland Government
Search the free index online: Queensland BDM Index 1829-1986

South Australia (SA)
registration commenced 1 June 1842
births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years ago, and deaths over 30 years ago
Printed copies – $47.75
Registrar: Consumer and Business Services

Tasmania (TAS)
registration commenced 1 December 1838
births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years ago, and deaths over 25 years ago
Printed copies – $47.43
Registrar: Department of Justice
Search the free index online: Tasmanian Name Index
Browse the free images and part index online at FamilySearch: Tasmanian BDM 1803-1933 images

Victoria (VIC)
registration commenced 1 July 1853
births over 100 years ago, marriages over 75 years ago, and deaths over 30 years ago
Printed copies – $31.80
Download copies – $24.60
Registrar: Births, Deaths, Marriage Victoria
Search the free index online: Victorian BDM Index 1853-1988

Western Australia (WA)
registration commenced 1 September 1841
births over 85 years ago, marriages over 80 years ago, and deaths over 45 years ago
Printed copies – $48.00
Uncertified copies – $20.00
Registrar: Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Search the free index online: Western Australian BDM Index 1832-1971

* You can also find details of many Australian BDM records (not all – so be sure to check the fine print), on both Ancestry.com.au and Findmypast.com.au. Note these are indexes, not original images, and you will need a subscription.

* Note: all prices are in Australian dollars and exclude postage costs. Prices are correct as at the time of writing, though they are subject to change.

3 thoughts on “Historical Australian Birth, Death and Marriage Records

  1. Ronald Dean Munro says:

    Still looking and looking for a record of my Great Great Grandmothers birth. Juliana Stirling REEVES born 18JUL1835 at Circular Head, Tas. Come on … where did Mummy and Daddy record your birth?

  2. Ronald Dean Munro: Hi my grandfather and his brother’s births weren’t recorded – by chance located where they had been baptised. The other 8 children had been registered except for these 2. I found their birth dates in the archives in Hobart – the book was Baptisms / Christenings in the Emu Bay District. You may have luck in a book similar to this one.

    Happy searching

  3. The Victorian BDM site has just recently changed. You will need to amend your link

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