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Uncertified copies of BMDs

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Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby Guy » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:33 am

Many readers will have heard the good news that the amendments by Lord Stoneham of Droxford on behalf of Lady Scott of Needham Market have been agreed in the House of Lords.
However it is really too soon to be cheering as these two amendments of the Births & Deaths Act 1953 and the Marriage Act 1049 are not yet law.

They form part of the Deregulation bill and this has not finished its passage through parliament. It is due to reach its report stage on the 11 February 2015 before having a third reading in the House of Lords. Then it will be returned to the House of Commons for consideration of the amendments.

It is hoped these final stages will be a matter or formality and Royal Assent will be in March but one can never be sure.

Assuming that Royal Assent is given there is still a wall to climb.
Throughout the decades the GRO and the various Registrars General have dragged their feet claiming to be “working towards” making access easier but in practice putting obstacles in the way of access (such as in 1974 removing public access from registers in the hands of Superintendent Registrars).

I suggest therefore that we need to make not only the current Registrar General, Paul Pugh aware that the public want access to uncertified copies of entries of registers but also the Home Office Minister responsible for HM Passport Office and GRO, James Brokenshire MP.

In other words we need to email and write to both of these gentlemen making them aware of public opinion.
Online ordering and supply of digital copies of the birth and death records could quickly be put in place by private initiative. This could be followed up in a short period by the marriage records (after digitisation).

Remember one of the reasons, if not the main reason, for the existence of Birth, Marriage and Death registers is to allow the public to prove ancestry.
This was why the civil registration system was set-up in 1836 we must not fail our ancestors visions now by doing nothing.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby junkers » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:34 pm

The fact that legislation has been passed does not mean it is operating until it has a Commencement Order or is specified in the Act and I have heard nothing from Treasury over the costs and every Act of Parliament still (as far as I know) needs a Financial Resolution and that Treasury has considered and approved it, they control the costs. Given the history of the subject I would not be hoping for a quick resolution, like who is going to run and maintain the system?.
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby Guy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:00 am

Yes, as I wrote in my post the amendments form part of the Deregulation bill and this has not finished its passage through parliament.
Once the Deregulation bill has Royal Assent the amendment become law and form part of the existing Births & Deaths Act 1953 and the Marriage Act 1949 which clears many formalities otherwise required.

It is not so much the legal formalities that worry me (though they have been claimed in the past to be the block on progress of this specific initiative) as much as the reluctance to change the status quo as displayed over the years by those in control.

No, once the bill has been passed in Parliament the door is open to progress, which is in line with the government’s claim to promote open data.

Private companies are ready and waiting to set up the systems and to bear the most of the cost of doing so. There would of course have to be some form of tender process to go through but this has been done many times in the past with successful results.

There are still decisions to be made and negotiations to take place but these should be easily resolved.
I foresee it will be a two tier process where birth and death records being released quickly with marriage records following within two years.

Cheers
Guy

PS Third reading 03 March 2015
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby irishstreetlad » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:05 pm

Please forgive my ignorance but what is the meaning of "uncertified BMD's"

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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby grandpadragon » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:30 pm

Hi irishstreetlad,
Certified copies as we have at present, are used for legal purposes such as claiming on an insurance policy. Uncertified will give you the information but cannot be used as above. Hopefully they will be delivered digitally and so be much cheaper.

Emlyn
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby irishstreetlad » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:32 pm

Hopefully will be much cheaper for digital copies. I've got about 10 family trees on the go at the moment and about 40 BMD certificates orderded in the past. Thats nearly £400. Plus Irish and Northern Ireland certs are more expensive. Any reduction in future expenses would be welcome. On top of that are ancestry/fmp and forces war records subscriptions. It's an expensive hobby but I enjoy it.

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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby johnf04 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:48 am

Here in New Zealand, there's little difference between the cost of an uncertified register copy, and a certificate. The register copy is usually emailed.
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby Guy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:42 am

The Deregulation Bill (the Bill that allows the GRO to supply non certified copies of entries in BMD registers) has passed through all stages of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and is now waiting for Royal Assent.
Royal Assent should be announced in Parliament, for this Bill, on Tuesday 25th of March, along with Royal Assent to all the other Bills passed by Parliament in this session that have not yet received Royal Assent, prior to Prorogation.

Therefore from midnight on the 25th March it will be legal for the GRO to supply non certified copies of entries in Birth, Marriage and Death registers.

How long will it actually take before the GRO start supplying such copies?
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby Sylcec » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:25 am

Thanks for updating us on this progress.
Questions now become not only WHEN the GRO will start supplying uncertified copies, but also HOW, and at WHAT COST! :) It will be interesting to see how long before digital copies become available by either email or direct download.
Sylvia
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Re: Uncertified copies of BMDs

Postby Guy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:31 am

Sylcec wrote:Thanks for updating us on this progress.
Questions now become not only WHEN the GRO will start supplying uncertified copies, but also HOW, and at WHAT COST! :) It will be interesting to see how long before digital copies become available by either email or direct download.
Sylvia


Yes quite.

I foresee that this will happen as a two or even three stage process.
The first stage I envisage will be to offer non certified copies at the same price as certified copies.
The second stage will be to offer non cerified copies of Historic Births and Deaths online as digital downloads supplied by third parties and a considerably cheaper price (about the cost of a census image) by possibly the end of this year or mid 2016.

The third stage would be to offer uncertified copies of Births, Marriages and Deaths as digital copies online within 3 years.

Cheers
Guy
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