The General Register Office (GRO) has announced that it will make its PDF records service permanently available.

The scheme allows family historians to order digital PDF copies of birth records from 1837 to 1918 and death records from 1837 to 1957.

On 16 February, the GRO posted an announcement on the website stating that the PDF scheme had “become a permanent service”.

On the same date, it raised PDF prices from £6 to £7, and increased print certificate prices from £9.25 to £11.

The GRO previously trialled the PDF ordering scheme in a three-phase pilot from November 2016 to April 2017, before introducing the current scheme as an additional pilot in November 2017.

The PDF pilot has made a significant difference to family historians, who often need to order multiple birth or death records to find the right one for their ancestor.

Ordering PDF copies makes the process cheaper and faster. PDFs take five working days to order, whereas ordering a certificate for a UK address can take up to a week.

Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine