Family historians can expect to see the cost of ordering copies of birth, marriage and death certificates from the General Register Office (GRO) increase in February.
The GRO website allows researchers to order print and PDF copies of vital records in England and Wales, dating from the introduction of civil registration in 1837.
Increased charges for this service, which will come into force on 16 February 2019, have now been published in Statutory Instrument No 1268, ‘Registration of births, deaths & marriages, etc., England and Wales’, available on the UK government’s legislation website.
The cost of print certificates will increase from £9.25 to £11, and from £23.40 to £35 for the priority service, which allows delivery on the next working day. The same costs will apply if researchers order the certificate from their local register office.
In October 2017 the GRO introduced a new pilot scheme allowing researchers to order PDF copies of digitised birth and death records for £6 each. Following an estimated 79,600 PDF orders in three months, the scheme was extended indefinitely.
The cost of PDF records will now increase to £7, with priority deliveries available at £45.
If researchers make an application to the GRO for a certificate copy without knowing the index reference, there will be an additional non-refundable fee of £3 in exchange for GRO staff carrying out a search of the index. Currently, this service is free.
There will also be a fee of £3.50 where the GRO cannot fulfil an order because the staff cannot locate the record with the information provided.
The increased fees are the first pricing changes at the GRO since 2010.
Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine