You'll be pleased to hear that the Northern Ireland Assembly has approved the General Register Office of Northern Ireland's proposed new fee structure. In effect, this approval kick-starts the countdown to the launch of GRONI's new online facility for viewing birth, marriage and death civil registration data and purchasing certificates. (For details of how the online system will work and what it will cost, see my WDYTYA?Live report, here.)
With the legislation passed, GRONI can introduce the new fee structure from 31 March, and only FROM 31 March. Neither the fee structure nor the online facility to which it relates, can legally be introduced before that date.
Alistair Butler of GRONI has confirmed to Irish Genealogy News that the new system – to be known simply as the GRO Family History website – will start operating in GRONI's public search room on 31 March. "Any researcher visiting the public search room from that date will be presented with the new system." he says. "This 'soft launch' allows us to be sure everything is working properly before the fanfares start,' he says. 'The full online launch is still expected to be mid-April."
These are the same provisional timings advised previously, so there's no ground-breaking news here, but it's good to know that, with the legislation finally passed, there are no more obstacles standing in the way of this important development, which will change Northern Irish genealogy research forever.
It's really going to happen!