The General Register Office for Northern Ireland (GRONI) will be introducing a new fees tariff from next Monday, 4 April. Usually, fee changes go only in one direction (up!), but on this occasion that's not the case. Instead, there's an up, a down and a no-change in store.
Online GENI database: Apart from a basic index search, which remains free, the cost of using the online GENI facility will rise. It uses a credit system, and the price of a credit will increase by 25% from 40p to 50p each. This will push up the price of viewing a digitised copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate image from £2 to £2.50, and the price of an 'enhanced index record' to 50p.
Certificates: Seeing no change in cost (they're expensive enough!) are copies of certificates ordered at GRONI's Search Room. They will remain at £8 a throw. If you order them by telephone or email, the cost is an eye-watering £15, and this won't be increased this year, either.
Belfast Search Room: The best news is the abolishing of a fee – currently £7 – for use of GRONI's Search Room in Belfast.
Alistair Butler, Assistant Registrar General, also tells me that GRONI will be relocating by the end of this year from Oxford House in Chichester Street, a stone's throw from City Hall and at the heart of the city centre, to Colby House, Stranmillis. The move is part of a plan for all staff of NISRA (the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) to be located in the one building. A new GRONI Search Room will be opened to the public at this new address.