Thursday 24 January 2013

'No search - no fee' for all bmd 'research' copies

Following yesterday's unwelcome news that Ireland's General Register Office/Civil Registration Service will be charging a whopping £20 for birth, marriage and death certificates with immediate effect, here's some good news.

Previously if you wanted a civil registration certificate in Ireland you had two options:
  1. Cough up the full cost of a certified certificate
  2. Buy a much cheaper uncertified 'research' photocopy of the certificate.
Option 2 was understandably more popular with Irish genealogy researchers.

Via the GRO (Roscommon or Dublin), the research copy cost €4 a shot, plus €2 if you couldn't provide the full reference number (found in the civil registration indexes).

Via the Republic's local registration offices, however, the research copy was charged at €6, ie including the search fee, whether or not the researcher was able to provide the reference number.

This inequity has been brought to the attention of the Civil Registration Service many times by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), and their campaign has finally paid off.

As of today, local registration offices have been told not to charge the search fee unless it has been earned!

CIGO's Executive Liaison Officer Steven Smyrl explains: 'CIGO pointed out that if a researcher requested an uncertified (research) copy after identifying an entry in either the hardcopy indexes or online indexes, there was no searching required by the staff at the local registration office. The member of staff could go directly to the required certificate without any searching. As such, there was no need to charge €2.

'They have finally recognised this, and local offices have been advised to charge only the €4 fee when the reference is provided.'