Thursday 12 October 2017

GRO England & Wales launches second phase of pilot scheme for pdf birth & death certificates

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO-EW) has today launched another phase of its PDF Certificates Pilot scheme. As its name implies, the service offers researchers a chance to purchase a pdf format image of a historical civil registration certificate (births and deaths only); the cost is £6, rather than the regular £9.25 for a watermarked paper version.

Paper certificates (above) cost £9.25 each. 
PDF versions are £6.
This extension of the scheme, which was first trialled from November 2016 to April 2017, will run for a minimum of three months. The GRO-EW hope this will help them to better understand the level of demand for such a service. It will also mean, for me and probably many others who missed the earlier phase, the opportunity to get ourselves in gear and purchase certificates for those of our Irish ancestors who crossed the Irish Sea and settled in England or Wales.

The years covered by the pilot are 1837–1916 for births, and 1837–1957 for deaths.

Applications must be made via the GRO-EW online service and must include a GRO-EW index reference. You can do a free search for the index reference on that site. Alternatively you could find the reference on the freeBMD website.

Unlike the first phase process, pdfs ordered under the extended scheme will not be sent as an email attachment to the researcher. Instead, the researcher will receive an email advising that the pdf image is ready to view and download from his/her account page. PDFs will remain available to view for three months from the date of the order, and no reminders will be issued prior to deletion.