Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 No 62
Part 8 The Register
Division 1 Keeping the Register
43 The Register
(1) The Registrar must maintain a register or registers of registrable events.(2) The Register:(a) must contain the particulars of each registrable event required under this Act, or another law, to be included in the Register, and(b) may contain such further information as the Registrar considers appropriate for inclusion.(3) The Register may be wholly or partly in the form of a computer data base, in documentary form, or in another form the Registrar considers appropriate.(4) The Registrar must maintain the indexes to the Register that are necessary to make the information contained in the Register reasonably accessible.(5) A reference in this Act to the Register is a reference to all the registers kept under subsection (1).(6) The Register may be referred to as the Births, Deaths and Marriages Register and a reference in any Act or any instrument made under any Act to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Register is taken to be a reference to the Register.
Division 2 Registrar’s powers of inquiry
44 Registrar’s powers of inquiry
(1) The Registrar may conduct an inquiry to find out:(a) whether a registrable event has happened, or(b) particulars of a registrable event, or(c) whether particulars of a specific registrable event have been correctly recorded in the Register.(2) The Registrar may, by notice given to a person who may be able to provide information relevant to an inquiry under this section, require the person to answer specified questions or to provide other information within a time and manner specified in the notice.(3) A person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a notice under subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.
Division 3 Correction of Register
45 Correction of Register
(1) The Registrar may correct the Register:(a) to reflect a finding made on inquiry under Division 2, or(b) to bring an entry about a particular registrable event into conformity with the most reliable information available to the Registrar of the registrable event.(2) The Registrar must, if required by a court, correct the Register.(3) The Registrar corrects the Register by adding or cancelling an entry in the Register or by adding, altering or deleting particulars contained in an entry.
Division 4 Access to, and certification of, Register entries and certain applications
46 General access to Register
(1) The Registrar may, on conditions the Registrar considers appropriate:(a) allow a person or organisation that has an adequate reason for wanting access to the Register, access to the Register, or(b) provide a person or organisation that has an adequate reason for wanting information from the Register, with information extracted from the Register.(2) In deciding whether an applicant has an adequate reason for wanting access to the Register, or information extracted from the Register, the Registrar must have regard to:(a) the nature of the applicant’s interest, and(b) the sensitivity of the information, and(c) the use to be made of the information, and(d) other relevant factors.(3) In deciding the conditions on which access to the Register, or information extracted from the Register, is to be given under this section, the Registrar must, as far as practicable, protect the persons to whom the entries in the Register relate from unjustified intrusion on their privacy.
46A Access to change of name applications and information by law enforcement agencies
(1) The Registrar may allow access by officers of a law enforcement agency to applications for registration of a change of a person’s name, and to entries in the Register regarding changes of names, but only in accordance with a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Registrar with the head of the agency.(2) The Registrar must not enter into a memorandum of understanding unless satisfied that the terms of the memorandum, as far as practicable, protect the persons to whom the applications or entries in the Register relate from unjustified intrusion on their privacy.(3) A memorandum of understanding entered into for the purposes of this section may be amended, revoked or replaced from time to time.(4) The functions of the Registrar and of each law enforcement agency must as far as practicable be exercised in conformity with a memorandum of understanding entered into by them under this section. However, a failure to comply with this subsection does not itself invalidate anything done or omitted to be done by the Registrar or the law enforcement agency.(5) In this section, law enforcement agency means:(a) the NSW Police Force, or(b) the New South Wales Crime Commission, or(c) the police force of another State or the Commonwealth, or(d) any other law enforcement or investigative agency of the government of New South Wales or the government of another State or the Commonwealth prescribed by the regulations.
47 Search of Register
(1) The Registrar may, on application, search the Register for an entry about a particular registrable event.(2) The applicant must state the reason for the applicant’s interest in the subject-matter of the search.(3) The Registrar may reject the application if the applicant does not show an adequate reason for wanting the information to which the application relates.(4) In deciding whether an applicant has an adequate reason for wanting information, the Registrar must have regard to:(a) the relationship (if any) between the applicant and the person to whom the information relates, and(b) the age of the entry, and(c) the contents of the entry, and(d) other relevant factors.
48 Protection of privacy
In providing information extracted from the Register, the Registrar must, as far as practicable, protect the persons to whom the entries in the Register relate from unjustified intrusion on their privacy.
49 Issue of certificate
(1) On completing a search of the Register, the Registrar may issue a certificate:(a) certifying particulars contained in an entry, or(b) certifying that no entry was located in the Register about the relevant registrable event.(2) A certificate under subsection (1) (a) is admissible in legal proceedings as evidence of:(a) the entry to which the certificate relates, and(b) the facts recorded in the entry.(3) If the word “illegitimate”, or any other word or expression referring to the fact that a child was born outside marriage, appears in an entry in the Register, that word or expression is not to be included in any certificate issued by the Registrar.(4) If requested to do so by an applicant, and authorised to do so under the Adoption Act 2000, the Registrar must issue a single certificate (an adopted person’s birth record) certifying particulars contained in an entry relating to the birth of a person and particulars relating to a record sent to the Registrar under Chapter 7 of the Adoption Act 2000 (or a memorandum under the former Acts) and registered under this Act.(5) If requested to do so by an applicant, and authorised to do so under the Surrogacy Act 2010, the Registrar must issue the applicant with a full birth record, being a single certificate that certifies particulars relating to the birth of a person registered under section 17 and particulars of a parentage order or discharge of a parentage order relating to the person registered by the Registrar under Part 4A.
50 Issue of certificate relating to children of deceased person
(1) The executor, administrator or trustee of the estate of a deceased person may apply to the Registrar for a certificate certifying whether or not the deceased person is recorded in the Register as being a parent of any children, and if so, the names of the children and such other particulars relating to the children as may be prescribed by the regulations.(2) On receipt of the application, together with any fee required by the regulations, the Registrar is to cause a search of the Register to be made and, on completion of that search, issue the certificate applied for.
51 Issue of certificate to enable disposal of human remains
If the death of a person has been registered before the remains of the person have been disposed of, the Registrar may, on application of a person who satisfies the Registrar that the person requires a certificate to enable the remains to be disposed of in accordance with the Coroners Act 2009, issue a certificate certifying that the death of the person has been recorded on the Register.
This Act is subject to the Adoption Act 20001 and the Surrogacy Act 20102 and, to the extent of any inconsistency with this Act, those Acts prevail.Note.1 The Adoption Act 2000 sets out entitlements to and restrictions on access to adoption information held by the Registrar and other information sources. For instance, that Act sets out the circumstances in which the Registrar is entitled to give an adopted person access to his or her original birth certificate.2 The Surrogacy Act 2010 sets out entitlements to access birth records held by the Registrar that relate to surrogacy arrangements.
53 Access policies
(1) The Registrar must maintain a written statement of the policies on which access to information contained in the Register is to be given or denied under this Division.(2) The Registrar must give a copy of the statement, on request, to any person.
(1) The regulations may prescribe fees, or a basis for calculating fees, for:(a) access to the Register, or(b) a search of the Register, or(c) the issue of a certificate following a search of the Register, or(d) other services provided by the Registrar.(2) The regulations may allow for fees to be fixed by negotiation between the Registrar and the person who asks for the relevant services.
55 Power to remit fees
The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act.
Division 5 Additional information and services
55A Registrar may collect and maintain other information
(1) The Registrar may collect and maintain records of information, other than registrable information, relating to registrable events.(2) Records maintained under this section must be kept separately from the Register.(3) The Registrar may include information in the records maintained under this section at the request of a person interested in the registrable event to which the information relates or on the Registrar’s own initiative.(4) Sections 46 (3) and 48 apply to any records maintained under this section as if they were part of the Register.
55B Additional information services in relation to information in Register and other information
(1) In this section, additional information services means services relating to the information in the Register or any other information collected and maintained under section 55A that are additional to the services otherwise provided by the Registrar under this Act, including the following:(a) the provision of information relating to a registrable event in the form of a decorative certificate or other document,(b) the provision of historical and genealogical information.(2) The Registrar may enter into an arrangement for the provision of additional information services.(3) The charge for providing an additional information service is:(a) except as provided by paragraph (b), the amount determined by the Registrar, or(b) if the regulations under section 54 so provide, the amount fixed by, or determined in accordance with, the regulations.The charge is not required to bear any relation to the cost of providing the service.(4) In providing additional information services, the Registrar must, as far as practicable, protect the persons to whom the information concerned relates from unjustified intrusion on their privacy.