The cost of certificates can be a big part of doing your family history. It doesn’t matter how much information you find on the internet, you still need to verify the information with a vital record like a birth, death or marriage certificates. I love buying them for all the information that they give me. But what I hate is the cost. I have had a few that were wrong or gave me no new information at all. But generally I have a good amount of information to be worth the cost. As with most things, there are expensive ways of doing things and cheaper way of doing things.
Recently I was talking to one of my friends who ordered a certificate and paid top dollar for it through ancestry.com website for an English certificate. She paid the $43 (AUD) which got her the certificate in 28 days, to get it sooner it would cost her $84 (AUD) for 16 days. I had ordered some English certificates myself but I went to the General Register Office website at www.gro.gov.uk . You can order certificates online and pay 9 pounds 25 or $17.46(AUD) currently for a certificate. If you have the index number that can be found on ancestry.com or the free website www.freebmd.org.uk they dispatch it in four days. It still takes a number of weeks by standard post but you have saved yourself $25 (AUD). That adds up, especially when my friend had bought two certificates.
Another way to save money on your Australian certificates is look for transcription agents. If you only need the facts and not a fully certified certificate then a transcription is a good way to go. For example if I get a New South Wales certificate and have the registration number then NSWBDM charges $31, however if I have details which I can easily get from the NSW BDM website I can pay $20 or less (if I need less information) by ordering with the transcription agent. This saves me $10 per certificate which is great and recently quicker as the NSWBDM website was undergoing a major upgrade. For NSW transcription agents they are listed on the NSWBDM website.
I also see that Queensland’s Births, Deaths and Marriages are offering ‘historical images’ for download for $20 if they are available for the certificate you want. This is the handwritten record of the certificate and may be an idea to look into as the normal certificate cost is $28 and need to wait for the post to come for that. While the historical images can be paid and downloaded straight away.
Happy searching and remember that finding those index and registration numbers can save you a lot of money so always make sure you order with them listed. Do you have any ways to save money when ordering certificates?