The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (the Act) requires the Registrar to protect the privacy of the people to whom its records relate. In addition, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 contain provisions requiring the protection of an individual's privacy.

 Section 47 of the Act requires that the Registrar maintain an access policy outlining the conditions under which individuals and organisations may access Registry records.

Answers to commonly asked questions can be found in Understanding the Access policy.
  

Restrictions to access

Under the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages' Access Policy, the following restrictions apply:

  • Birth and change of name records are restricted from public access for 100 years or until the person has passed away, whichever is the later
  • Marriage records are restricted from public access for 60 years or until both parties to the marriage have passed away, whichever is the later
  • Death records are restricted from public access for 10 years.

The Access policy also indicates who may access restricted records and the Registry's requirements for access to be granted.

The Registrar may reject an application for access to a record if the applicant does not meet the requirements of the Access policy.

Review of the Registrar's decision

A person whose interests are affected by a decision of the Registrar under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 or the Relationships Act 2008 may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (External link) for a review of the decision.

An application for review must be made to VCAT within 28 days of:

  1. The day on which the decision is made
  2. The day on which the statement of reasons is given to the person or the person is informed under section 46(5) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) that a statement of reasons will not be given.

Downloading the Access policy

The Access policy is available for download in the following sections:

Section 1 to 3: Policy background

Section 4: Information released by the Registry

Section 5: Periods of restriction

Section 6: Applications

Section 7.0 to 7.1: Access to birth, change of name, death and marriage records

Section 7.2: Access by the registered person

Section 7.3: Applicant with consent from the registered person

Section 7.4: Parents of the registered person

Section 7.5: Children of the registered person

Section 7.6: Next of kin

Section 7.7: Legal practitioners

Section 7.8: Domestic partners and ex-spouses

Section 7.9: Consulates and foreign governments

Section 7.10: Public trustees

Section 7.11: Executors

Section 7.12: Search agents

Section 7.13: Welfare agencies

Section 7.14: Administrators, legal guardians and powers of attorney

Section 7.15: Australian government agencies and departments

Section 7.16: Law enforcement agencies

Section 7.17: Funeral directors

Section 7.18: Medical researchers

Section 7.19: Historical researchers

Section 7.20: Genealogists

Section 7.21: Data cleansing

Section 7.22: Financial institutions

Section 7.23: Primary carers of the registered person