- Use and disclosure
- Access and correction
- Data quality and security
- Unique identifiers
BDM collects, uses and exchanges your information so that we can:
- contact you, including to get feedback on your experience with our services
- register your life events
- establish your identity and assess applications for products and services
- conduct and improve our service
- comply with our legal obligations
- manage our risks and help to identify and investigate illegal activity, such as fraud
- assist government and law enforcement agencies or regulators where permitted by law.
BDM operates within the privacy requirements of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (the Act). Under the Act, BDM must, as far as practicable, protect people from unjustified intrusions on their privacy. Other relevant legislation also applies, including the:
- Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)
- Public Records Act 1973 (Vic)
- Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) .
On this page
Personal information is information that can be linked to an identifiable living person. It includes numbers and images. A subset of personal information is sensitive information. Sensitive information includes information about an identifiable living person including:
- racial or ethnic origin
- religious affiliations
- sexual preferences or practices, and
- criminal record.
Health information is information about an identifiable person's:
- physical, mental or psychological health
- disability, or
- genetic constitution.
'Health information' applies whether the person is alive or deceased.
BDM collects personal, health and sensitive information so that it can fulfil its legislative and administrative functions. The type of information BDM collects depends on the nature of your contact with BDM.
BDM is a registering authority. Its main function is to register events that have occurred in Victoria, such as:
- adoptions, and
BDM needs to collect information to register these events and for statistical purposes.
BDM may collect information:
- in the course of registering an event
- in the course of an inquiry under the Act
- when conducting an investigation, or responding to a complaint or enquiry
- in applications requesting access to or information from the Register including certificates
- when you purchase a BDM product.
BDM may collect personal (including financial), health or sensitive information via various means. These may include:
- communications (including telephone and online)
- statutory declarations
- proof of identity documents
- databases or data feeds, and
- court documents.
If you choose to make an enquiry or provide feedback, you may do so anonymously. However, we may ask for personal information so that we can investigate the matter and respond. This information may include your name, contact details and an outline of events.
Where you may only purchase a product if you sign a licence agreement, we may need you to provide personal information. This is so we can record the current licensee of a BDM product.
We collect contact details, including work details from people who ask us to keep them informed about our work.
Consequences of not providing information
If you don't provide the information, BDM might:
- be unable to complete a registration
- record inaccurate or incomplete details
- refuse to grant access to records or sell a product
- terminate an agreement
In some circumstances, failure to provide information may be an offence. It may incur penalties.
Use and disclosure
BDM may use the information collected to:
- Register births, deaths, marriages, adoptions, change of name, and relationships
- Issue a certificate or information from the Register
- Maintain the registers and accurately record events
- Cancel, amend or correct a registration
- Confirm identity and assess entitlement to a record held by BDM. We may verify proof of identity documents with the issuing organisation e.g. VicRoads
- Process and record a point of sale transaction
- Enforce contractual obligations
- Answer your enquiries
- Determine your entitlement to access records held by BDM
- Investigate a complaint
- Conduct an inquiry
- Compile and disseminate statistics
- Conduct research.
BDM staff are only provided with information necessary for them to carry out the functions and activities of BDM.
BDM may disclose information to other agencies for the purposes of:
- law enforcement
- statistical compilations
- research, or
- data cleansing.
BDM may be authorised or required by law to use or disclose personal, sensitive or health information for another reason. We may seek a person’s consent to use or disclose this information to another organisation for a particular reason. However, in some circumstances consent will not be necessary.
Personal and health information may be transferred outside of Victoria in accordance with the privacy legislation.
Child Information Sharing Scheme
Victorian child wellbeing and safety laws permit some organisations to share information in certain circumstances. This is where it is to promote the wellbeing or safety of a child or group of children. These laws apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. They also apply to other agencies and their funded or contracted organisations.
Learn more about the Child Information Sharing Scheme .
Access and correction
A person may apply to access information held by BDM. Learn more about Access to Registry records.
A person may apply to the Registrar to correct information in the register. Learn more about changes and corrections.
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) may also permit an applicant to access or correct records.
Address requests for access or correction to:
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
GPO Box 4332
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Data quality and security
BDM takes reasonable steps to ensure the personal and health information it holds is accurate, complete and up-to-date.
BDM relies on individuals to provide accurate and current information in the first instance.
BDM applies privacy and security measures to protect personal and health information against:
- unauthorised access, or
- unauthorised disclosure.
Information collected is either destroyed or archived after use in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).
BDM does not assign unique identifiers to individuals. However, it does assign a registration number to individuals' registration records. For example, a birth certificate has a unique registration number.
When BDM processes transactions, it generates a point of sale number. This is so that it can record the transaction and link it to the registration record.
BDM collects unique identifiers from identity documents. This is so that it can verify them with the issuing organisation.