The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 and the Relationships Act 2008 require 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 23 of the Relationships Act requires that the Registrar maintain an access policy outlining the conditions under which individuals and organisations may access relationship records held by the Registry.

Restrictions to access

Under the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages' Relationships Access Policy, domestic and caring relationship records are restricted from public access for 60 years after the date of relationship registration or until both parties to the relationship are deceased, whichever is the later.

The Relationships 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 theRelationships 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.