Practical Links

Our Partners
This research is funded by the Australian Research Council’s “Linkage Projects” scheme
We are pleased to acknowledge the support and assistance which we are also receiving in undertaking this project from the following partner organisations (in alphabetical order) .
Clayton Utz - One of Australia’s oldest law firms, Clayton Utz has a strong commitment to providing pro bono services, particularly where the beneficiaries are Indigenous people
Equal Opportunity Commission WA -Within the EOC, the Substantive Equality Unit works to address unintended impacts of policies and services on Indigenous Australians. including those relating to access to the birth registration system. The EOC is the state's peak statutory body working to eliminate disadvantage, discrimination and injustice experienced by Indigenous people 
Plan Australia - part of Plan International, one of the oldest and largest international child-centred development agencies
Qld Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services and Multicultural Affairs- Community and Personal Histories Team The Community and Personal Histories team helps Indigenous people search Qld Government records of earlier eras to obtain family and/or community history, and to provide people with materials for use in proving birth dates and parentage. 
Rise Community Support  Formerly known as “The Hills Community Support Group”, Rise provides wide ranging services in areas such as Aged Care, Youth Support, Mental Health and Disability Services to communities north east of Perth, WA.
 Tangentyere Council - Tangetyere has been the major service delivery and advocacy body for the Indigenous Town Camps of Alice Springs since 1979.
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service - the community owned and controlled body that provides legal advice and representation for the Koorie community in Victoria. Established  in 1973, it also plays an important role in advocating social justice for Indigenous people through community development research and law reform.

This page provides links to the websites of the government bodies responsible for registering births and issuing certificates in Australia, together with links to other agencies that may be able to help you obtain registration or certification.

NB: All State and Territory Births Deaths and Marriages registries in Australia also offer “Commemorative” Birth certificates (often for an increased fee) and short “Extracts of Birth” (at the same or lower price than a full birth certificate). Neither the “Commemorative” certificates , nor the “Extracts” are of any real use in most circumstances. A “Standard” full birth certificate is required for all practical purposes.

New South Wales 

The New South Wales Registry of Births , Deaths and Marriages (BDM)  can be found at

Information about how to REGISTER a birth in NSW can be found at , but the registration form itself is not available on line. If you haven’t been provided with a birth registration form at hospital, if you lose it, or if you are wishing to make a late registration (after 60 days) then ring 1300 655 236 to obtain one.

Information on how to make a LATE REGISTRATION is at  When a birth is registered late you have to provide other forms of identification of the child, and of its parents. Copies of any documents used to prove identity for Late Registration must be certified by a Justice of the Peace, a notary public, a legal practitioner (holding a current practising certificate) or a person authorised to administer an oath under section 26 of the Oaths Act, 1900. Registering a birth is free.

Guidance on applying for a BIRTH CERTIFICATE can be found at To obtain a birth certificate you will need to be able to provide other forms of identification. See for details.  In New South Wales a Birth Certificate currently costs $51, including postage.

You can download the form needed to apply for a NSW birth certificate from HERE .

NSW BDM have a program under way seeking to assist Indigenous People with birth registration and birth certificates. You can find out a little about it at

In some situations, especially if you or your parents were members of the Stolen Generation, you may also be able to obtain support from LinkUp when attempting to obtain a certificate or register your birth later in life.

Northern Territory 

The Northern Territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages website is at

Registering a birth is free in the Northern Territory, but a birth certificate costs $41, plus postage.

Information about REGISTERING A BIRTH in  the NT can be found at

Information about OBTAINING A BIRTH CERTIFICATE in the NT is at

If you want to obtain a birth certificate in the Northern Territory other than at the time of a child’s birth you will have to provide identification. The documents that can be used are listed at  Normally in the Northern Territory there is no requirement to have copies of identity documents “certified” when seeking a birth certificate.

If  you are an Indigenous Australian in Central Australia and need help with obtaining identification or a birth certificate you can contact Tangentyere for assistance. The Tangentyere Card provides photo ID accepted by banks and various other institutions. See 

In the Top End a similar service is provided by Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation - see


Information about REGISTERING A BIRTH in Queensland can be found at 

Queensland, unlike several other States,  provides application forms for birth registration on line. A copy for download can be found at

Registering a birth in Queensland within the first 60 days after birth is free. Late registrations , name changes in the registry, and obtaining a birth certificate, however , incur a fee. Details can be found at

A certified copy of a birth certificate currently costs $40.50c, plus the cost of postage.

The form to OBTAIN A BIRTH CERTIFICATE can be downloaded at

In Queensland, if you are asked to provide certified copies of documents when trying to obtain a birth certificate, then they must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations, Barrister/Solicitor or Notary Public.

If you are an Indigenous person in Queensland, and having problems proving your identity, then the Community & Personal Histories team may be able to help you.

If you are a member of the Stolen Generations then Link-Up Queensland may also be able to help you.

South Australia

The South Australian Births Deaths and Marriages website is at 

BIRTH REGISTRATION  forms are not available on line, but can be obtained by emailing or calling at their offices in person.  There is no fee for Birth Registration in South Australia.

To make a LATE REGISTRATION you need to complete a Birth Registration Statement. You can normally only register your own birth in South Australia if both your parents are dead. provides more information.

You can apply for a BIRTH CERTIFICATE on-line in South Australia, or use a paper application form - see  Some of the forms can be found for download at They can also be obtained at most S.A. Post Offices and Government Service Centres.

The fee for a standard BIRTH CERTIFICATE in South Australia is currently $44.75 (plus postage if required). Additional fees may be incurred if a name isn’t found on a first search, and has to be repeated using different variations of names.

Copies of documents provided to establish identity in South Australia when seeking a birth certificate do not normally need to certified.

Aboriginal People in the Northern Territory who were born in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia may also be able to obtain assistance in proving their identity from Tangentyere.

South Australian Link Up may be able to provide assistance if you are a member of the Stolen Generation, or were otherwise adopted, fostered or institutionalised as a child.


The Victorian Births Deaths and Marriages website is at

Forms for REGISTERING A BIRTH are normally provided by the hospital, medical facility or midwife at the time of the birth. Registration is free. You can apply for a copy of the birth certificate at the time of registering, but a fee of $29.20 is charged for a standard certificate.  Victoria has a process in place which may assist Indigenous people in financial difficulties to meet this fee. The Victorian legislation also provides the Registrar with the option of setting aside any fee if “appropriate”.

IN Victoria no fee is charged for LATE REGISTRATION but you will need to contact the Registry to obtain the necessary forms if you do not have one provided at the time of the birth. You will also have to provide additional certified documentation to prove the identity of both child and parents.

To obtain your BIRTH CERTIFICATE in Victoria follow the steps at . You can apply on-line, by mail, in person at the Registry, or at selected Justice Service Centres.

When you apply for a birth certificate , other than at the time of birth, you will have to prove identity by providing certified copies of documents. The documents required, and the procedure to follow, are listed at Victoria normally has more limiting requirements than other States and Territories when it comes to the witnessing of certified copies of documents for the purpose of getting a birth certificate.  They can only be witnessed by a police officer, or by a Justice of the Peace operating in a police station or Justice Service Centre.

Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Victoria have been working with various Indigenous community organisations to make the process simpler in this State, and to assist people whose births were never registered to obtain registration and a certificate.

Western Australia 

The Western Australian Births Deaths and Marriages Website is at

Forms for REGISTERING a birth are normally provided by the hospital, medical facility or midwife attending the birth, and if you lose the form ask them for a replacement.

No fee is normally charged for a LATE REGISTRATION, but the process of proof of identity to do so is likely to be more difficult. Contact the WA registry on ph. 1300 305 021 if you need assistance.

To obtain your BIRTH CERTIFICATE in Western Australia follow the process outlined here. In W.A. you can only apply in person or by mail .  You will also need to provide evidence of your identity. W.A. normally requires three separate forms of identification .

If you are applying for a Birth Certificate in person then you should take original identification documents if possible (Some parts of the WA BDM website indicate that certified copies are acceptable for “in person” applications, while others say only original documents can be used. Because of these confusions it is probably safer to take original documents, rather than relying on certified copies). In person applications can be made at the Perth Registry office or at various courts.

If you apply by mail then only use witnessed certified copies. Certified copies of identity documents in WA can be witnessed by people in quite a wide range of occupations, such as doctors, teachers, bank managers, lawyers, academics, police, chemists, veterinary surgeons, nurses, ministers of religion and post office managers. For a full list, and appropriate wording for the certification,  see here. A form to use when applying for a birth certificate by mail (or in person, if you want to complete the paperwork beforehand) can be downloaded HERE .

A Birth Certificate in Western Australia normally costs $44 including postage. The Registrar has the power to set any fee aside if they decide it is appropriate to do so.

W.A. Births Deaths and Marriages are aware of the particular problems which Indigenous Australians may have with birth registration and certificates. If you have difficulty with late registration or with obtaining a birth certificate, then contact them directly to discuss the matter.

Australian Capital Territory - This is a good starting point for all birth, deaths and marriages matters in the ACT. It provides information about the documents you will need if you wish to obtain a certificate, together with links to online forms, costs etc. allows you to download the forms you need and provides information about fees for certificates. There is no fee to register the birth of a child.


The Tasmanian Births Deaths and Marriages website is at

The normal Tasmanian process for REGISTERING A BIRTH within 60 days of it occurring can be found at .  Registration within 60 days is free.

In Tasmania LATE REGISTRATION of a birth (after 60 days) requires you to apply for a birth certificate (which costs a non-refundable $45.26 plus $3.90 for postage, if required)  Once they have undertaken a search and provided you with a “no registration” certificate, you can then lodge an application for late registration.  Further documentation is also required. The details can be found at

To apply for a BIRTH CERTIFICATE in Tasmania follow the instructions at . The fee is currently $45.26 plus postage.

Copies of supporting documents when seeking a copy of your birth certificate do not need to be “certified”. A normal photocopy is usually sufficient.