Common questions about birth, death and marriage records

What if I don't have a registered certificate?

If you do not have a registered certificate of birth, death or marriage, the Community and Personal Histories team, Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, may be able to help you to locate and access other types of records which provide similar information.

Who can access certificates of birth, death and marriage?

Any member of the public can purchase copies of:

  • birth certificates that were registered more than 100 years ago
  • marriage certificates that were registered more than 80 years ago
  • death certificates that were registered more than 50 years ago.

Access to all other certificates is restricted to immediate family members, or people with appropriate written permission.

For more information contact the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

If I (or a relative) am adopted, how do I access the original records?

Start your adoption search by applying to Adoption Services Queensland to see whether identifying information on the adoption is available. The process is free for clients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and those on certain types of Centrelink benefits.

Identifying information includes the adopted person's full name at time of adoption, information about the birth mother and birth father, if known, and any adopted siblings. Documentation usually includes a copy of your original birth certificate, recording the name of your biological mother and possibly your biological father.

For more information see Finding adoption records.

Can I purchase a birth certificate for a person who was adopted?

All legal adoptions in Queensland result in a second 'post-adoption' birth certificate being issued by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This second birth certificate records the names of the adoptive parent/s in place of the biological parents. To access a copy of the original birth certificate the adopted person needs to apply for their identifying information. There are also processes in place for eligible relatives to access this original birth certificate. Find out who can apply for identifying information

What type of information is recorded on certificates?

The information recorded on certificates will vary depending on whether it records a birth, death or marriage. Certificates from other Australian States and Territories also vary from certificates issued in Queensland.

For detailed information about what type of information is recorded on certificates from Queensland and other Australian States and Territories, visit Graham Jaunay's Proformat website.

** Please be aware: standard copies of birth certificates DO NOT include the marriage details of the child's parents. You MUST specifically request this information if you want it included on a copy of a birth certificate.

How can I reduce the cost of family history research using certificates of birth, death and marriage?

The Queensland Registry periodically releases indexes to their records to assist family history researchers. You may be able to obtain important information from the indexes without purchasing a copy of the certificate.

The following information appears in the indexes (listed alphabetically by surname):

  • Births: Surname / First Name / Date of Birth / Father's name / Mother's name / registration number
  • Deaths: Surname / First Name / Date of death / Father's Name / Mother's name / registration number
  • Marriages: Surname (listed under both the groom and bride's surname) / First Name / Date of marriage / Other party to marriage / registration number

SLQ has copies of indexes to birth, death and marriage records for all Australian States and Territories, and also holds some indexes for countries other than Australia. To find out the date ranges of available indexes check Info Guide 3.2 - Births, deaths and marriages: Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales.

Alternatively, you may be able to arrange access to these indexes via:

Or you can purchase a copy of the indexes by contacting the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

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