Birth registration and birth certificates: report

Appendix E╤Birth registration and birth certificate law and practice in Australian states and territories

Victoria

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Tasmania

South Australia

Act

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (NSW)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (NT)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998 (WA)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997 (ACT)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999 (Tas)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (SA)

Regulations

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulations 2008 (Vic)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulation 2011 (NSW)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulations 2011 (NT)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulation 2003 (Qld)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulations 1999 (WA)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Regulation 1998 (ACT)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Regulations 2010 (Tas)

Births, Deaths and Marriages Regulations 2011 (SA)

Object (relevant to terms of reference)

Registration of births; the keeping of the register; access to information in the register; issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Registration of births, the keeping of the register; access to information in the register; issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Registration of births, the keeping of the register; access to information in the register; the issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Collection and maintenance of birth register; access to information in the register; issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Registration of births; the keeping of the register; access to information in the register; issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Registration of births; the keeping of the register; access to information in the register; issue of certified information; collection and dissemination of statistical information (s 3)

Functions

No general promotion or education function (s 6)

Administer registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically

(s 6(b))

To ensure that this Act is administered in the way best calculated to achieve the objects (s 6))

No general promotion or education function (s 6)

Administer registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically

To ensure that this Act is administered in the way best calculated to achieve its objects

(s 6(c))

No general promotion or education function (s 6)

Administer registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically

To ensure that this Act is administered in the way best calculated to achieve its objects

(s 6(c))

No general promotion or education function (s 34(2))

Administer the Act in an efficient, effective and economical way

(s 34(2)(b))

No general promotion or education function (s 6)

Administer registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically (s 6(b))

To ensure that the Act is administered in the way best calculated to achieve its objects (s 6(c))

No general promotion or education function (s 39)

The Registrar-General must maintain a register; the register must contain particulars of each registrable event; information must be indexed in a reasonably accessible way (ss 39(2), (4))

No general promotion or education function (s 5)

Administer the registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically (s 5(b))

No general promotion or education function (s 6)

Administer registration system and ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively and economically (s 6(b))

To ensure that the Act is administered in the way best calculated to achieve its objects (s 6(c))

Obligation to notify registry of birth

Yes (s 12)

Yes (s 12)

Yes (s 12)

Yes (s 5)

Yes (s 12)

Yes (s 5)

Yes (s 11)

Yes (s 12)

Time limit for notifying

Within 21 days after the birth (s 12(3)(a))

Within 7 days after the birth (s 12(2)(a))

Within 10 days after the birth (s 12(2))

Within 2 working days after the birth (s 5(3))

Within 1 month after the birth (s 12(2)(a))

Within 7 days after the birth (s 5(2)(b)(i))

Within 21 days after the birth (s 11(3)(a))

Within 7 days after the birth (s 12(2)(a))

Person responsible for notification

If the child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the CEO of the hospital.

In any other case, the doctor or midwife responsible for the care of the mother at the birth or who examined the body of the stillborn after the birth; if no doctor or midwife was in attendance at the birth, any other person in attendance at the birth (as applicable)

(s 12(6)(c))

If a child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the CEO of the hospital.

In any other case, the doctor or midwife responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth (s 12(5))

If a child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours of its birth, the CEO of the hospital.

For a child born in a prison or mental institution, the CEO of the prison or mental institution; in any other case, the doctor, midwife or health worker responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth of the child

(s 12(6))

If a child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the person in charge of the hospital.

In any other case, a doctor present at the birth; or if the doctor was not present, a midwife present at the birth; or if no doctor or midwife was present at the birth, the mother; or if the mother dies or abandons the child, the person who takes physical custody of the child, for eg, a person who discovers the child with the body of the mother (s 5(2))

If the child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the CEO or general manager of the hospital.

In any other case, the doctor or midwife responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth or a doctor who examined the body of the still-born child after the birth; or if no doctor or midwife was in attendance at the birth, any person in attendance at the birth (s 12(1))

If the child was born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after the birth, the CEO of the hospital.

In any other case, the doctor or midwife responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth (s 5(3))

In the case of a child born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the CEO of the hospital.

In any other case, the medical practitioner or midwife responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth; or if no medical practitioner or midwife was in attendance at the birth, any other person in attendance at the birth (s 11(6))

In the case of a child born in a hospital or brought to a hospital within 24 hours after birth, the CEO of the hospital.

In any other case, the doctor or midwife responsible for the professional care of the mother at the birth (s 12(5))

Particulars required by registrar for notification

The notice must include any particulars required by the Registrar (s 12)

Not specified in regulations

The notice must include any particulars required by the Registrar (s 12; reg 4)

The notice must include particulars required by the regulations (12(1);

reg 2)

Must give notice in an approved form (s 5)

Not specified in regulations

Must give notice in an approved form and manner (s 12)

Not specified in regulations

A notice must include the particulars prescribed by regulation (s 5(2); reg 4)

A notice must be in a form approved by the Registrar and must include any particulars the Registrar requires (s 11(2))

Not specified in regulations

Must give written notification of birth, including the particulars required by regulation

(s 12(1); reg 4)

Penalties for failure to notify

10 penalty units (s 12) (currently $1,408.40)

Maximum of 5 penalty units (s 12(1)) (currently $550)

Maximum penalty of 8 penalty units (s 12(1)) (currently $1128)

Maximum penalty of 20 penalty units (s 5(1)) (currently $2,200)

$1,000 (s 12(2))

Maximum of 5 penalty units ( s 5(1)) (currently $550)

Maximum of 10 penalty units (s 11(2)) (currently $1,300)

Maximum penalty: $1,250 (s 12(1))

Obligation to register

Yes (s 13(1))

Yes (s 13(1))

Yes (s 13(1))

Yes (s 6)

Yes (s 13(1))

Yes (s 7)

Yes (s 12)

Yes (s 13)

Time limit for registering

Within 60 days after the date of birth

(s 18(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement after that time (s 18(2))

Within 60 days after the date of the birth

(s 16(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement even though it is given after the end of the 60-day period (s 16)

Within 60 days after the date of the birth

(s 16(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement even though it is lodged after the end of the 60 day period

(s 16(2))

Within 60 days after the date of the birth. The Registrar may accept an application given more than 60 days after the birth if satisfied that the birth happened (s 9(2))

Within 60 days after the date of the birth (s 16(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement even though it is lodged after the end of the 60-day period (s 16(2))

Within 60 days after the day of the birth (s 10(1))

The Registrar-General must not refuse to accept a birth registration statement only because it is not lodged within 60 days after the day of the birth (s 9(5))

Within 60 days after the date of the birth (s 15(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement even though it is lodged after the period of 60 days (s 15(2))

Within 60 days after the date of the birth (s 16(1))

The Registrar must accept a birth registration statement even though it is lodged after the end of the 60-day period (s 16(2))

Person responsible for registration

The parents of the child or one of the parents if the registrar is satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the signatures of both parents (s 15(1))

If the child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child (s 15(2))

A child’s parents or one of the parents if the Registrar is satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the signatures of both parents (s 15(1))

If a child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child

(s 15(2))

The parents of the child or one of the parents if the Registrar is satisfied that is it impossible, impracticable or inappropriate for the other parent to join

(s 15(1))

If a child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child

(s 15(2)

Both parents of the child; or or only one of the parents if the Registrar is satisfied that certain conditions exist (ss 8(1)(a), (2))

If the child was found abandoned as a newborn, the person taking care of the child (s 8(1)(b))

A child’s parents or one of the parents if the Registrar is satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the signatures of both parents (for reasons of death, disappearance, ill health, unavailability or the need to avoid unwarranted distress) (s 15(1))

If the child is a foundling, the person with responsibility for the long-term care, welfare and development of the child

(s 15(2))

A child’s parents are responsible for registering a birth (s 8(1))

The Registrar-General may accept a birth registration statement that is signed by only one of the parents, if satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the signature of the other parent; or that does not set out particulars required under subsection (1), if satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the missing particulars (s 9(2))

If a child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child is responsible (s 8(2))

A child’s parents or, one of the parents if satisfied that it is not practicable to obtain the signatures of both parents (s 14(1))

If a child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child (s 14(2))

A child’s parents or one of the parents if the Registrar is satisfied that is it impossible, impracticable or inappropriate for the other parent because of death, disappearance, ill-health or unavailability or the need to avoid unwarranted distress or for some other reason (s 15(1))

If a child is a foundling, the person who has custody of the child (s 15(2))

Other registration options

A person not responsible for registration may register a child if the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement and the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts (s 15(3))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible for having the child’s birth registered if satisfied that: the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts, and the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement (s 15(3))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible for registering a child’s birth if satisfied that the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts; and the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement (s 15(3))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible for registering a child’s birth if satisfied the child’s parents are unable, or unlikely, to apply to register the birth; and the person knows the relevant facts (s 8(3))

If the Registrar does not receive an application for a birth from one of the above people, the person in charge of the place where the child was born; a person present at the birth; or a person whom the Registrar believes knows the relevant facts may be required by the Registrar to apply to register the birth (s 8(4))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible if satisfied the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts; and the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement (s 15(3))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible if satisfied the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the particulars set out in the statement; and neither of the child’s parents is able or likely to lodge a birth registration statement (s 9(4))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible for having the child’s birth registered if satisfied that the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts; and the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement

(s 14(3))

The Registrar may accept a birth registration statement from a person who is not responsible for having the child’s birth registered if satisfied that the person lodging the statement has knowledge of the relevant facts; and the child’s parents are unable or unlikely to lodge a birth registration statement

(s 15(3))

Particulars required by registrar for registration

Registration statement must be in a manner and form required by the Registrar specifying prescribed particulars (s 14; reg 7)

Birth registration statement must be in a form and manner required by the Registrar, specifying the prescribed particulars (s 14; reg 5)

Birth registration statement must be in a form approved by the Registrar containing the prescribed information (s 14;

reg 3)

The NT birth registration form goes beyond that required in the regulations and includes additional questions on birth place of parents and whether the marriage is a traditional Aboriginal marriage

A birth registration application must be in an approved form

(s 9(1))

A regulation may prescribe information to be contained in a particular approved form or certificate

(s 56)

A birth registration statement must be in an approved form (s 14)

Not specified in regulations

The Registrar-General must register a birth by making in the register an entry that includes the prescribed particulars (s 11; reg 6)

A birth registration statement must be in a manner and form approved by the Registrar (s 13)

Not specified in regulations

A birth registration statement must be in a form approved by the Registrar containing the information required by regulation (s 14; reg 6)

Fee for registration

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil if registration occurs within 60 days of the birth. If after 60 days $4.00 fee (sch 3 of Regulations)

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Penalties for failure to register

10 penalty units (s 18) (currently $1,408.40)

Maximum penalty of 10 penalty units

(s 16(1) (currently $1100)

Maximum penalty of 8 penalty units (s 16(1)) (currently $1128)

Maximum penalty of 20 penalty units

(s 8 (1)) (currently $2,200)

$1,000 (s 16(1))

Maximum penalty of 5 penalty units (s 10(1)) (currently $550)

Maximum penalty of 10 penalty units (s 15(1)) (currently $1,300)

Maximum penalty of $1,250 (s 16(1))

Application process

Application made on prescribed form or on part 2 of the birth registration statement

It is possible to apply for a standard birth certificate or commemorative certificate online however a person must post or submit in person certified proof of identity documents

Application made using a prescribed form

Ability to apply by post or in person

An applicant must complete an application for a birth certificate in the approved form

Ability to apply by post or in person and to apply for a commemorative certificate online

An applicant must complete a birth certificate application form

Ability to apply by post or in person

Application made using a prescribed form

Ability to apply by post or in person

Application made using an approved form

Ability to apply by post, in person or online

Application made using a prescribed form

Ability to apply by post or in person

Application made using a prescribed form

Ability to apply by post, in person or online

Ability to issue birth certificate

S 46(1)

S 49(1)

S 44(1)

S 44(1)

S 57(1)

S 45(1)

S 46(1)

S 46(1)

Issue of a birth ‘extract’?

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Review of Registrar’s decision

Application to VCAT (s 52)

Application to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal

(s 56)

Application to the Supreme Court (s 48)

Application to QCAT (s 49)

Application to State Administrative Tribunal

(s 67(1))

Application to ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (s 55)

Application to the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) (s 53)

Application to the Magistrates Court (s 50)

Fee for a standard birth certificate

$28.60

$48.00

$26.00

$39.00

$44.00

$40.00

$44.64

$43.50

Power to remit fees

(fee waiver)

The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act (s 49)

The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act (s 55)

The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act or the whole or part of a fee payable to the Registrar under any other Act (s 47)

Not applicable

The Registrar may remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act if the Registrar considers that in the circumstances it is appropriate to do so (s 70)

The Registrar-General may, if satisfied that it is appropriate to do so, refund, or remit the payment of, any fee or part of a fee (s 68)

The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act (s 49)

The Registrar may, in appropriate cases, remit the whole or part of a fee under this Act (s 49)

Proof of identity requirements

An applicant must provide three certified identity documents from a prescribed list

An applicant must provide three forms of certified current identification from a prescribed list

An applicant must provide one primary source of ID or two secondary sources of ID from a prescribed list

The Registrar will accept proof of Aboriginality from Aboriginal organisations or an Ochre card

An applicant must provide three forms of documentation from the lists

The Registrar has the discretion to accept an application without the specified proof of identity documents

An applicant must provide one, two or three identity documents depending on the category of document relied on

An applicant must provide three forms of certified current identification from a prescribed list

An applicant must provide one document from one prescribed list, or two documents from another prescribed list

An applicant must provide one of two options from a prescribed list, or two from a prescribed list

Policies and practices of the Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Access Policy (s 47(1); Proof of Identity policy; 2009 Aboriginal Community Information Sessions

Access to Information Policy (s 53(1)); Certificate Replacement Policy; Refunds Policy

Interpreter services advertised on website

Indigenous Access Program and different ID requirements for stolen generation (MoU with Link-Up to assist clients) and may be entitled to fee waivers

Access Policy

(s 45(1)); Identification Requirements Policy

Certificate Access Policy (s 45(20);

Customer Service Charter

Access Policy (s 58(1));

Identification Requirements Policy

Certificate Access Policy

(s 46(1));

Birth registration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons flyer; Practice Manual

Access to Register Entries Policy (s 47(1))

Access Policy;

Proof of Identity Policy

(s 47(1))