Generally, a birth certificate is an important document that attests to the location and conditions surrounding an individual’s birth. It contains information on the following details: time and location of birth, given name, gender, and parent’s names.
In Australia, a birth certificate is an essential document. To buttress its importance, it is instructive to note that the document is usually required as proof of identification for official activities such as Australian passport, citizenship, permanent residency, and tax-file number, driver’s license applications. It also features as an important document for other purposes, such as applying for admission into an Australian educational institution or government benefits.
This publication discusses how to apply for an Australian birth certificate online.
Format and design of an Australian birth certificate
An Australian birth certificate typically contains the following details:
1. A section capturing the biodata of the child (family name, given name, sex, date of birth, and place of birth)
2. A section containing the mother’s biodata (family name, maiden name, given name, occupation, age, and place of birth)
3. A section on the father’s biodata (family name, given names, occupation, age and place of birth)
4. A section containing information on the date and location of marriage of the child’s parents
5. A section on previous children of a relationship
6. A section on the informant’s biodata (name and address). An informant refers to the child’s parents.
7. Information on the registering authority. This section carries information on the registering officer and the date of registration.
Also, an Australian birth certificate comes with an official stamp/signature and registration details.
General notes on application
Australian law permits an individual to apply for a copy of a personal birth certificate, child’s birth certificate and that of a third party. However, anyone interested in applying for a birth certification other than his/her own and that of his/her child must satisfy the following requirements:
- Be in possession of written permission to apply. Anyone who meets this condition provides a ‘letter of authority’ attesting to permission to apply. This is along with submitting a minimum of three formal identification documents for the person whose name appears on the birth certificate. Applicants also submit three formal identification documents of their own as well.
- Be in possession of a written power of attorney issued by the person whose name appears on the birth certificate.
- Provide documents establishing legal status as authorized guardian of the person whose name appears on the birth certificate.
- Be either a legal representative of the person whose name appears on the birth certificate or in need of the birth certificate for legal purposes and can satisfy the associated requirements.
Identity documents typically required for this sort of application fall within three categories: Category I, II, and III.
Category I documents include:
- Australian birth certificate (for native Australians).
- Citizenship certificate (for immigrants).
- Citizenship certificate attached alongside passport and birth certificate (for New Zealanders).
Category II documents subsume proof of age on the card, Australian-issued driver’s license, Australian and foreign passports and firearms license. Category III documents encompass the following: Medicare card, identity cards issued by a tertiary education institution, security/crowd control license, a Centrelink/Department of Veterans Affairs card.
Also, Noteworthy is that the applications for Australian birth certificates are made through the official webpage of the relevant Australian state or territory registry of births, deaths and marriages.
Applying in South Australia
To be eligible and to apply for a birth certificate, an applicant must first register the birth in Australia. The Consumer and Business Services (CBS), handles birth registrations in South Australia. The registration process, which is required to occur within sixty days of the child’s birth, attracts no charge. On the other hand, applying for a birth certificate attracts a fee charge of $56.50.
The application process for a birth certificate in South Australia requires the following information:
- Details about the child and parents, which are contained in a document issued by the hospital where the birth took place.
- Parents are also required to upload a copy of formal proof of identification. Accepted identification documents are an Australian passport, driver’s license, Centrelink or Medicare card
- Parents must have a mobile phone for the purpose of receiving and responding to text messages in the course of the registration.
- Donor details, identity proof and mobile phone number, which are required in the case of children conceived through fertilization procedure.
Applying in New South Wales
The application rules in New South Wales require that the birth must have been registered in New South Wales first to be eligible for a birth certificate. As part of the process, applicants are required to:
- Provide birth details
- Provide personal and contact information
- Provide proof of identity documents
- Provide other required documents as may be specified
- Have a valid debit/credit card to pay for the birth certificate
Online applications are routed through the link: https://onlineforms.bdm.nsw.gov.au/application/birth_details
Applying in Northern Territory
Prior to applying, an individual is required to have the following:
- A valid credit card
- An email address
- A phone number
- Identity documents, scanned or rendered in picture format. One of these documents must be a valid Australian passport, driver’s license or a Centrelink document.
Certificates applied for are received through two avenues: from the local department in charge of birth, death and marriage registration or from an Australian Post location. Certificates applied online usually take a minimum period of three days from the day of submission to be processed and delivered.
Online applications are made via the link https://bdm.nt.gov.au/bdmonline/dbnet.aspx?dbcgm=1&prprc=oac
The link opens up an interface where the applicant is required to confirm that the birth occurred in the Northern Territory as well as the possession of identification documents.
Applying in Western Australia
The application process requires the preliminary step of registering the child’s birth by the parents of the child within 60 days of the birth. Parents of the child provide three formal identity documents. Only when this step is completed can the application for the birth certificate proceed.
Furthermore, the application rules allow the following groups of people to apply:
- Anyone who is 16 years or over. This category is allowed to apply mainly for births of 100 years or more.
- An individual whose name appears on the birth certificate. Applicants who fall under this category must be of a minimum age of 16. In the event that this requirement is not satisfied, applicants must produce a written note issued by a parent whose name appears on the birth certificate.
- Parents named on the birth certificate are allowed to apply
- Individuals with custodian or guardianship status are allowed to apply subject to meeting associated requirements.
- Children, current spouses and relatives are allowed to apply subject to meeting associated requirements.
- Other eligible groups include administrators of a deceased estate, government welfare agency, non-government welfare agency, federal/state court, law enforcement agents/agencies, medical establishments, government institutions.
The rules equally mandate that applicants provide a minimum of three identification documents to be eligible to receive certificates. These documents, which are organized into three lists, are useful for establishing identity, residence and existence in the community. Some of the required documents include an Australian-issued driver’s license, passport, firearm license, citizenship certificate, Western Australian-issued identity card, debit or credit card, Medicare card, tenancy agreement, utility bill, Australian-issued security card, etc.
Online applications for Western Australian birth certificates are submitted through the official website of Western Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages accessible via https://online-rbdm.justice.wa.gov.au/
Applying in Queensland
Consequent upon meeting specified eligibility requirements, interested individuals apply by filling an application form online, which can be accessed through the site https://www.qld.gov.au/law/births-deaths-marriages-and-divorces/birth-death-and-marriage-certificates/birth-certificates/fill-in-a-birth-certificate-application-form
The application process involves answering a few questions to establish eligibility, selecting a medium of payment and review of details. An applicant also receives an email containing instructions on how to complete and finalize the application.
Just as in other territories and states in Australia, the online application process in Tasmania also follows similar requirements pertaining to birth registration, required documents and general eligibility requirements.
Applying in Tasmania
Processing and delivery of birth certificates typically occur within five-day window.
The application form is accessible through https://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm/apply-online-your-checklist
Applying in Victoria
The application link for Tasmanian birth certificates is https://forms.rio.bdm.vic.gov.au/form/5dcf505a5daa5b1d48c2acda
The subsequent interface contains information on the application process, payment channels, methods of submitting proof of identity documents and where to apply.
Processing and delivery of birth certificates typically occur within an 18-day window. In the case of newborns, registration and certificate take up to 6 weeks.
Applying in Australian Capital Territory
The application rules for the Australian Capital Territory are similar to other Australian states and territories. The application form is accessible through https://form.act.gov.au/smartforms/serviet/SmartForm.html?formCode=1186
Applicants follow the prompts on the site select certificate type and payment options as well.
Delivery of certificates usually occurs within a period of 14 days.