What do I need to know?

PROV only holds the indexes to registered Births, Deaths and Marriages, not the certificates. The indexes are not online - you can access close access Definition Refers either to the process of providing records for researchers to use in PROV reading rooms, or to the process of determining if records should or should not be withheld from researchers for a period of time. them on our reading room close reading room Definition Area set aside at PROV centres for public access to records and research (formerly known as ‘search rooms’). Visit the Contact us page for more. computers. Some local libraries and historical centres also have access to these indexes. You need to know the name of the person or people you are searching for and the approximate date of the birth, death or marriage.

How do I search?

The following are births, deaths and marriage indexes available to search in our Reading Rooms:

  • Pioneer 1836-1888
  • Federation 1889-1901
  • Edwardian 1902-1913
  • Great War 1914-1920
  • Marriage Index 1921-1942
  • Death Index 1921-1985
  • Marine Births, Deaths and Marriages Index 1853-1920

You can search these indexes by name, date and place.


About these records

Certificates of birth, death or marriage provide dates and details about key life events, and are a good starting point in constructing a person’s history. 

We do not hold copies of certificates. Digital copies of certificates are available at a cost from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages:

Street Address: 595 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Postal Address: PO Box 4332, Melbourne, VIC 3001
Telephone (Australia): 1300 369 367 (within Australia for the cost of a local call)
Telephone (Overseas): + 61 3 9613 5111

You can access free indexes to births, deaths and marriages (BDM) that contain summary details from the certificates in our Reading Rooms or directly online at Births, Deaths Marriages Victoria.


Next Steps

Our family history page is a good place to start for ideas on how to continue your research using the names, places and dates you’ve discovered.

What are in these records?

The indexes include, as appropriate:

  • full names of the person/s
  • year and registration number of event
  • person’s age
  • parents' names
  • town/city, denomination/church where event occurred.

Information on the original records has changed over time, but in addition to the above may include:


  • parents' places of birth and age at the time of the child's birth
  • mother's family surname
  • marriage details of the parents
  • previous children born of the marriage
  • name of the informant of the information recorded.


  • cause of death
  • place of birth of the deceased
  • parents' names
  • mother's family surname
  • father's occupation
  • marriage details
  • children born of the marriage
  • name of the informant of the information recorded.


  • the surnames and given names of the bride and the groom
  • the occupations of both the parties to the marriage at the time of the marriage
  • the usual residence of both parties to the marriage at the time of the marriage
  • the date and place of marriage
  • the dates and places of birth of bride and groom
  • the parents' names including the mothers' family surnames of both parties to the marriage
  • the signatures of both parties to the marriage, two witnesses to the marriage and the celebrant who performed the ceremony.

Exact times of births, deaths and marriages are not recorded on the certificates.