22 July - New Civil Registrations Will Be Customer Friendly Says Social And Family Affairs Minister Mary Coughlan

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Faster production of birth, death and marriage certificates, new registers of divorce and nullity of marriage and streamlining registration of adoptions are among a range of new services that will shortly come on line, said Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Coughlan today.

The modernisation of the Civil Registration Service will also lead to an electronic research facility for genealogists and family researchers and the development of internet services in line with Government services.

The new services will be more customer friendly and will reduce red tape, said Minister Coughlan as the Civil Registration Bill 2003 was published today which gives legislative effect for a modern registration system.

"The new services will be more customer oriented, and will for example lead to the end of lengthy queues for birth and marriage certificates. The introduction of new technology will transform the current paper based services," said Minister Coughlan.

"In future all life events - such as birth, deaths, adoptions, will be available on a national life event database and will be available at any registrar's office. The new service will also include the automatic allocation of a Personal Public Services Number (PPS number), which I launched earlier this year, which will provide for better public services delivery to every citizen," added Minister Coughlan.

The main objectives of the Bill are to:

  • rationalise the procedures for registering births, stillbirths and deaths
  • reform the procedures for governing the registration of marriages
  • streamline the existing procedures governing the registration of adoptions
  • establish new registers of divorce and civil nullity of marriage
  • facilitate registration of an event at any registrar's office as opposed to the district where the event occurs at present
  • streamline roles, responsibilities and accountability for delivering a modern Civil Registration Service.

Implementation of the new system will be carried out on a phased basis. The first phase caters for the electronic production of birth, death and marriage certificates and the electronic registration of births and deaths.

A programme of work aimed at introducing a modern Civil Registration Service has been underway for some time. The modernisation programme is primarily a customer service initiative that will transform the way services are delivered using modern technology.

"I welcome publication of this Bill which will result in new technology having a significant impact on the way civil registration services are delivered. The computerisation of life event data together with the new processes and procedures will introduce nation wide standards for registering life events, underpin the integration of public services and thus enable the delivery of quality services to our citizens," said Minister Coughlan.

Further phases will include the introduction of new procedures governing the registration of marriages, an electronic searching facility for genealogists and family researchers and development of e-Government internet services.


22 nd July 2003

Last modified:11/09/2008