This page is for organisations who support people experiencing disadvantage. It helps you to help your clients get their certificate.
This information is also available as a fact sheet for you to download.
On this page:
A birth certificate is the primary identity document used to establish a person’s identity. Everyone needs a birth certificate to access:
- Government benefits
- Opening a bank account
- Help with housing.
Access to a birth certificate is a universal human right . A birth certificate can form part of a person’s connection to their birth family and their cultural identity. It can also provide someone with information they may not already know — for example, where they were born.
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM) records life events for the Victorian community and issues certificates. While this page references birth certificates (as the most common certificate requested by someone experiencing disadvantage) the advice is relevant for our other certificates too.
For people born outside of Victoria, contact the Registry in the state or territory where the birth occurred. If you cannot contact the relevant Registry, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help.
Get the right information
We are here to help! If in doubt, contact us to discuss. It’s important you have the right information.
To contact us:
- Email email@example.com
- In the subject line, reference ‘assisting a client who is experiencing disadvantage’. This helps us manage these enquiries so that you get information you need.
The ways we can help people experiencing disadvantage include:
Help with proof of identity exceptions
Proof of identity exceptions
The easiest way for a person to prove their identity is with their driver licence (if it confirms residential address) and passport.
However, some customers can’t meet BDM’s standard proof of identity requirements.
For these customers, we have a proof of identity exception policy. The policy supports organisations to help clients who can’t meet the standard requirements. It provides guidance on what documentation to provide.
To request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Help by waiving fees (free certificate)
People experiencing hardship and disadvantage may be entitled to a free legal certificate. BDM’s financial hardship and fee waiver policy outlines the circumstances and evidence you may need to provide.
To help your client apply:
- Apply offline: If requesting a fee waiver, your client will need to apply using a paper or emailed form. Request one by emailing email@example.com
- Print and sign. You may need to help your client print and/or complete the forms.
- Attach: Your client must attach all the required attachments at the time of applying. Refer to the instructions for specific groups, below.
- Email all documents together to firstname.lastname@example.org
Help for specific client groups
There are specific steps you should follow if you are helping:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners
- Survivors of family violence
- People affected by natural disasters.
Following these steps does not guarantee that BDM will issue a certificate. The Registrar decides whether to grant or deny applications.
We also have: