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Department of the Attorney General
Annual Report 2015/16
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Agency Performance

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

The Registry creates and permanently stores birth, death, marriage and change of name records for life events occurring in Western Australia. The Registry also performs civil marriages in the Perth Registry Office.

Outcomes 2015/16

In 2015/16, the Registry:

  • Served more than 39,491 customers in person at the Perth Registry office, with an average of 3,291 customers per month
  • Registered 4,663 changes of name, an average of 389 per month
  • Registered 35,913 births, which equates to 2,993 per month
  • Registered 12,387 marriages at a rate of 1,032 per month
  • Registrations 14,771 deaths, equating to 1,231 per month
  • Had 3.30 million page views on its website.

Accessibility, Security and Accuracy of Records

In March 2009 the Department started converting two million paper-based records into an electronic format.

These records date back to 1841, when records of life events were first kept in Western Australia.

This project was completed in September 2015, resulting in more than two million records being converted. Birth and adoption records from 1973 to 1841, marriage records from 1983 to 1841 and death records from 1983 to 1841 have been converted and are now available electronically to Registry staff.

The conversion of historical records provides a faster, more efficient birth, death and marriage certificate issuing service for Western Australians.

This large-scale project also preserves vital records and increases the ability of the Registry to take part in national identity security initiatives. The Registry and other Government agencies, are now able to authenticate more accurately documents which are provided for the purpose of identity and other official purposes.

Protection of Personal Information

The protection of personal information and the prevention and detection of identity fraud and theft is a growing priority for agencies responsible for issuing identity documents in the community. More than 370,000 Western Australian birth, death, marriage and change of name certificates were validated against Registry information during 2015/16.

This is an increase of 50 per cent from last year.

The Registry remains a key participant in the National Identity Security Strategy (NISS), a Council of Australian Governments’ initiative to better protect the identities of Australians by strengthening the integrity and security of identity credentials such as birth certificates which can be authenticated through the Commonwealth Document Verification Service (DVS).

DVS checks, available to government agencies since 2009, are now being made available to the private sector, with an initial focus on organisations that have legislative obligations to identify their customers (for example, financial institutions which need to meet ‘know your customer’ requirements in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations).

The Commonwealth recently expanded DVS to a range of businesses that have a reasonable necessity to verify the individual for the organisation’s activities and functions.

These functions may include pre-employment screening, property purchases, motor vehicle hire etc.

The Registry is currently working with the Commonwealth to fully participate in the extended service.

Registration and Certificates

The Registry recorded a slight decrease in the registrations of births, deaths, marriages and changes of name in 2015/16.

The Registry issued 134,974 certificates during 2015/16 which is a two per cent decrease in the overall number of certificates issued by the Registry from the previous year.


In 2015/16 there were 86,359 birth certificates issued.


There were 24,155 requests for marriage certificates, a decrease of five per cent from the previous financial year.

The Registry performed 1,599 marriage ceremonies during 2015/16. An analysis of birth places revealed some 119 countries were represented by the couples getting married.

Place of BirthTotal
Australia 993
China 325
England 196
Vietnam 128
Malaysia 124
New Zealand 100
Philippines 99
India 93
Indonesia 75
South Africa 74
Hong Kong 67
Taiwan 59
Brazil 51
South Korea 50
Ireland 47
Thailand 42
Mauritius 37
Scotland 32
Japan 30
Singapore 28


In 2015/16 there were 23,365 requests for death certificates, an increase of nine per cent from the previous financial year.

Open Day Program

The Registry continued its involvement in the Department’s Open Day program during 2015/16. This initiative, operating in partnership with the Department’s Policy and Aboriginal Services and other key stakeholders, provides vastly improved services to disadvantaged or vulnerable people living in regional and remote Aboriginal communities. Registry staff help Aboriginal people register their birth and obtain birth certificates.

This service assists Aboriginal people to overcome barriers that may limit their ability to participate more fully in society by not having a birth certificate. A birth certificate is often the first step in establishing a person’s identity which is needed to access education, a driver’s licence, employment or claiming government benefits.

Since the Registry’s involvement with the Open Day Program in 2011/12, the Registry has issued more than 3,005 birth certificates, registered 1,254 previously unregistered Aboriginal births and issued more than 1,653 confirmation of birth letters. Of the 1,254 previously unregistered births 215 relate to births pre-1980.

Approximately 17 per cent of births registered through the Open Day Program relate to births that occurred more than 30 years ago.

During the financial year the Registry issued more than 889 birth certificates, registered 335 previously unregistered births and issued over 403 confirmation of birth letters. The oldest birth registration recorded this year was 1938.

Baby Names

Most popular girls names as collated by the Registry in 2015 calendar year.

Position in 2015NameOccurrencePosition in 2014Position in 2013Position in 2012
1 Olivia 206 4 1 2
2 Ava 197 2 3 9
3 Charlotte 187 3 2 1
4 Mia 181 4 10 10
5 Isla 166 7 14 14
6 Sophie 162 8 8 5
7 Grace 155 10 11 11
8 Amelia 153 5 9 8
9 Ruby 151 12 5 3
10 Chloe 145 9 7 6


Most popular Boys names as collated by the Registry in 2015 calendar year

Position in 2015NameOccurrencePosition in 2014Position in 2013Position in 2012
1 Oliver 248 1 2 9
2 Jack 228 2 1 2
3 James 197 7 6 5
4 Noah 191 3 3 1
5 William 177 4 4 3
6 Thomas 174 6 11 10
7 Ethan 172 8 8 12
8 Mason 148 10 7 4
9 Liam 147 9 14 8
10 Lachlan 141 11 9 14

The State's top regional baby names are available on the Registry website

Last updated: 27-Sep-2016

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