It seems to have been a long time coming!
The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales has just announced that family history researchers can now get instant-access images of birth records from 1837-1922 and deaths from 1837-1887.
Civil birth and death registration records from selected years are now available as instant-access digital images via the GRO's website at: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/login.asp
Civil registration in this part of the UK began in 1837 for Births, Marriages and Deaths (BMDs) and until now researchers could not get an instant-access digital image.
Family history researchers have previously had to make do with ordering records as either a print record for £11, or as a PDF for £7. At this price you would need the GRO index references and then have a wait of up to four working days for orders to be despatched.
However, the GRO has now launched a scheme for births from 1837 to 1922 and deaths from 1837 to 1887 to be available as digital images (JPEGS). The online service is the cheapest and simplest way of placing an order but you do still need to order with the GRO index reference number. Their website says that it takes around 10 minutes and you’ll need a debit or credit card and the JPEG cost £2.50.