WINNIPEG -- People who need to apply for birth, marriage or death certificates can now do it online.

Manitoba's Vital Statistics Agency is launching an online service to help streamline services, improve access and reduce delays. It will allow Manitobans to apply online 24-7.

The agency started testing the service in April. Since then, the agency says it has received more than 5000 applications.

Vital Statistics also says it has begun handling inquiries and processing applications seven days a week, to help deal with a backlog.

In July, CTV News reported that wait times for documents were being extended to 10 weeks, up from the typical processing time of 6 to 8 weeks.

The service can be accessed via the Vital Statistics website.

Be careful when doing online searches

The province says Manitobans should be aware that online searches for documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates often bring up third-party, private organizations that are not affiliated with Manitoba's Vital Statistics Agency.

According to the province, these organizations submit requests on a person's behalf and then often charge more than the fees set by the agency. It said using these types of services could results in processing delays.

To protect the privacy of personal information, people should confirm they are ordering directly from Vital Statistics by looking for the Manitoba government logo on the website. The agency also provides the lowest fees, about $30 for most certificates.