Every birth that occurs in Jamaica must be registered with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD). This affords the individual the right to an official identity and nationality.
The Registration Process
Jamaican law dictates that registration be done within the first six weeks of the birth. The RGD makes provisions for:
- Registrations to be done at hospitals and birthing centres following delivery. This is referred to as bedside registration, and is done before the mother and child leave the hospital or birthing centre at a cost of $200.
- Registration officers to record the details of the birth – such as the mother’s name, the date of the birth, and the medical professional who assisted the birth. The parent(s) of the child are required to provide the child’s name and their particulars – such as occupation(s) and age(s) – to the officer, who fills out a birth registration form. Children named at the hospital are entitled to a free copy of their birth certificate, except if a change is made to any particular afterwards.
- Births that occur outside of a hospital or birthing centre should be registered by the parent(s) of the child, a relative, or a person who was present at the time of the birth. Such a person should visit an RGD office to give the information required to complete the registration process.
All births must be registered in the district in which they occurred. When a birth is registered, it is given a Birth Entry Number. This is an exclusive number that is used to identify each child’s birth registration record. The unique entry number tells the parish, the district, and the sequence of births registered in the year the child was born, for a particular district.
Change or Late Entry of Particulars
- Children, who were registered, but not named, within a year of birth will have to be named at the RGD through the Late Entry of Name process at a cost of $4,500; this is completed within four to six weeks. For processing time of seven to ten working days and three to four working days, the costs are $6,500 and $8,500, respectively.
- Other information changes and updates carry a cost. For example, addition of father’s particulars attracts a fee of $1,500, and correction of errors costs $4,500.
- In the event that the birth is registered three months up to a year after delivery, a close relative or someone having knowledge of the birth will need to sign the registration form as an informant.
- Late registration refers to those done at least one year after the birth. When this applies, parent(s) of the child, a relative, or a person who was present at the time of the birth should visit an RGD office, where a Late Registration application will be completed. The fee for registering a birth after 12 months is $300.
- If registration is done after a year has passed, the birth certificate will cost a minimum of $6,000 and is processed within four to six weeks. Persons who wish to obtain the document within a shorter time can opt for express service, wherein processing is completed within seven to ten working days at a cost of $8,500 or three to four working days at $12,000.
For further information, please contact:
Registrar General’s Department
Tel: 876-749-0550, 876-619-1260