JIS News

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Dr. Patricia Holness, is encouraging Jamaicans whose documents need correction to come in and have them corrected.
She said that some previous holders of passports are coming into the RGD to get their birth certificates, only to discover that there are no records in the names they originally used on these passports.
This, she pointed out, is because it was at one time possible to get a passport without the addition of the father’s name on birth certificates, but that is no longer the case. She is thus encouraging persons to come in, as soon as possible, to check their status.
“We would like people to check with us, as soon as possible, to ensure that the record that exists in the RGD include their surnames. In earlier years, when the parents were not married to each other, it was not possible to have the surname of the child added,” she said.
Dr. Holness said she was raising the matter at this time, because many people are being frustrated when they make unsuccessful applications for their documents to the RGD.
“We thought it opportune to raise this matter, because too many persons are flustered and frustrated when they make an application to the RGD for a certified copy of birth or marriage certificates, and we have to say there are no records with a surname,” she said.
Additionally, she noted that there are some infants who were not registered with a name at the time of birth.
“We would like to ask the public to check with us as quickly as possible to ensure that the record that exists in the RGD does carry their surnames,” she said. The surname can be added using one of two processes.
“If the parents are now married to each other, then the addition of the father’s particulars will create the surname which the child will use. This process would be a re-registration, which would have the effect of a new record being created, as if the child was born in wedlock,” she added.
Dr. Holness said that in this case it is necessary to present documents, signed by a Justice of the Peace, in respect of the children born within such a union.
In the case of children who are now overseas, the documents could be signed by a notary public. When this is done, the children are re-registered and the father’s name is placed in the RGD’s records.
She said that in the case of children who are born out of wedlock, the RGD invites the fathers and mothers to complete an “adding of father’s particulars, or status form.”
“Both parents will sign before a Justice of the Peace or a notary public. What happens in this case is that the mother and father both agree to the paternity and maternity of the child born to both of them,” she said.

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