JIS News

The Registrar General’s Department (RGD), received 500 applications in its overseas outreach initiatives in the United Kingdom, United States (Florida),Canada and Cuba in 2008.
Of the total, about 424, or 85 per cent, have already been dealt with, while other applications are still outstanding for various reasons.
Form searches are continuing for 10 applicants, who did not give sufficient information to allow the RGD to provide them with the relevant documents they requested. No further action can be taken on 48 of the 500 applications, unless the persons involved contact the RGD and provide additional information.
The other 18 applicants were originally registered without surnames, and have been advised to do late entries of names to their birth certificates.
The RGD undertakes outreach sessions each year to the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, in areas with large concentrations of Jamaicans. Many have birth certificates with only a first name, which they could at one time use to take out their passports. These passports could then be used as secure forms of identification.
With heightened worldwide security concerns, following the terrorist attacks on the United States and other countries, Jamaicans who require passports from the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Jamaica and from the relevant High Commissions and Embassies overseas, must provide a certified birth certificate with a surname.
Persons who emigrated to Britain and other places and are now at retirement age are also finding out that they need a proof of name, with surname, in order to access their retirement and other benefits. These Jamaicans have had to turn to the RGD, which has over 70 million records dating back to the 1600s, to get their certified documents.
The RGD has introduced online registration, and an online payment facility which allows applicants to apply and pay for their documents without going into an office. It has also recently requested tenders from companies interested in digitising its records, which will cut down on the time it takes to do searches of its records, and reduce the cost of form searches to its consumers.

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