RGD Reports Significant Increase in Online Applications


The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) has reported a significant increase in online applications, with more than 11,000 requests received in March 2007 when compared with 4,285 in March 2006.
With the increased web hits, the RGD’s website, as at May 10, was ranked the most popular government website by the traffic ranking site Alexa, found at www.alexa.com.
RGD’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Patricia Holness told JIS News that this is the first time that the agency’s website is taking the top spot after having been in the top five for some time.
Some 85 per cent of the hits are from Jamaicans, who visit the site at www.rgd.gov.jm, with 10 per cent from Canada and five per cent from the United States. Dr. Holness indicated that there is a thrust to encourage more customers in the United Kingdom to visit the site, apply for certificates and make payment.
“The online application process is fairly simple,” she said, noting that payments are accepted via Visa, MasterCard and KeyCard.
She advised clients to have all their information ready when making online applications, including the birth entry number when applying for birth certificates, while the marriage officer’s name is needed for the marriage certificate application.
Meanwhile, with only 1,118 of the 11,000 online applications received in March 2007 completed by credit card payment, Dr. Holness has appealed to “Jamaicans both at home and abroad to make their applications online and make their payment by credit cards. It is important to give the comfort to our customers that it is safe. Credit card numbers (and) full information on credit cards are not available to RGD at all.” The RGD, she added, was looking at including an online facility to use debit cards.
Customers who utilize the online application process and do not pay by credit card, will need to follow up their applications by making payments at the nearest regional office of the RGD. “If you do not have a credit card,” Dr. Holness explained, “then you can complete the application online, take the tracking number and then go straight to a cashier at any RGD location nearest to you.”
Mentioning some new features for the website, Dr. Holness informed that clients will soon be able to make payments for genealogical searches and receive an electronic response from the RGD.
On July 1, 2006 the RGD’s website was redesigned and re-launched with a more user-friendly home page and enhanced back office features to accept payment by credit cards.

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