As a Jamaican living in the diaspora, you may start to get the feeling of wanting to do business back home such as building your dream home in Jamaica. You have your Jamaican passport which has expired as you haven’t used it in a while and you can’t find your old black and white birth certificate. What do you do?
Well, before you start panicking you can now get your birth certificate by applying online at the Registrar General’s Department also known as the RGD. This is a great time saver and the website gives you all the necessary information that you need to obtain a birth, death and marriage certificate. Not only that, the RGD regularly puts out event dates on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts when they will be having outreach programs in the diaspora.
Getting Your Birth Certificate while in the Jamaican Diaspora
Recently the RGD held an outreach in Canada in partnership with the Jamaica National Expo where they were offering the services of:
- Birth, death, marriage and adoption application
- Addition of father’s particulars
- Late registration
- Late entry of name
- Correction error
- Genealogical Research
So as you can see you can keep all your documents up-to-date without having to pay a plane fare to get it done just by finding out when the next RGD outreach or Jamaican Expo will be where you are.
How To Apply for Your Jamaican Birth Certificate In Person
Jamaica now uses a computer-generated certificate which has special security features making it harder to duplicate. So, if you still have the old style black and white birth certificate you will need to apply for the updated version. If you intend to do this in person while here in Jamaica on a break it is pretty straightforward. Here are the documents that you will need.
- Your old birth certificate
- Valid ID for both parents (Passport, driver’s licence, voters ID – This not strictly necessary).
- If parents are deceased then both marriage and/or death certificates ( Again not strictly necessary as their names are on your old birth certificate)
- To be on the safe side if you have the documents I think it best for you to just carry everything and once you get to their offices they can tell you exactly what they need. The last thing you want while on holiday is to make more than one or two trips
- Once all the necessary information is checked fill out the birth certificate application form and once you have paid the necessary fee, standard or express service you will be informed by SMS text message that your birth certificate is ready for collection. If you cannot collect yourself in person you will need to get a Letter of Authorization signed by a JP or Notary Public informing the RGD who will be collecting the birth certificate on your behalf.
- ONE VERY VERY IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE, please, please before leaving the RGD offices make sure you stress the correct spellings of your names and when you do receive your birth certificate on collection again, please check the spelling of your names. There have been many incidents where names have been misspelt resulting in additional costs to correct the document. You have been warned!
There are a number of RGD offices across the island that provide this service but the most efficient of them is the Head Office based in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town
How to Apply for Your Jamaican Birth Certificate Online
If you plan on applying for your birth certificate online before you start to fill in the online form check first that you know what the birth entry number is, if you do not know this you will have to request an entry number. The details of how to do this can be found at the bottom of the application form area for birth certificates. Complete that and it may take a few days to receive a response.
Once you have heard back from the RGD and received your birth entry number you can now fill out the online birth certificate application form. Just follow the instructions and fill out the mandatory fields correctly. The application will be processed once the online payment has been received and depending on the speed of service requested such as standard or express.
You might also be interested in knowing how to apply for your TRN.
I hope you find this post helpful and please feel free to share your stories on how you managed to get your Jamaican documents in order.