Come January 2, Jamaicans at home and abroad will be able to update their records online via the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) website.
The move comes as the department continues to increase the services available to Jamaicans through its online platform.
Chief Executive Officer at the RGD, Charlton McFarlane, told JIS News that the service will benefit persons wishing to do a status update.
These include individuals who may have married and wish to amend their records as well as those of their children.
“We also have customers who may need to change or amend the spelling of their names or add a surname, especially for more mature customers, who may have been registered without a surname being on the birth record. It’s a practice that we have stopped in our registration process; however, a lot of them (mature customers) will have to return to us to do what is called a late entry of name, so we keep that as a record-updating service,” he outlined.
Mr. McFarlane told JIS News that the facility has been put in place to allow persons to upload the relevant supporting documents remotely. He explained that customers applying to update their records have to present evidence to justify the need for the change.
“Our record-updating product relies on a lot of supporting documents. So, for example, a customer can’t tell us that their name, which was spelt one way should now just automatically be spelt another way. They have to show the justifiable evidence to facilitate that change,” he noted.
“What we have done now is to make it completely online, so persons will log on to our website and fill out the application form for the record updating. They will then download the necessary documents such as the statutory declarations and they will have those documents completed and then get those documents certified. If it’s local, that would be by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or any other legally authorised person, and if it’s overseas, it would be by a Notary Public,” Mr. McFarlane advised.
Once those documents have been certified, customers can upload them to the RGD’s system along with the application form. They will also be able to pay online.
A tracking or reference number will be generated, which will allow the customer to track the status of the application from start to finish. Mr. McFarlane said that the online service will make record updating easier for persons living in the diaspora.
“What we have observed is that the large component of the record-updating market is actually from persons in the diaspora. So you can appreciate that having the product online would make it easier for those persons, who, prior to January 2, would have to be submitting documents by mail or sending them down with somebody who is coming to Jamaica, to facilitate this process,” he noted.
The RGD is an executive agency and Jamaica’s sole repository of birth, death, marriage and foetal death records.