In Jamaica, the Registrar General's Department handles vital records, including birth certificates. You can get a certified copy of a Jamaican birth certificate, whether yours or a family member's, by submitting an online form to the Registrar General's Department or by physically visiting one of its offices. To get a copy, you will need to provide some basic information about the person listed on the birth certificate.
How to Get a Copy of a Jamaican Birth Certificate
You can submit an application for a certified copy of a birth certificate online so long as the registration of the birth took place more than 10 working days from the date of the application. If the registration of the birth took place within 10 working days, then you must visit one of the Registrar General's Department offices in person to apply for a birth certificate. The head office is located at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine. Other office locations are in Kingston, St. Elizabeth, St. Ann, Portmore, Westmoreland, Clarendon, Manchester, St. James and Portland.
On the online birth certificate application form, you must fill out the following information:
- How many certified copies you are requesting.
- Person's first and last name.
- Date of birth.
- Place of birth.
- Location of birth (home address if it was a home birth or hospital name if it was a hospital birth).
- Parish (local government) of birth.
- Birth entry number.
- Mother's last name.
- Mother's last name before marriage.
- Applicant's first and last name.
- Applicant's address, including street, city and county.
- Applicant's relationship to the person.
- Applicant's email address.
- Reason for application.
Who Can Get a Copy of a Jamaican Birth Certificate?
In addition to getting a certified copy of your own birth certificate, Jamaica allows family members to get a copy of another family member's birth certificate, including spouses, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters. A legal guardian may also apply to get a certified copy of a person's birth certificate. Since the online form also has an "other" option to select for the applicant's relationship to the person, it may also be possible for persons not specified above to get a copy of another person's birth certificate, although this may be subject to more scrutiny by the office.
Reasons for Applying for a Copy of a Birth Certificate
On the online application form, the list of reasons for getting a certified copy of a birth certificate that you can choose from are: to get a driver's license, for an estate settlement, for military purposes, for a Grade Six Achievement Test submission (GSAT is Jamaica's national high school entrance test), for a passport, for school purposes, for a visa application and for a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) application. There is also an "other" option that you can select for the reason for wanting a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Read More: How to Read a Birth Certificate
The Birth Entry Number
Jamaica assigns a birth entry number to a person when the person's birth is registered with the government. It consists of both numbers and alphabet letters and signifies the parish and district where the person was born. On a birth certificate, the birth entry number is usually located at the top left-hand section.
If you don't have the birth entry number, you can first fill out a birth entry number form. On the birth entry number form, which can be submitted online, you must at least submit the person's first name, last name, date of birth, place of birth, district and parish of birth, mother's first name and mother's maiden name. You can provide any other information, such as the person's father's name, that you think would be useful to the Registrar General's Department for locating the person's birth entry number. You must also provide your first and last name, your contact number and email address, and your relationship to the person.
Cost of Obtaining a Certified Copy
The Registrar General's Department lists the costs for getting a certified copy of a birth certificate on its website. The price to get the first copy is $1,500 Jamaican dollars. Additional copies are $500 Jamaican dollars each. If a birth entry number must first be found, the cost for that is an extra $250 Jamaican dollars.
- Not every agency or entity that asks for a birth certificate requires a certified copy. Call them and ask if a photocopy would be sufficient.
- Keep a copy of your birth certificate in a safe place. Write down your registration number and keep it in a safe place.
Karen graduated from Southwestern Law School in 2003 with a Juris Doctor degree. She has worked for several law firms, providing legal services in various fields including immigration, housing, bankruptcy and family law.