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Birth Certificate: A Mandatory Document For Passport Or Not?

Do you want to travel the world but don’t have a birth certificate? Worry not as the new Passport Rules have done away with the need for producing a birth certificate for getting a passport issued.

Well, just like a driver’s license is required for driving across the country, a passport is required for international travel. Obtaining a passport used to be a time-consuming process that necessitated a whole lot of paperwork and documentation.

All applicants born after January 26, 1989, had to provide a birth certificate as proof of date of birth, along with the documents required for a passport, according to the 1980 Passport Rules.

However, in light of the difficulties citizens faced as a result of minor errors in their birth certificates, the then-minister of external affairs in December 2016 introduced several changes in the list of documents required to obtain a passport India. The most significant of which was the removal of the requirement for a birth certificate as a precondition for a passport.

Documents That Can Be Submitted As a Substitute of Birth Certificate to Obtain a Passport

The following passport documents can be submitted with the passport application as proof and substitute for the date of birth and birth certificate respectively:

  • Transfer Certificate/ Matriculation/ School-leaving/ University Certificate:
    Among the documents required for a passport, this one plays an important role, as it holds the complete identity and details of an individual, especially the applicant’s date of birth.
  • Aadhar Card:
    The Aadhar card, which is used for every other government service and legal purpose, is also one of the documents required for the passport because it contains both the biometrics and the DOB, providing all of the information required for the passport.
  • PAN Card:
    The PAN card obtained from the Income Tax department can be used to show proof of DOB, instead of the birth certificate mandatory in order to obtain a passport.
  • Service/ Pension Records:
    All government employees can produce a copy of their pension or service records as a document required for obtaining a passport in order to prove and show evidence of DOB.
  • Voter ID:
    The Election Commission issues the Election Photo Identity Card, which is also one of the necessary documentation for a passport, but it must include the DOB in order to be valid alongside a passport application.
  • Driving License:
    The driving license is issued by the Transport Authority of the state and can be considered in the list of documents eligible to act as proof for obtaining a passport.

The above-mentioned list of passport documents can be used for both the application of a new passport and for the re-issue of a passport, to substitute the birth certificate which was mandatory for the passport.

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New Passport Rules: An Overview 

From June 2018, new passport rules were brought into effect which includes the change in some details along with the documents required for a passport. The new rules are as follows:

  • No residential information on the last page: This is made possible as a barcode is provided on the last page of the passport, which eliminates the need to provide and print all the details on the passport.
  • Colour change in passport: To differentiate among the citizens of the country, depending on positions, passports were printed in three different colours, namely, red, white and blue. The blue passport is given to the ECR (Emigration Check Required) and ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) citizens. According to the change introduced, instead of blue, the passport will now be orange in colour.
  • No printing of parents name: Unlike the earlier procedure of passport issuance, wherein the parents name was printed on the last page, the new rules have done away with the same.
  • Physical verification to online verification: In order to reduce the verification time taken for passport documents and the completion of the procedure, a new tracking system will be introduced, and the physical police verification might be transferred to online verification.

Additionally, a concession in the passport fees has also been introduced for children below 8 years and adults above 60 years of age.

Rules That Have Already Been Brought Into Effect

To make the verification of the documents needed for issuance of passports easier and quicker, various amendments have already been taken into consideration by the government. These include:

  • Removal of birth certificate as a mandatory prerequisite for a passport
  • Post police verification for passport documents in tatkaal scheme
  • Eradication of the need for providing the name of both parents
  • Reduction in annexures from 15 to 9 to reduce the pressure of collating the documents needed for obtaining a passport
  • Submission of self-declaration in case there is a need for urgent issue passports for a job.

Concluding Statements 

In the past when a birth certificate was mandatorily required for obtaining a passport in India, however now the government has amended numerous provisions for the convenience of citizens in order to simplify all legal processes, particularly those related to passports.

So, what are you waiting for? Go, get that passport and travel to the places you want to!

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