Legal Advice

Legal Name on Your Birth Certificate

The birth certificate is undeniably the most important document an individual should possess. It acts as a prerequisite for an individual to get admitted in educational institutions and also enable them to avail various schemes set by the government.

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A birth certificate is a document of paramount importance. During the registration of the birth certificate, the name that appears on the certificate is considered to be the legal name of the individual. As the name implies, a legal name is one by which a person is identified legally. In other words, this name is used in correspondence with all administrative matters and also for other official purposes. Although the legal name is registered on the birth certificate at the time of birth, it can later be changed or modified if the individual wishes to.

Most jurisdictions mandate the use of the legal name in all executive and legal affairs. Few jurisdictions demand the certified copy of the name change if there had been any changes in the name of the individual. Most often, women in India change their surname after the wedding and in such circumstances, a name change certificate may be required.

Importance of a Birth Certificate:

It might be a known fact that India has a terrible track record of maintaining birth certificates. But after the introduction of the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969, it is now statutory to record the birth of a child. These birth certificates will either be issued by the Municipal Corporation in cities or by the Tahsildar at Taluka Level and in the case of villages, it is issued by the Gram Panchayat Office.

At least in India, the birth certificate is the primary source of proof for an individual to substantiate the date of birth, age, identification, citizenship, and place of birth. Further, the birth certificate becomes crucial for children as it enables them to avail of educational facilities and emoluments, medical assistance, acts as proof of inheritance, and also is the primary proof of the child’s citizenship.

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Therefore, the parents must be perceptive enough to make an application for the birth certificate for their children within 21 days from the date of birth in order to avoid the problems of paying the late penalty fees or simply to prevent the circumvented process to obtain the certificate when applied at a later date. A penalty is levied if the registration is done within 1 year. If it is done later than that, the registration can be done only if a judicial order is obtained from the Magistrate and a penalty will still be levied in addition to that under such conditions.

Online Procedure for Birth Registration:

The first move in applying for the birth certificate is to record the birth of a child.

Step 1: The registration form for the birth certificate can be downloaded from here or it can be availed in the office of the Registrar. In the event of the child being born in a hospital or nursing home, the medical officer in charge provides the application form.

Step 2: The form is to be filed within 21 days from the birth of the child, which is the specified period for applying for the birth certificate.

Step 3: After verifying the records, (name and ID proof of the parents, time, date and place of birth etc), the certificate is awarded.

The certificate hence received is a soft copy. It has to be downloaded and should be attested by either the registrar or the sub-registrar.

Documents Required for Registration of Birth Certificate:

In pursuance of getting the birth certificate duly registered, the following documents are required:

  • Identity proof of the parents, that show their respective ages as on date.
  • Evidence of birth letter from the hospital where the child was born, the letter should include the gender and date of birth of the child and the name of the parents.  
  • Address proofs of the parents, such as voter ID, passport, ration card or Aadhar card.

Name Change Affidavit

The procedure to change or update the name in the birth certificate is not very complicated. By following the listed steps the same can be accomplished.

  • The ‘Birth Certificate Update / Correction Form is to be collected from the municipal office of the area where the child was born.
  •       An affidavit regarding the name change must be drafted and should be signed by the local notary with a minimum non-judicial stamp mentioning the reason for the change of the name.
  •       The application is to be filled and the required documents and the affidavit are to be attached along with it and submitted to the respective authority.
  •       An advertisement regarding the name change has to be published in the local newspaper and thereafter in the state gazette.

Fees for Updating Information in the Birth Certificate:

The fee for registering the alteration of information in the birth certificate varies from state to state. An additional fee for the non-judicial stamp affixed in the affidavit would cost about 20 to ₹100.

A birth certificate, therefore, is the most important document per se, and also a document that facilitates an individual to avail various other emoluments in due course of life. It acts as proof to substantiate an individual’s age and date of birth which is useful for a variety of purposes throughout the lifetime of the individual. The parents therefore should be as proactive as possible to get the formalities done within 21 days of the birth of the child with respect to registering the birth certificate. Perhaps this could be the first and the best gift they could give their child!

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