Wednesday 14 November, 2018

On the Spot - Register your baby after birth

Your baby is almost here and excitement is growing. Relatives and friends are making plans to visit, and you are in the final few weeks of pregnancy. 

Have you chosen a name? This small decision will shape your baby’s first official form of identity - the birth certificate.

Every person born in Trinidad and Tobago must be registered, and the registration should include your son or daughter’s first name.  All births can be registered for free within three months of the date of birth.  Registration must be made with the District Registrar in the district where the child was born.

If a birth is registered after the three-month period, a request for a late registration has to be made to the Registrar General - for which there is a cost.

What do you need to register a birth?

In order to register a birth, you must present these documents to the District Registrar:

1. Hospital record/card

2. Valid government-issued form of ID

3. The computer generated birth certificate(s) of the parent(s) of the child (if available) or the adoption certificate(s)

4. Marriage certificate of the parents (if applicable)

The District Registrar will also ask you to include the baby’s given names, these are the first and middle names of the child.  Only a first name is required at the time of registration. 

A legal guardian or person present at the birth can also register the birth. In this instance, the National ID Card of the informant, along with the above mentioned documents are required.

Where can you register a birth?

Births are registered at the offices of District Registrars.  A listing of District Registrars can be found at http://www.legalaffairs.gov.tt/districts.html.  District registrars are also based at the following public hospitals:

1. Port-of-Spain General Hospital

2. San Fernando General Hospital

3. Mt Hope Maternity Hospital

4. Sangre Grande County Hospital

How do you include the Father’s Name in registration?

If you are married, either you or your spouse can go to the District Registrar to register the birth, but you must present original marriage certificate along with the other required documents. 

If you are not married, you and your partner must go together to the District Registrar to register the birth, along with originals and copies of valid government-issued forms of ID for each of you.

If the father’s name is not recorded at the time of registration, both parents must appear together at any of the Registrar General’s Department offices in Arima, San Fernando, Port of Spain and Tobago, and request for the father’s name to be inserted. 

The Name Insertions Unit will then process the application, and the birth certificate will be update to include this information. Father’s name insertions can also be done using a paternity order issued by a court of law. 

Registration of your baby is the first step in shaping their future as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago!  To learn more, check out this short video or AGLA’s Facebook page. Their Name. Their Identity. Your Responsibility.