'You are five years older than you thought'

Tell Claudienne

with Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, December 15, 2013    

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Dear Claudienne

One year ago when I applied to the Registrar General's Department (RGD) for my birth certificate, I discovered that the records at the RGD show that I am five years older than the birth certificate I used to apply for a United States visa 43 years ago.

In the 1960s my mother, who was in England, hired a lawyer to get my birth certificate. At the time I was young and she was trying to have me come to England to be with her. The lawyer brought the birth certificate to my house. However, I did not go to England as I became pregnant. I am now a US citizen as later on I was able to use it to apply for a passport and travel to that country.

When I went to the RGD to collect the birth certificate, the clerk said that I could not get it because the year of birth I put on the application form was different from the date on my birth records. I asked the clerk what I needed to do and she told me that the RGD would call me.

I hired someone to be my power of attorney when I was not here in Jamaica, but the RGD has been giving him the runaround. He told me that he met a lady with a problem similar to mine who resided in England and she said she was able to get the age on the RGD birth certificate changed.

All I want the RGD to tell me is what I need to do to get the birth certificate fixed, but all I get is silence.

Could you please find out from the RGD what I need to do to have the matter regularised.


Dear DFN

We asked the RGD to state what you need to do to get your birth certificate. The RGD replied to Tell Claudienne

as follows:

"Prior to you referring DFN to the RGD for assistance, she had notified us that the year of birth on her record did not correspond with the year of birth that she knows and that she believed she was born in 1948 and not 1943 as stated on her record.

"We wish to make it abundantly clear that birth certificates are generated from the actual birth record, and a review of the date of birth on the hospital's notification of DFN's birth shows that the hospital's record corresponds with our record of her birth. The RGD operates within the ambit of the law, and it is illegal for the Agency to change records; therefore we will not honour DFN's request for us to do this. This was the position taken by the Agency when she made the initial request for the date to be changed; producing a document resembling a birth certificate that she claimed was obtained from the Agency. However, that document does not correspond with her actual birth record and was not created by the Agency. Our position remains the same today.

"DFN, like several other Jamaicans born out of wedlock in that period (1940s), was also advised by the Agency that she needs to complete a Late Entry of Name (LEN) to update her record. Kindly note that an LEN will NOT change the date. We look forward to her completing the LEN process and obtaining a copy of her birth certificate."

Please contact the RGD to complete the Late Entry of Name process in order to obtain your birth certificate. Good luck.

Dear Claudienne,

I applied for NIS benefits in March 2012. Since then my application has remained on someone's desk for the first seven months with no action being taken.

Anyway, after a series of phone calls it finally went over to Heroes Circle in April, or so I was told. I tried calling today and after they tried transferring me to Accounts,

no one answered. Please note

that this is a regular occurrence.

Could you please help me find out what is going on, as I don't want to be kept waiting indefinitely.

Dear YF

Tell Claudienne contacted the NIS office and was assured that that you will be able to collect your cheque at the Heroes Circle head

office before the Christmas holidays.

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company: telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or

e-mail: Please include a contact phone number.





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