Government of Jamaica
 

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The Island Record Office (IRO) is an arm of the Registrar General's Department that was established by the Record Office Act under the Act of Parliament in 1879. According to the Act, the Island Records Office should be established to record the following documents:

  • Public Records: these include rolls, writs, books, legal proceedings, statutes, decrees, wills, warrants, accounts, papers and documents of a public nature.
  • Deeds and writings: a deed is a legal instrument used to grant a privilege. It is usually used when transferring real estate titles from one person to another. All deeds including: wills, conveyances, charters, bonds, patents, certificates, letter patent, specifications, petitions, declarations, disclaimers, memoranda, powers of attorney, crop and other accounts, inventories, map plots and all other legal instruments used to grant a right, must be registered at the Island Records Office.

To register a deed or public record you must do the following:

  • Ensure that your document meets the requirements of the Registrar General's Department
  • Take the document to the RGD for assessment
  • Pay the relevant fees to have the public record/deed/writing registered

 

Requirements for Registering Deed Polls

A Deed Poll is a legal document that allows an individual to assume a new name and provides documentary evidence of the name change. A Deed Poll can be used to change one’s first name, surname, to add names, change the entire name, rearrange the current name, or simply change the spelling of one’s name.

Before registering a Deed Poll at the Island Records Office, ensure that it has the following:

  • The party’s name before the Deed Poll;
  • The party’s name after the Deed Poll, which would be shown on certified copies of Birth, Marriage, Decree Absolute, adoption, naturalization certificate, etc. depending on the case;
  • Date of Execution is attached to the Deed Poll signatures of parties (i.e. person requesting the name change and the Justice of the Peace/Notary Public);
  • Seal of the Justice of the Peace or Notary Public;
  • A Stamp Duty

 

Requirements for Registering a Deed of Gift

A Deed of Gift is a legal document which transfers ownership of property or possession to another without the use of money, i.e. given as a gift. Before a Deed of Gift can be registered the following requirements must be met:-

  • Names of parties involved
  • Date of Execution and Signatures of parties (Grantor, Grantee and Justice of the Peace)
  • Stamp Duty paid

 

Requirements for Registering Conveyances

A Conveyance is a document showing the transfer of property from one owner to another. The size and value of the property should be given. A diagram is often submitted with the Conveyance to give a clear picture of the property. Before a Conveyance can be registered the following requirements must be met:-

Ensure document has:
  • Names of parties involved
  • Date of Execution
  • Signatures of parties (Giver, Receiver and Justice of the Peace)
  • Stamp Duty paid

A conveyance that has been stamped and meets the requirements outlined above should be taken to the Island Records Office at the Registrar General's Department where it will be assessed for the following costs:-

  • Each Legal sheet (each 160 words) .............$500
  • Deed receipt .................................................$500
  • Docket fee .................................................... $500
  • Diagram (per hour) ........................................$750

Service charges –

  • 7 to 10-days ...................................................$1000
  • Next day .........................................................$2500

 

 

 

Requirements for Registering a Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which an individual gives another the authority to act on their behalf. The document should state clearly the extent of the agent’s authority. Before a Power of Attorney can be registered the following requirements must be met:-

Ensure document has:
  • Date of Execution
  • Signatures of parties (Grantor, Grantee, and Justice of the Peace/Notary Public)
  • Seal of Signatory from the Justice of the Peace/Notary Public
  • Full name and address of Grantor & Grantee
  • Stamp Duty paid

A Power of Attorney that meets the requirements stated above should be taken to the Island Records Office at the Registrar General's Department where it will be assessed for the following costs:-

  • Each Legal sheet (each 160 words) ..............$ 500
  • Deed receipt ...................................................$ 500

Service charges:-

  • 7- to 10days ....................................................$ 1000
  • Next day ..........................................................$ 2500

After the appropriate fees are paid, the customer will be issued a receipt and then informed when to return for the completed document, based on their request.

 

Requirements for Registering Paper Writings

A Paper Writing document can be prepared by an individual (Testator), regarding the distribution of his/her estate upon his/her death, while he/she is alive. Amendments can be made to the document while the individual is alive, however the last “Paper Writing” made will revoke the previous ones, and then becomes the Last Will and Testament upon the Testator’s death. Before a Paper Writing can be registered the following requirements must be met:-

  • Name of Testator
  • Name, address and occupation of two witnesses
  • Signatures of parties (Testator and Witnesses)
  • Date of Execution

A Paper Writing that satisfies the requirements stated above should be taken to the Island Records Office at the Registrar General's Department where it will be assessed for the following costs:-

  • Each Legal sheet (each 160 words) ...............$500
  • Deed receipt ...................................................$500

Service charges –

  • 7- 10 days .......................................................$1000
  • Next day ..........................................................$2500

After the appropriate fees are paid, the customer will be issued a receipt and then informed when to return for the completed document, based on their request.

The Marriage Officer or Civil Registrar who performed the wedding ceremony registers the marriage.

Click here to view list of Civil Registrars and Marriage Officers

Civil Registrars and Marriage officers

PARISH

CIVIL REGISTRAR’S NAME

Kingston

Silvera Castro

St. Andrew

Roy Jones

St. Thomas

James Palmer

Portland

 

St. Catherine

 

St. Mary

Devon Lynch

St. Ann

 

Clarendon

 

Manchester

 

St. Elizabeth

 

Westmoreland

Trevor Ruddock

Hanover

Seymour Whitter

St. James

Carmen Thompson

Trelawny

Clive Christian

With respect to registration, it is necessary to classify deaths as natural, sudden or violent. Natural deaths are those where the deceased was being attended to regularly by a medical doctor (within at least six weeks of death) and where the cause of death is not under reasonable doubt by the medical doctor.

Sudden deaths are those for which the deceased was not under the care of a medical doctor within six weeks of death and/or whose cause of death is under any suspicion of foul play. Violent deaths, as the name suggests are those that occurred under violent circumstances.

All deaths require one of the following to be completed and certified by a medical doctor, medical officer or pathologist:

  • Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death
  • Post Mortem Examination Report
  • Certificate of Coroner (Form D)
  • Coroner’s Certificate of Finding of Jury (Form E)

The registration of births is the responsibility of the child's parents. Therefore, every parent must note the following before their child is registered:

  • Ensure that you have selected a name for your child by the time he/she is born. This will make the registration process easier.
  • Register all births as soon as the baby is born. It is mandated by law to register the birth within the first six weeks.
  • If the birth is registered three months to a year after birth, a close relative or someone having knowledge of the birth will need to sign the registration form as an informant.
  • If the birth is registered after a year has passed, a Late Registration application will need to be completed to obtain a birth certificate for the child.

 

BEDSIDE REGISTRATION

The Registrar General's Department now conducts registration of births and still births at the bedside of the mother while still in the hospital. This has led to significant improvements in the recording of these vital events. Trained registration officers, who are employed by the Agency, are stationed in all hospitals island-wide to conduct these registrations. Vital information, including, but not limited to, child’s date of birth, sex of child, mother’s name, and doctor or midwife present at time of birth, are captured for civil registration purposes. Click here to view a diagram outlining the Bedside Registration process

 

WHOSE DUTY IS IT TO REGISTER A BIRTH?

Births outside of a hospital or birthing center: If a child was born outside of a hospital it is the responsibility of the parent(s) to register the birth. If the parents are unable to do so, then a relative or someone in the house where the baby was born or an individual present at the time of the birth should register the birth.

Births at a hospital or Birthing Center: The Registration Officer is responsible for registering all births occurring in hospitals and birthing centers daily, based on the information provided to them by the parent(s) in the hospital.

 

 

WHERE ARE BIRTHS REGISTERED?

Births are registered in the hospitals/ birthing centers. A Local District Registrar is a person appointed by the Registrar General to record all births, deaths and still-births occurring in their registration district. The fourteen parishes of Jamaica are segmented into districts and the LDRs are usually located in the same district or in close proximity to the districts for which they are responsible.

All births must be registered in the district in which they occurred. For example a birth occurring in Spanish Town, St. Catherine should be registered at the LDR in the district of Spanish Town. When a birth is registered it is given a Birth Entry Number. This is a unique number which is used to identify each child's birth registration record. The unique entry number tells the parish, the district and the sequence of births registered in the year the child was born, for a particular district.

For example a birth occurring in Spanish Town, St. Catherine would be given an entry number such as EA 103: ‘E’ shows the parish of birth, which is St. Catherine and the ‘A’ shows the district in which the birth occurred, which in this case in Spanish Town.

 

HOW SOON AFTER BIRTH SHOULD THE EVENT BE REGISTERED?

All births must be registered:

  • Ideally within six weeks and less than one year
  • Within 14 days – Chief Resident Officer must send the notification of birth to LDR.

If the infant is not named in the hospital, parents should visit the Registration Officer for the district in which the child was born and complete a Certificate of Naming

  • Give full and correct information
  • Check for the correct spelling of name
  • Check date of birth
  • Sign registration form only if all the information is correct
  • Collect Certificate of Registry (pink paper/slip)
  • Keep a record of the Birth Entry Number for reference

 

 

 

HOSPITAL BIRTHS

Most of Jamaica’s births occur in hospitals or other birthing institutions. The registration procedure for the parent(s) is:

  • All details for the child, mother and father must be provided. If the parents are not married at the time of birth, the father must be present at the time of registration to sign the birth record or both parents sign and submit the declaration of paternity within six weeks of the birth, for the father’s name to be added to the child’s birth certificate.
  • If a name has not been chosen for the child at the time of registration in the hospital, the Certificate of Naming will be issued to the parent(s) and instructions given for the form to be completed and presented to the Registration Officer within one year. After this one year period, the child’s name can only be added to the birth certificate by paying for the Late Entry of Name application at the Registrar General’s Department.
  • After the birth registration form is completed by the Registration Officer and all relevant signatures are affixed, the process is complete, and a birth certificate will be issued within 3 months to qualified babies who were:
  • Named in hospital; and
  • Their registration fee was paid.

 

 

HOME/OTHER BIRTHS

For children delivered outside of a hospital or birthing centre, the birth must be registered as follows:

  • An informant must attend the nearest Local District Registrar (LDR) to register the birth. This person can be a parent, person present at birth, an occupier of the house in which the birth occurred or any other adult who is aware of the birth of the child;
  • The informant must visit the LDR’s office within six months, or at least within one year after birth. After one year, a late registration application will be required;
  • As in hospital birth registration, if parents are not married, the mother and father must attend the LDR for the father’s particulars to be added at time of registration, that is, an “A and B registration” is done;
  • The birth registration form is completed by the LDR and all relevant signatures are affixed;
  • The original registration is sent to the Head Office of the Registrar General's Department within six weeks of the registration;