The Importance of Birth Certificates

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The Importance of Birth Certificates

 

How to apply for a birth certificate for a married couple

When a married woman delivers a baby at the hospital, she will be given 2 forms by the hospital staff. The first form is the Daftar Kelahiran JPN.LM01. This form should already have the following information filled in by the hospital staff:

1) details of the birth of the baby (date and time of delivery, sex, weight, length, blood group)
2) the full details and signature/s of the doctor, nurse or midwife who was present at the birth of the baby

The second document is an evidence of birth document from the hospital (Dokumen bukti kelahiran).

If you find that you do not have both the forms or the forms have not been filled up with the details above, make sure that the hospital staff gives you the forms and fills them up before you leave the hospital.

Fill in the form with your personal details as well as your spouse's. The form must be taken to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (National Registration Department) near to you within 14 days after birth. You can get the address of the nearest JPN from the hospital staff who gave you the form.

Along with the JPN.LM01 form, you must include the following ORIGINAL documents otherwise, the application will be rejected:

  1. Your original identification card (I.C.)
  2. Your spouse's identification card (I.C.)
  3. Your original marriage certificate
  4. Evidence of birth document from the hospital (Dokumen bukti kelahiran)

The form can be taken to the JPN by the husband or the wife provided that either party brings the other spouse's ORIGINAL identification card as well the marriage certificate. You will be issued the child's birth certificate on the day itself.

If the form is not submitted within 14 days, and if you submit it within the 15th to the 42nd day after birth, you will be fined RM5.00. 



How to apply for a birth certificate if you are a single mother or a couple who are not married

In the case of Brenda and Rani, since the birth certificate application was not made at the point after the birth they can do so by firstly picking up 2 forms from the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara nearest to them.

The first form is the Permohonan Carian/Cabutan Daftar Kelahiran JPN.LM12. The second form is the Daftar Kelahiran JPN.LM01.

Brenda and Rani will then have to go to the hospital / clinic where their children were delivered to get the details of the delivery from the hospital / clinic medical records department.

The medical records administrator will have to fill in both the forms where applicable. Brenda will also have to fill in details of themselves and of the children's father. In Rani's case since she does not have a registered marriage, the child can still be given the name of the father with his consent and he must also be present when the application is made at JPN or she may choose to leave out the father's name. Rani can make this choice.

If the application is made after 42nd day of birth and before the child turns 6 years old, the following signatures / documents will also have to be provided:

  1. Signature of a Magistrate or Commissioner of Oaths under section L of the JPN.LM01 form,
  2. Processing fee of RM10.00,
  3. Evidence of birth document such as a verification of birth form, prenatal card, children's health or clinic card or a testimony by the doctor or midwife at birth,
  4. Testimonies by 2 witnesses who know about the birth or who have witnessed the birth (this is exempted if the birth was at a hospital / clinic).

If the application is made when the child is 6 years and above, besides the 2 forms, another form Borang Makumat Keluarga BMK81 will also have to be taken from the JPN. The following documents may also have to be provided but remember to clarify with the JPN officials what are the necessary documents that you can provide:

  1. Signature of a Magistrate or Commissioner of Oaths under section L of the JPN.LM01 form,
  2. Evidence of birth document such as a verification of birth form, prenatal card, children's health or clinic card or a testimony by the doctor or midwife at birth,
  3. If the birth had taken place in a home, the applicant will have to get testimonies by 2 witnesses who know about the birth or who have witnessed the birth (this is exempted if the birth was at a hospital / clinic),
  4. If the applicant could not get the testimonies by witnesses at birth, the applicant may get testimonies by a Parliament Member / ADUN / Ketua Kampong / Ketua Kaum of the area where the birth had taken place (this is exempted if the birth was at a hospital / clinic),
  5. If the child was somehow registered in a school, the applicant may submit the "Cabutan daftar sekolah" or school certificate
  6. Form BMK81 to be filled in full and signed according to the chronological order of the age of the child's siblings.
  7. A letter explaining why the birth was not registered in the required period i.e. within 42 days from birth.

The JPN officials will then interview the applicant and will fine the applicant according to the length of time and reason for not registering the birth in the stated period.

It is advised for all applicants to consult the JPN officials and requesting from them a checklist of the documents that are needed as they may differ from area to area or from state to state.

Read the story of Brenda*

 

 Brenda came to WAO because she wanted to leave her abusive husband. She came to the Refuge with her 3 year-old daughter. Once she decided that she is safer living on her own, one of the first priorities was to enroll her child into a kindergarten. It was then we discovered that her daughter did not have a Birth Certificate. Brenda told us that her husband had promised to get the forms and register the birth of their daughter, as Brenda herself was not allowed to leave the home without his permission. Unfortunately the husband never kept to his word.

Brenda did not have any written proof that her daughter was born in Alor Star and the only document that she had was the marriage certificate. 

Brenda was not the only mother in this predicament, another WAO resident, Rani* had a 5 year old and the father of this child was not legally married to Rani. Rani too did not register her child at birth.


In both cases the mothers do have the right to register the birth of the children themselves.

*Names changed to protect WAO's client's confidentiality.

Prepared by Rozana Isa
Women's Aid Organisation - 20 Years of Service to Women and Children

Fortnightly Column by WAO on Sunday Mail (Reprinted with permission from Sunday Mail)