In India, it is mandatory under the law, as per the Registration of Births & Deaths Act, 1969, to register every birth/stillbirth with the concerned State/Union Territories Government within 21 days of its occurrence of the birth or death. The Government accordingly has provided for a well-defined system for registration of Birth, with the Registrar General at the centre and the Chief Registrars in the States, running through district registrars to the village and town registrars at the periphery.
To apply and obtain a Birth Certificate, the birth must have been registered as above. Birth Certificate will be issued after verification with the actual records of the concerned hospital at the Births and Deaths Register Office. In case the birth has not been registered within the specified time of its occurrence, the certificate is issued after due police verification ordered by the revenue authorities.A Birth Certificate is the most important identity document that makes it possible for anyone in possession of it to benefit from a gamut of services offered by the Indian Government to its citizens. It becomes necessary to obtain a Birth Certificate because it serves to establish the date and fact of one’s birth for a whole range of purposes, like:-
- acquiring the right to vote,
- admission to schools and
- joining the Government Service,
- claiming the right to marry at the legally permissible age,
- settlement of inheritance and property rights, and
- obtaining Government-issued identity documents like a driving licence or passport.
In each state of India, the authorities for registering Births and Deaths are different, and the Birth Certificates have to be obtained from the registering authorities.
For example, in Tamilnadu, the following are the authorities for Registering Births and Deaths:-
In Tamilnadu,Municipalities, Corporations and Special Village Panchayats (Town Panchayats), the concerned local bodies undertake the registration of births. In Village Panchayats, the responsibility for registration of births is with the Revenue Department and the Village Administrative Officers in the Village Panchayats are the Registrars of Birth.
Births taking place in a medical institution will be intimated for registration by the institution directly to the registering authority.When the birth has taken place in the house, the head of the family or the nearest relative of the family will have to register in the prescribed format along with a certificate from the person or medical institution that conducted the delivery.
Beyond the prescribed time limit, if a registration is done, it is accepted with a payment of penalty upto a period of one year. If registration is to be done beyond the period of one year, it will be registered only on receipt of a Judicial Order from a Magistrate and with penalty.
In rural areas, the Register of Births is maintained in the Taluk office for two years and is then transferred to the respective Sub-Registrar’s Office. Hence, in rural areas, the Birth Certificate of a child till the age of 2 can be taken from Taluk Office and thereafter it has to be applied for in the Sub-Registrar’s office and obtained.
In towns/municipal areas, the Register of Births is maintained by the respective Town/Municipal Office. The forms have to be applied for in these offices and obtained. In rural areas, Taluk Offices and Sub-Registrar offices are the concerned offices for registration / issual of certificate. Taluk offices come under the Revenue Administration Department. Town Panchayats (at present called Special Village Panchayats) come under the Rural Development Department. Municipalities and Corporations come under the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.For other States of India refer to the website of The National Portal of India.