Our Dominican Certificate Service: Q&A
Central Electoral Board of the Dominican Republic (JCE)
Who is the custodian of the Dominican civil registry? The Central Electoral Board (Junta Central Electoral) of the Dominican Republic manages all civil records relating to births, deaths, marriages, adoptions and divorces.
So, where are the records stored? Civil registry offices are located around the country, and must log each record twice, in two identical original ledgers. One ledger is stored locally. Since 1944 the duplicate ledgers must be sent to the Central Archive in Santo Domingo for safe-keeping.
For example, the Archbishopric of Santo Domingo, located next to the María La Menor cathedral, has old records from some of the Santo Domingo parishes. The Mormon Church in Santo Domingo has started an aggressive program of computerizing old records.
Searching for Dominican vital records
Can I run an online search for Dominican public records of births, deaths and marriages? No, this facility does not exist.
Dominican vital records
What sort of condition are the physical ledgers in? The high humidity in the Dominican Republic and the deficient supply of electricity, and a shortage of public funds to spend on air-conditioning etc all mean that many original records outside Santo Domingo are in poor physical shape. Many old books have simply disintegrated.
Errors in Dominican public recordsIs it true that Dominican records of births, deaths and marriages etc often have mistakes? Yes, unfortunately we see mistakes on certificates every week. We know from our own extensive experience that over 30% of all Dominican records which we have handled, contain some very simple mistakes.
- Spelling or factual mistakes in the original handwritten ledger entry, where someone's name has been spelled incorrectly, or where the nationality is totally wrong. For example, "Derek" written as "Kerek", "García" written as "Garcías", or "Dominican" given as the nationality instead of "US citizen".
- Births etc which in the original handwritten ledgers have been recorded correctly, but which have been misspelled when the handwritten ledger entries have been computerized and typed into the registry-office database in order for the certificates to be printed. For example the date of birth in the original ledger entry may be correctly entered as "30 June" but during the computerization stage has been entered wrongly as "3 June".
Ordering your Dominican certificates from the Dominican Certification Service
At the registry-office, the staff look up your birth/marriage etc record in their computerized database, sometimes they're even able to view your scanned handwritten ledger record on their screen. Unfortunately, not all Dominican records have been computerized so we sometimes have no alternative but to conduct a manual search for the original ledger which contains your marriage record, which you signed when you got married. Some Dominican towns have more than one registry office, so now and again we have to visit all of the registry offices in that town to locate a record.
Most of our clients prefer that we take the legalized marriage certificate to the Dominican Foreign Ministry to obtain an apostille. See information on Wikipedia about apostilles. Basically, any Dominican official document with an apostille attached is considered legal and valid in most other countries of the world. (Canada, the Netherlands and a handful of other countries do not consider a Dominican apostille to be final proof that a Dominican marriage certificate is genuine, so for Canadians and Dutch citizens we must take your certificate to your embassy in Santo Domingo for them to apply the final seal to authenticate the document. This clearly comes with an added charge). Now your Dominican marriage certificate is ready to be dispatched to you
Mailing your Dominican vital certificatesWhat delivery options do you offer? We use several services:
- Dominican certified mail - Generally takes about 2 to 5 weeks to arrive, but can take longer.
- UPS courier shipping. We generally use them for urgent deliveries to North America, Europe, and the rest of the world.
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