Dominican Republic birth records
Every day we receive requests for help in obtaining copies of Dominican birth records. Birth certificates are most commonly required when applying for a new passport, but many of our clients order birth certificates of loved ones and deceased family members in order to stake a claim on an inheritance.
Our clerks often travel the entire length and breadth of the Dominican Republic, searching archives and ledgers in churches, courts and Dominican registry offices.
Where are Dominican birth records located?
Dominican registry offices
These days we obtain most birth certificates from local registry offices around the country. Since 1945 Dominican birth records have been recorded
in two identical birth ledgers
in local registry offices: one stays in the local registry office, and the other is sent
to the Central registry office in Santo Domingo for safe-keeping at the end of the year. The ledgers that remain in the local registry office sometimes fall into disrepair, and often the local registry offices have to refer to the duplicate birth ledgers in Santo Domingo before certificates can be issued.
We regularly turn to churches, who have long kept detailed birth and baptism records of their congregations. Generally Dominican church records are well looked-after, often indexed, and the church staff are always a pleasure to deal with.
General Archive of the Nation
The General Archive of the Nation in Santo Domingo has a huge collection of old disparate records of all types including birth, death and marriage records, old shipping manifests. They hold some old birth registers which are not available elsewhere.
Dominican birth records: Q&A
Questions we have been asked about Dominican birth records:How can I declare the birth of my adult boyfriend who was born in the Dominican Republic over 20 years ago, but whose birth was never ever declared? For his birth to be declared, both he and his mother must be present in the Dominican Republic, and the following must be presented to the registry office:
Since your boyfriend is an adult, and his birth is being declared years after the event, the entire process may take 6 months to one year.
- Proof of birth from hospital, clinic or the town mayor
- Proof that he has been or not been baptised
- Copy of his mother’s cédula/ID card
- Scan of his fingerprints and photos taken by the Junta Central Electoral
Will the Dominican birth certificate that you send me be identical in all aspects to the old certificate that I have here at home? Yes, the information contained in a new certificate issued nowadays will be identical to what was shown on your old certificate. The only difference being that nowadays Dominican birth certificates are issued on very special coloured security paper, each sheet has its own serial number, and the certificate also has a hologram for security. Until a few years ago, certificates were printed on unnumbered headed paper with a typewriter. A certificate is actually a extract of an original birth record which is held in an original handwritten ledger. The certificate is proof that the original birth record in ledger X, page X, record X exists.
I have 2 different Dominican birth records because each parent declared my birth to a different registry office. I have been informed that both records have now been blocked by the registry office, what can I do? We can refer you to one of our staff lawyers who can request an annulment of one of your two Dominican birth records, our lawyer will make lodge the request to the Civil & Commercial Chamber in the town where your Dominican birth was declared.
What shipping options do you offer?
Where do you search for Dominican birth records? For most cases, we simply search in the local registry office where our client tells us he/she was born. However in older, more difficult cases we also search in the following places in this same order:
- Certified airmail, included in the price of your certificate, dispatched from the main post office in Santo Domingo, delivery is usually 2 to 6 weeks from date of shipping
- DHL courier service which usually takes a few days
- In the Office of the Old Cédula. All Dominicans, age 18 and older, have a national ID card known as a cédula. A requirement to obtain a cédula is to present a birth certificate. Accordingly, if we cannot find an old birth record in the local registry office, we lodge a written request to the Old Cédula Office that they search in their files for the details of the birth certificate which was presented to them when the cédula-holder obtained his/her first cédula. They are often able to give us the technical details of the birth record such as which registry office holds the birth record, which ledger number etc. Then we can go back to the registry office and ask them for a certificate.
- We search in the local churches for the baptism record. Years ago not all births were declared immediately. It was common practice to declare a child's birth then on the same day take him/her to be baptised. So if we can discover the date of baptism from the church, then we can return to the registry office with the information that they should search in their untimely birth ledger for the birth record shortly before the child was baptised.
- In the Central Registry Office in Santo Domingo which should hold duplicate original copies of all Dominican birth records from 1945.
- In the Restoration Department in Santo Domingo where trained professionals wearing white gloves repair, restore, and rebind old ledgers which often are partially or fully destroyed.
- In the General Archive of the Nation in Santo Domingo where all types of old Dominican records are stored.
How are Dominican births recorded? They are recorded in 2 identical handwritten ledgers at the local registry office in the town where the birth took place. At year's end, one of the ledgers, known as the duplicate, is sent to the Central Registry Office in Santo Domingo for safe-keeping.
What is paternal recognition? Recognition is the process whereby the biological father of a child may walk into any Dominican registry offiice and declare himself to be the father of a child already registered where, up to that point the mother appears on the birth record as the sole parent. The time-period permitted for a father to declare himself the father and sign the recognition book is indefinite.
What is needed to make a paternal recognition?
- a copy of the father's cédula (or passport if the father is non-Dominican)
- a copy of the mother's cédula
- a birth certificate of the child which the father wishes to declare as his. If the child was born outside the Dominican Republic, the original birth certificate must first be transcribed in the Dominican civil registry.
- 2 witnesses in possession of their cédulas (or passports if non-Dominican)
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