February 29, 2024

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Updates to Singapore’s Digital Birth Certificate

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore has been asked several questions by concerned individuals regarding the omission of the parents’ native tongue from the digital version of a child’s birth certificate.

To simplify the registration process and reduce the number of fields, several fields of information that are not required for policy and other administrative needs, such as the parents’ dialect, were not integrated into the digital birth certificate.

ICA continues to register information about the parents’ dialect, which is available in Singpass. However, the agency recognises the sentiments expressed and has decided to include parents’ dialects in digital birth certificates issued beginning 01 September 2022.

Before the digital birth certificate was made available, a child’s physical birth certificate showed the registered language of the parents. It did not carry the child’s dialect. The registration process was streamlined with the advent of online birth registration and digital birth certificate to replace the conventional birth certificate. Also reduced was the number of fields on the digital birth certificate.

In addition to the parent’s native language, the following details were omitted: the parents’ country of origin, the mother’s residence, the child’s place of birth registration, and a section titled “Informant’s Particulars.” In the digital birth certificate, just the information needed for the document or other public organisation purposes was retained.

The dialect information of a person is still accessible in Singpass. Singaporeans who are at least 15 years old and have a Singpass account can view their dialect information via the Personal Page on Singpass. For children under the age of 21, dialect information can also be available on the Family tab of their parents’ Singpass profiles.

The father’s dialect is assigned to a child at birth by ICA in the national registration database. A person’s registered dialect with the government can later be changed by them, including the kid, the father, or the mother, by sending a written declaration to ICA. This implies that a person’s registered dialect may differ from that of his or her father, or even both parents.

Since the 1970s, this has been standard procedure. People in Singapore were permitted to register their language or dialect in addition to their dialect by ancestry because some races did not have dialect groupings. Dialect registration altered as a result, and now people can modify their registered dialect by sending a written declaration to ICA.

People who want to know the most up-to-date information about a person’s registered dialect can look at that person’s Singpass, which is the most reliable source of the most up-to-date registered dialect information. On the birth certificate of a child, the parents’ registered dialect may not be the same as the one they use now.

ICA explained why they did not include the parents’ language on the digital birth certificate and said that the information could still be found in Singpass. It now will include the parent’s language in the digital birth certificate of a child born on or after 1 September 1, 2022.

For digital birth certificates issued between May 29 and August 31, 2022, parents will be able to re-download their child’s digital birth certificate for free starting 1 September 2022, with their own language added. In time, more information will be posted on the ICA website (www.ica.gov.sg).

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