In a breakthrough of sorts in order to conform to the social necessities of the time, the Minister of State for External Affairs has announced new set of rules for the passport application process.
Here’s what the new rules involve:
PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH
Before: As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, in order to get a passport, had to, hitherto, mandatorily submit the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB).
Now: It has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents as the proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:(i) Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India; (ii) Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant; (iii) PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of applicant; (iv) Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of applicant; (v) Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only in respect of Government servants) or the Pay Pension Order (in respect of retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, having his DOB; (vi) Driving licence issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government, having the DOB of applicant; (vii) Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of applicant; (viii) Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.
SINGLE MOTHERS NEED NO LONGER WORRY:
A three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children. The Report of the Committee has been accepted by the Minister of External Affairs.The following policy changes have been made inter-alia on the basis of the recommendations of this Committee:
The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
Additionally, the Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CAN APPLY WITHOUT NOC FOR PASSPORTS ON URGENT BASIS:
Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/ No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that he/she has given prior Intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.
The Ministry of External Affairs expects that the above changes in the Passport Rules would further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their Passport. At the same time, it would enable this Ministry to continue to deliver passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce.
This is good news indeed!