On December 23rd, 2016, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced a number of steps towards an eased and streamlined passport policy in India (mainly the application process). The signature of Notary has been abolished for all annexures (it’s a big change).
The New Rules Include
Proof of Date of Birth
Until now, all people born on or after 26.01.1989 had to mandatorily submit a birth certificate (as a document of proof of date of birth) in order to apply for a passport (as per the Passport Rules, 1980). This condition has been relaxed and any of the following documents can be used as a proof of date of birth (D.O.B):
- A birth certificate (BC) issued to any child born in India by the Registrar of Births and Deaths, or the Municipal Corporation, or any other approved body of the Government empowered under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
- Any school/college (recognized and approved board) certificate such as transfer certificate (TC), matriculation certificate, school leaving certificate, etc. that contains the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant.
- Permanent Account Number (PAN) card containing the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant, that has been issued by the Income Tax department.
- E-aadhaar or aadhaar card containing or including the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant.
- Driving license (DL) containing the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant that is issued by the Transport Department of a particular State.
- Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) containing the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant issued by the Election Commission of India.
- A policy bond containing the date of birth (DOB) of the policy holder issued by Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies.
- A government servant should submit a copy of the extract of his/her service record. A retired government servant must submit the same of the Pay Pension Order. The document should be attested by the concerned ministry/department, and also contain the date of birth (DOB) of the applicant.
Report Of The Inter-Ministerial Committee
A three-member committee (formed from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development) submitted a report on the problems single parents/mothers and adopted children have with respect to the passport application process (such as the compulsory inclusion of father’s name).
Recommendations of the committee
Based on the recommendations of the committee, the following policy changes have been made:
- The online passport application form requires the inclusion of only one parent (father or mother) or legal guardian. This enables single parents to apply for passport and also permits the applicant not to enter a parent’s name in the passport (at the request of the applicant).
- The number of annexures prescribed in the Passport Rule required to be submitted while application for a passport is 9 (previously 15), if applicable.
- All annexures need to be made in the form of a self-declaration on plain paper (no swearing or attestation is required anymore).
- Married applicants need not submit any marriage certificate (annexure K).
- In case of divorcees or separated couples, applicants need not submit their spouse’s name nor a divorce decree.
- Orphaned children that do not have any proof of date of birth (DOB) (such as birth certificate, matriculation certificate, etc.) may submit a declaration given by the head of the orphanage or child care home on an official letterhead confirming the DOB of the individual.
- A parent can apply for Annexure G when one parent has not given consent for application of a passport or if the child is not born out of wedlock.
- Passport issued to domestically adopted children need not furnish a registered adoption deed. A declaration confirming adoption on plain paper would suffice.
- Government servants can get a passport by submitting a self-declaration in annexure N (that the Government servant has intimidated his employer of his application for a passport).
- Sadhus and Sanyasis can apply for a passport by mentioning the name of their spiritual guru (instead of parent/s) on the passport application along with the submission of at least one of the following documents: Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhaar, etc.
These changes have been made to ease the passport application process for several types of applicants. The Ministry of External affairs would be enabled by these changes to provide passport services to citizens in an efficient, timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment. So, if you haven’t applied for your passport yet, now is the time. The passport rules for getting a passport were quite strict until now. Do share your experience with us.