The government has made it easy to change the date of birth in a passport and also allowed digitally signed marriage and birth certificates for issuing the travel document.
The recent change in the rules was among the many planned to simplify and make the often cumbersome and layered process more transparent, ministry of external affairs officials said.
In India multiple agencies can issue birth certificates and it often leads to discrepancies. Though registrar of births and deaths is the issuing authority, the school-leaving document or the ones issued by local bodies, too, can be furnished as date of birth proof.
Changing the date of birth on a passport has remained a long-drawn process. The request for change has to be made within five years of issuance of passport.
If the date of birth document is not issued by the registrar of births and deaths, the passport issuing authority (PIA) can fine the applicant for providing wrong information.
Revised guidelines do away with the time bar and also allow authorities to consider the explanation of each applicant and decide accordingly.
“If the PIA is satisfied with the claim and with the document(s) submitted by the applicant in support of the claim, the PIA shall accept all such requests made by the applicant to issue the passport with a revised date of birth,” says one of the guidelines released recently.
Officials have also been told to accept digitally signed marriage and birth certificates, which would reduce the chances of documents being rejected by passport authorities.
The government was looking at more changes to simplify the documentation process for issuing passports as more Indians travel abroad for education, jobs and holidays.
According to the ministry of external affairs, around 10 million passports were issued in 2015, 24.3% more than the 8.5 million a year before.