A-G explains first fee increase in 19 years
Fijians are paying a fraction of what fellow Pacific islanders have to foot to get official documents such as birth, death and marriage certificates. And it has been 19 years since the fees for such documents were increased. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
made the comment yesterday as he clarified issues surrounding the increase in fees for official documents from the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Registry.
Birth certificates obtained from Post Fiji outlets will now cost $15 while in BDM offices it will be $10.
A death certificate will cost $15, a marriage certificate $25 and a decorated certificate of marriage would be $75.
He said fees were higher at Post Fiji because the company charged a fee and that extra amount was for the service they provided and for using their own paper and ink.
“In Samoa, to get a certified copy of a birth certificate it will cost $59FJD, in Fiji it now only costs $10,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“In Vanuatu, for a certified copy of birth certificate it’s about $28FJD.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said in April the digital platform was launched where people could register their newborn babies.
“That registration done through electronic means does not carry any fees whatsoever. We have to encourage more people to register electronically.”
To get a copy of the birth certificate upon digital registration, you don’t pay any fee for the first copy.
Manually, the registration itself is zero dollars, but if people want to get a copy then that is $10. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum clarified the misinformation circulating in the public domain that it would cost $3000 to get married.
He said the $3000 fee was for civil marriage celebrants.
“A few years ago, we amended the law where we have citizens who can apply personally in their own right to become a marriage celebrant,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. “These are the specialised marriage celebrants, but apart from that there are 1500 religious marriage officers throughout Fiji, which includes priests, pandits, talatala and maulvis.”
He said these religious personnel also applied to become marriage officers, for which they paid no application fees.
He said the Government was making a lot of investment in BDM, so that people could have proper identities.
‘So, what we are doing now is to have a National ID card system, which will be a secure means of ensuring that we have proper identification,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.