Vanuatu Consolidated Legislation - 1988
Commencement: 21 June 1971
LAWS OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
REVISED EDITION 1988
CIVIL STATUS (REGISTRATION)
JR 17 of 1970
JR 40 of 1975
Act 33 of 1981
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
15. Registrar-General may order amendment and cancellation of erroneous entries
17. True copies of entries may be obtained from registrars or Registrar-General
18. Registration of births
19. Contents of entries of births
20. Discovery of newborn child to be declared
21. Recording birth and death of child
22. Registration of acknowledgements
23. Registration of marriages
24. Registration of dissolution and nullification of marriage
25. Registration of deaths
26. Registration of foetal deaths
27. Death certificate to accompany declaration of death or foetal death
29. Death in private or public institution to be declared
30. Late declarations
31. Late registration committees
32. Form of late declaration
33. Particulars to be entered following decision of late registration committee
34. One entry only for each late declaration
35. Recording declarations of events which occurred before commencement of Act
36. General penalty
37. Penalty for non-compliance with section 9
38. Penalty for altering register
39. Other penalties
40. Fees for copies or extracts from register
SCHEDULE - Form A-Registration of birth
Form B-Registration of acknowledgement
Form C-Registration of marriage
Form D-Declaration prior to marriage
Form E-Registration of dissolution and nullification of marriage
Form F-Registration of death
Form G-Registration of foetal death
CIVIL STATUS (REGISTRATION)
To provide for the registration of the births, acknowledgements, deaths and marital status of persons.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -
"civil status" means as appropriate the family relationship, birth, marital status and death of any person;
"death" means the complete disappearance of all evidence of life at any time after live birth has taken place, that is to say, the post-natal cessation of vital functions without capability of resuscitation;
"foetal death" means death prior to the expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, death being indicated by the fact that after such separation, the foetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for home affairs.
REGISTRAR-GENERAL OF CIVIL STATUS
(2) There shall be appointed one or more persons as Assistant Registrar General. The Registrar General may in any case where he is prevented by any cause from the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties delegate the same to an Assistant Registrar General.
(2) The instrument of appointment of a district Registrar for Civil Status shall declare the district within which he may register matters of civil status.
(3) The Minister may subdivide registration districts and appoint one or more Sub-Registrars for each sub-district so created.
REGISTRAR TO BE SUPPLIED WITH PREMISES AND EQUIPMENT
REGISTERS OF BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS
(a) a register for births and acknowledgements;
(b) a register for marriages and dissolution and nullification of marriages; and
(c) a register for deaths and foetal deaths.
ENTRIES IN REGISTERS TO BE HANDWRITTEN
(2) When the entry is made by a Sub-Registrar, he shall make 1 handwritten copy, which shall be the original copy, and 3 carbon copies. The original copy and 1 carbon copy shall be sent to the Registrar of the district who shall forward the original to the Registrar-General and shall retain the carbon copy. In addition, the Sub-Registrar shall immediately deliver 1 carbon copy to the declarant and the other shall be retained in the register.
(3) When the entry is made by a Registrar he shall make 1 handwritten copy, which shall be the original copy, and 2 carbon copies. The original copy shall be sent to the Registrar-General. 1 carbon copy shall be delivered immediately to the declarant, and the other shall be retained in the register of the Registrar.
REGISTER OF CIVIL STATUS
REGISTRAR TO DELIVER REGISTERS AND RECORDS TO SUCCESSOR OR REPLACEMENT
FORM AND CONTENTS OF ENTRIES IN REGISTERS
(a) the year, the month, the day and the hour of the entry;
(b) the surname, first names and office of the registering officer;
(c) in respect of other persons mentioned in the entry, their surnames and first names, their date and place of birth, where known, and their occupation and place of residence.
(2) There shall also be stated, where known -
(a) the father, mother and child, in the case of registration of birth or acknowledgement;
(b) the husband and wife in the case of registration of marriage;
(c) the deceased in the case of registration of death;
(d) the formerly married persons in the case of registration of dissolution or nullification of marriage;
(e) the witnesses in the case of registration of marriage, of dissolution or nullification of marriage, and of acknowledgement.
(3) The surnames and first names aforesaid shall include, as far as possible, in the case of ni-Vanuatu, the family name, the Christian name, if any, and the Melanesian individual name, in that order.
ENTRIES LIMITED TO REQUIREMENTS OF ACT
(2) Erasures and insertions shall be approved by the Registrar or Sub-Registrar and signed by him. Nothing shall be written in abbreviated form and dates must be recorded fully in words. Blanks shall be filled with a straight line. Any alteration of writing in the register is prohibited.
ENTRIES TO BE READ TO DECLARANT
(2) The entry shall be signed by the Registrar or Sub-Registrar, the declarant and the witnesses. Any reason which may prevent a declarant or a witness from signing shall be noted at the bottom of the entry. Any such person shall place his finger print under the notation.
TRANSCRIPTION ON REGISTER OF JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS
AMENDING ENTRIES IN RESPECT OF CHILDRENS' NAMES
REGISTRAR-GENERAL MAY ORDER AMENDMENT AND CANCELLATION OF ERRONEOUS ENTRIES
REGISTRAR-GENERAL TO PREPARE AND SEND TO REGISTRARS CERTIFIED COPIES OF TRANSCRIPTIONS AND AMENDMENTS
TRUE COPIES OF ENTRIES MAY BE OBTAINED FROM REGISTRARS OR REGISTRAR-GENERAL
(2) Administrative and judicial authorities may obtain issue of the same documents.
(3) Extracts from any entry may also be issued at the request of any person concerned, by the Registrar of a district or the Registrar-General.
REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS
(a) the father or mother of the newborn child; or
(b) a member of the family; or
(c) the doctor, midwife, or medical officer who was present at the birth; or
(d) the person at whose house the birth took place; or
(e) the village chief, local leader or clergyman; or
(f) any person having knowledge of the birth.
(2) Any birth not declared within the prescribed time shall be made the subject of a late declaration under the provisions of Part IV.
CONTENTS OF ENTRIES OF BIRTHS
19. (1) The entry of a birth in a register shall state -
(a) the date, time and place of the birth, the sex of the child, any Christian first names and the individual Melanesian name to be given the child; and
(b) the name, age, occupation, place of residence, date and place of birth, the parentage of the father and mother and the relationship of the declarant.
(2) In the case of an illegitimate child, if both or either of the parents is not named to the registering officer, no reference to such parent shall be noted on the register.
DISCOVERY OF NEWBORN CHILD TO BE DECLARED
RECORDING BIRTH AND DEATH OF CHILD
REGISTRATION OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
(2) Any marriage not declared within the prescribed time shall be made the subject of a late declaration under the provisions of Part IV.
(3) A family booklet, the contents of which shall be prescribed by the Minister by Order, shall be given to the married persons.
REGISTRATION OF DISSOLUTIONS AND NULLIFICATIONS OF MARRIAGE
REGISTRATION OF DEATHS
(a) a member of the family of the deceased who was present at the time of death or who had attended the deceased shortly beforehand;
(b) any other member of the family, the owner or occupant of the building in which the death occurred, any medical officer or any other person, in particular any village chief, local leader or clergyman, who has knowledge of the death and full and accurate particulars of the civil status of the deceased, as far as possible.
(2) Every entry in the register of a death by a Registrar or Sub-Registrar shall state -
(a) the civil status of the deceased as fully as possible;
(b) the date, time and place of death; and
(c) the civil status of the declarant.
REGISTRATION OF FOETAL DEATHS
(a) the mother, or if she is unable to do so, the father or any member of the family of the mother who was present or attended the mother at or about the time of the separation;
(b) any other member of the family, the owner or occupant of the building in which the separation occurred, any medical officer or any other person, in particular any village chief, local leader or clergyman, who has knowledge of the foetal death.
(2) Every entry in the register of a foetal death by the Registrar or Sub-Registrar shall state -
(a) the civil status of the mother as fully as possible;
(b) the date, time and place of the foetal death;
(c) the age and sex of the foetus, if known;
(d) the civil status of the declarant.
DEATH CERTIFICATE TO ACCOMPANY DECLARATION OF DEATH OR FOETAL DEATH
DISCOVERY OF DEAD BODY TO BE DECLARED
DEATH IN PRIVATE OR PUBLIC INSTITUTION TO BE DECLARED
LATE REGISTRATION COMMITTEES
(2) Each committee shall consist of a chairman appointed in accordance with the following provisions of this subsection and two members chosen from a panel of persons appointed for the purpose by the District Commissioner. The chairman shall be a District Commissioner or Assistant District Commissioner, the Registrar-General or an Assistant Registrar-General or any other person or member of a class of persons nominated by the Minister. Each committee shall reach its decisions by majority opinion.
(3) The Committees shall receive applications for late registration from the Registrar or any Sub-Registrar of the district or from the persons concerned. They shall hear the evidence of any person called by the applicant or by the committee to give sufficient proof of the alleged facts. They shall, if satisfied thereof, order the entry of the particulars in the appropriate register. They may for this purpose make any enquiry they think necessary.
(4) In the case of oral evidence, the averment of two adult witnesses shall be considered sufficient proof, provided that they have first sworn an oath administered by the chairman, who is hereby empowered for that purpose. The administration of such oath shall be recorded in the report of the committee.
(5) A copy of an entry issued by any church which maintains registers of births, deaths and marriages or dissolution or nullification of marriages shall be considered sufficient evidence provided that the date of the event recorded is shown on the register and that the copy is certified as correct by the minister of religion who keeps the registers.
FORM OF LATE DECLARATION
(2) Every declarant shall state, as fully as possible, its object and the supporting evidence. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Act, a person not less than 15 years of age may himself make a late declaration of his birth. For persons less than 15 years of age, the declaration may be made by any person, in addition to the persons specified in section 18, who is at the time responsible for the child.
PARTICULARS TO BE ENTERED FOLLOWING DECISION OF LATE REGISTRATION COMMITTEE
(2) The Registrar-General shall authenticate the original copy and file it according to its date in the register for the year in which the event took place.
ONE ENTRY ONLY FOR EACH LATE DECLARATION
(2) Registration effected in this manner shall be subject to the same provisions as any other registration of civil status.
RECORDING DECLARATIONS OF EVENTS WHICH OCCURRED BEFORE COMMENCEMENT OF ACT
PENALTY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 9
(2) If the Court having jurisdiction believes that any article withheld in contravention of the provisions of this section is in any house or place, it may grant a search warrant authorising the person named therein to search that house or place at any time and to seize such article. Such article shall be delivered to the person lawfully entitled to the custody thereof.
PENALTY FOR ALTERING REGISTER
39. Any person who -
(a) is required by the provisions of this Act to declare a birth, acknowledgement, finding of a child, death, foetal death or discovery of a dead body, and who fails to do so without valid reason;
(b) when required to do so by a Registrar or Sub-Registrar, refuses to furnish information concerning such an event, or knowingly gives incomplete or false information;
(c) having declared a birth, acknowledgement, finding of a child, foetal death, a marriage, a dissolution or nullification of marriage, a death or the discovery of a dead body, makes or attempts to make another declaration relative to the same event other than an application for amendment, but containing different information as to place, date, or the identity of the persons concerned or their relationship;
(d) knowingly uses or attempts to use a falsified copy of an entry in the register or a copy of an entry prepared from wilfully false information;
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding VT100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that it shall be deemed to be a valid reason upon a charge under paragraph (a) if the person charged had reasonable cause to believe that such declaration had been made by another person.
FEES FOR COPIES OR EXTRACTS FROM REGISTER
ENTRIES IN CENTRAL REGISTER TO BE OFFICIAL RECORDS
REPUBLIC OF VANUATU REGISTRATION OF BIRTH
REPUBLIQUE DE VANUATU ACTE DE NAISSANCE
CIVIL STATUS ACT, CAP. 61 LOI RELATIVE A L'ETAT
CIVIL, CH. 61
(sections 18 and 19) (article 18, 19)
For use of Registrar-General Réservé au Conservateur de l'état civil
Family name or surname (underline)
Nom de famille (souligner)
Christian or first name
Individual Melanesian name
Nom individuel Mélanésien
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Locality and island of birth
Localité et ile de naissance
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Hour and date of birth. If not known state age in years
Heure et date de naissance ou âge si elle n'est pas connue
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Locality and island of usual place of residence
Localité et ile du domicile
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Names of father and mother
Nom du père et de la mère
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Relationship of the mother to father of child
Lien entre le père et la mère de l'enfant
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Total issue born (a) alive
Nombre total nes (a) vivants
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CIVIL STATUS (TIME FOR MAKING DECLARATIONS) REGULATION
Joint Rules 39 of 1975
To prescribe the time within which civil status declarations shall be made.
Every civil status declaration shall be made to the Registrar or a Sub-Registrar of the place where it has occurred within the appropriate period thereafter as follows -
deaths 7 clear days
births 21 clear days
Marriages 21 clear days
foetal deaths 21 clear days
acknowledgements 30 clear days
CIVIL STATUS (REGISTRATION) FEES REGULATION
Order 50 of 1987
To prescribe the fees payable for the issue of copies and extracts of entries in the civil status registers.
The fees payable in respect of -
(a) the issue of copies; and
(b) the issue of extracts
of entries in the civil status registers of matters set out under column I in the Schedule shall be at the rates specified against such matters under column II of the Schedule.
FEES IN VT