QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
Last week you wrote up about adding a father’s name to a Jamaican birth certificate. I live in America, and I need to change my first name. My dad still lives in Jamaica and says he can do it for me, but he needs to know how. I have been using a pet name for most of the things I do, and hardly anyone knows the name on my birth certificate especially after I migrated here. Please tell me how I can change my first name so I can make pet name my official name.
RESPONSE: Dear Susanna,
First of all for the reader who is wondering what a ‘pet name’ is, wee need to explain that it is what is known officially as an alias or nickname. You can ask your father to apply for your ‘new’ official name to be registered at the Registrar General Department in the relevant parish where he lives. He would simply make a DEED POLL application on your behalf. You will however need to supply him with relevant documents such as birth certificate, affidavit if necessary and state the reason. The fees at that office are J$5,000 to have the deed poll prepared for you. After that you need to pay registration fee as per the service you require whether express or regular service.
You can get help from someone with knowledge of drafting deed polls including an attorney for less or more. The RGD office prints the copies they do on green paper, but the format and information is what is relevant.
All the best. Write again!