The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday, announced new passport rules which are expected to make the passport obtaining procedure easy.

The rules carried changes in various categories including orphaned children, sadhus, single mothers and government employees.

The government introduced a host of changes to ease the rules for applying for an Indian passport, including expansion of the basket of documents needed to be submitted for the date of birth proof.

The MEA had said the changes in rules were brought in to ensure that citizens get their passports in a timely, transparent and reliable manner.

Here are the key takeaways from new regulations on the passport application:

1. Proof Of Date Of Birth:

Before:

All applicants born on or after January 26, 1989, were mandated to submit a Birth Certificate as proof of Date of Birth (DOB).

Now:

As per new rules, the passport authority has mentioned that eight different documents can now be submitted as proof of Date of Birth. These documents are:

• Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India.

• Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized by the educational board and containing the DOB of the applicant.

• PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of the applicant.

• Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar is having the DOB of the applicant.

• The copy of the service record of the applicant of Government servant or the Pay Pension Order of the retired Government Servants duly attested or certified by the officer-in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry or Department of the applicant, having his Date of Birth (DOB).

• Driving license issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government, having the DOB of the applicant.

• Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of the applicant.

• Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.

2. Name Of Only One Parent (or) Legal Guardian is Required:

A committee, comprising the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, was earlier formed in order to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned on the passport and also issues relating to adopted children and children with a single parent.

The report has been accepted by the Minister of External Affairs.

Before:

The names of both parents were mandatory to be provided at the time of applying for the passport.

Now:

The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would let the single parents apply for passports for their children

3. Some Annexes Reduced:

Before:

There were 15 total annexes. The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed, and certain Annexes have been merged.

Now:

The total number of annexes has been brought down to 9. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed, and certain annexes have been merged.

4. No Attestation/Swearing Required on the Annexes:

Before:

All the annexes that were required to be given by the applicants needed to possess attestation.

Now:

Annexes would be in the form of a self-declaration on plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be necessary.

5. No Marriage Certificate Required:

Before:

Married applicants would not be required to provide any marriage certificate.

Now:

The passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons.

Few More Changes:

  • Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as birth certificate or the matriculation certificate or the declaratory court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letterhead of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.
  • Government servants, who are not able to obtain the identity certificate (annexure-B)/ no-objection certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and require the passport on urgent basis, can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that he/she has given prior intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a passport issuing authority.
  • In the case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.
  • Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual Guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s) subject to their providing of at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN Card, Adhar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s)

“Let me ensure you that where the passport services and consular services are concerned, we are going out of our way to ensure that simplification takes place so that ease of accessing these services are made better,” Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said while announcing the changes.