Parenting can be a mixed bag of fun tasks and tiresome chores. In the latter category, falls the task of collecting and preserving documents your child needs from birth till, say, 18 years. These documents may be needed for school admission, opening a bank account, international travel or making an investment in your child’s name.
Says Bengaluru-based advocate Jyoti Bhat: “The most important document is a child’s birth certificate. Of course, even before this, parents need to have their marriage registration certificate. Next, comes the Aadhaar card. Today, the Aadhaar card has changed the landscape of documentation. Though there is some controversy regarding the unique identity card, I think it is much less intrusive than social media. Among medical records, the immunisation record is important. Also, if parents have gone for stem cell preservation that document should be kept carefully. The hospital record of birth indicating type of delivery and other significant details should also be preserved.”
Here are some of the important documents that parents should carefully preserve from the birth of the child till she turns 18 --
This is vital document that records the name, gender, parents’ names, date of birth and place of birth of the child.
Why it is important: A birth certificate is important as a proof of age for admission to schools or at the time of employment or marriage and to establish parentage.
Where to get it: Birth certificates are issued by the municipal corporation in urban areas and gram panchayat office in villages. Parents need to apply for a birth certificate within 21 days of the birth. If there is delay, the certificate is issued after police verification.
Procedure: The first step is to register the birth by filling the registration form. If a child is born in a hospital, the form is available with the medical officer in charge. The documents required to apply for a birth certificate are ‘proof of birth’ letter from the hospital, parents’ birth certificates, parents’ marriage certificate and parents’ identity proofs. It is advisable to apply for more than one original birth certificate.
It gives a 12-digit unique identity number for every Indian, including children and infants. There is a simplified procedure without biometrics (without fingerprint and eye scan) for children below five years. The child’s Aadhaar card is linked to the parent’s Aadhaar card.
Why it is important: An Aadhaar card has become a vital document today. It is required for school admissions and is a valid address proof. Nowadays, it is mandatory for almost all transactions.
Where to get it: Aadhaar cards are issued by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). You can locate the nearest card enrolment centre on the UIDAI website.
Procedure: Photograph of the child is captured along with biometric verification of the parents. Original birth certificate of child and Aadhaar card details of parents are required.
Validity: Once the child turns 15, biometrics need to be captured again for Aadhaar records.
If you want to take your child on a holiday, to a destination out of the country, he will need a passport.
Why it is important: This is an important document that acts as proof of citizenship, identity and address.
Where to get it: The process takes place at Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs). The nearest one can be located on the website (www.passportindia.gov.in).
Procedure: The application can be filled online and an appointment taken. You can reach the PSK with your child at the allotted time slot. The most important documents that you will require for your child are proof of address, proof of date of birth, affidavit and declaration for minors.
Validity: The validity of a minor’s passport is restricted to five years or till they attain the age of 18, whichever is earlier.
Class X certificate and marks card
It was referred to earlier as the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC).
Why it is important: This certificate is accepted legally in India as proof of age. Interestingly, before the passport and PAN, the SSLC admit card was the major photo identity in circulation!
Where to get it: It could be issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), state boards or international boards, as the case may be. Schools will distribute this certificate to their students.
Class XII certificate and marks card
This is given to students who study class XI and class XII in school.
Why it is important: It is a vital document for students who want to pursue graduate education in college. It is also important at the stage of seeking employment.
Where to get it: It will be issued by the board conducting the exam. Schools will distribute it to their students who have passed class XII. Colleges distribute certificates to students who do the pre-university course (PUC) in college.
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) updates the vaccination schedule every year. Your baby’s paediatrician will give you a record with a chart for the vaccinations given and the dates. This is an important document for parents and the child.
It is a good idea to include the new child in the family floater health policy. Copy of birth certificate along with prescribed form and additional premium can be submitted to the insurance company.
In addition to these, you can get a minor PAN card for your child to facilitate financial matters, but it is not mandatory. Your teenager can get a learner’s licence at 16 years for non-geared two-wheelers of 50 CC engine capacity.
While it may be tedious and time-consuming to procure these documents, it must be done to ensure a hassle-free future for your child.
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