Abridged vs Unabridged Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is a birth certificate, you would be tempted to say if some one mentions about abridged and unabridged birth certificates to you. However, if you happen to be a South African, these two are distinct documents that are both authentic and you can make do with an abridged version also as long as you are a natural citizen and live in South Africa itself. Many people (read South Africans) are confused whether they should have abridged or unabridged birth certificates. There is not much of a difference between the two documents as both are valid, but there are circumstances when a person needs an unabridged version of his birth certificate. Let us find out about both these documents.
Abridged Birth Certificate
Abridged birth certificate is a document that is issued by the Department of Home Affairs and contains details about the birth of a person such as his or her identity number, full name and country of origin. It is a computer printout issued by the regional office of the department of home affairs within an hour of asking for its issuance. This is a valid birth certificate that works in all places such as school, higher educational institutions and government offices.
Unabridged Birth Certificate
Unabridged birth certificate contains additional details about parents of an individual such as their identity numbers, their places of birth as well as details of their citizenship at the time of the birth of the individual. According to South African laws, it is mandatory to carry such unabridged birth certificates while travelling abroad. There are other circumstances where an individual needs an unabridged birth certificate such as when requiring citizenship of South Africa by descent or when applying for the status of a permanent resident. This document becomes necessary even when claiming insurance or any other situation where it is vital to prove one’s ancestry. Especially, when applying for a passport, an unabridged birth certificate is which is asked for instead of abridged birth certificate. In fact, in all overseas countries, it is unabridged birth certificate that has the stamp of the Department of International Affairs of South Africa, which is preferred and considered appropriate in comparison to the abridged birth certificate.
What is the difference between Abridged and Unabridged Birth Certificate?
• Abridged birth certificate shows personal details of an individual such as identity number and date and day of birth along with place of birth, whereas an unabridged birth certificate additionally carries details about parents also.
• While both abridged as well as unabridged birth certificates are computer printouts, unabridged birth certificate can be apostilled or legalized; the abridged birth certificate cannot be apostilled or legalized.
• Abridged birth certificate is issued within minutes or hours, whereas it takes between 6 weeks to 6 months to issue an unabridged birth certificate.
• While both abridged and unabridged birth certificates are valid documents, there are many circumstances when it is vital to have unabridged birth certificates.