Passport trail eased as births, deaths go online

Travellers applying for passports will no longer have to provide a copy of their birth certificate, thanks to a system developed by Wellington-based Intergen.

Travellers applying for passports will no longer have to provide a copy of their birth certificate, thanks to a system developed by Wellington-based Intergen.

The system, known as the “passport online life-event validation development”, will enable Internal Affairs staff to cross-check information supplied on the passport form and fish out the right certificates from its own records.

This “makes more sense” than the previous procedure, which required an applicant to get the certificate from Internal Affairs then give it back to them with the form, says Intergen managing director Tony Stewart.

At the same time, the system will check for other documentation related to the same person. If it turns up a death certificate, for example, the department will know the application is fraudulent.

The life-event system is one of a number of “small pieces of work” that Intergen and other developers have been doing for the identity services side of Internal Affairs.

Intergen has just started on a project to make birth, marriage and death information available on the web, a useful resource for people tracing their genealogy. In 1994, the first attempt at such a service, a grandiose project known as Public Records Access, collapsed in a split between partners Telecom, Unisys and Azimuth.

All the contracts have been contestable.

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