Event focuses on delayed birth certificates

Noel Lyn Smith
Shenika Sam, left, and Myron Ben, fill out paper work for their son Mikaiya Ben for his birth certificate Sept. 22 at the Northern Navajo Agency Nataani Nez Complex in Shiprock.

FARMINGTON – State and tribal vital records offices are collaborating again to help people complete the process required to receive a delayed birth certificate.

Mark Kassouf, bureau chief for the New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics, said in a telephone interview that the event on Wednesday in Shiprock is open to individuals who were born in this state.

In order to apply for a delayed birth certificate, applicants must have legal documentation of their birth, pay a $10 registration fee and pay a $10 fee for the certified copy, which is mailed from the state office in Santa Fe.

For the event this week, applicants are required to bring at least two certified copies or original documentation that show the person's name at the time they were born, a date of birth and a place of birth.

At least one document must list the person's parents' names, including mother's maiden name.

Examples of acceptable documentation are official archived copies of applications for voter registration or a marriage license, tribal birth affidavits, Certificate of Indian Blood, medical records and baptism certificates.

Other acceptable forms of documentation are military certificates of release or discharge records, an archived copy of an original application for a Social Security card or insurance policies.

This is the third time the state has joined with the Navajo Nation Office of Vital Records to provide the service in Shiprock.

Kassouf said the collaboration provides the opportunity for state office personnel to deliver services closer to the community.

Under normal circumstances, an applicant would be required to travel to Santa Fe in order to apply for a certificate and if they lacked certain documentation, they would have to return later to complete the process, he added.

By offering the service in Shiprock, a person can visit tribal offices to obtain copies of documents they may need, he said.

"We know this is a helpful benefit to our tribal partners and tribal members," Kassouf said.

Another benefit is the opportunity to talk to people who can answer questions and review documentation before the process starts, he added.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

If you go

What: New Mexico Vital Records delayed birth registration event

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9

Where: Bureau of Indian Affairs Nataani Nez Complex Building, southbound U.S. Highway 491 in Shiprock

For more information: New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics call center, 866-534-0051