NEW SYSTEM: Newly-weds Marcus Thomas and Jamie Diaz display their electronic marriage certificate which was launched by the Ministry of Legal Affairs at its South Quay, Port of Spain office yesterday. The couple was first to receive the electronically generated document following their civil ceremony yesterday. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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Newly-weds receive nation’s first electronic marriage certificate

By Michelle Loubon

Newly-weds  Marcus Thomas and Jamie Diaz of San Juan are the first recipients of an electronic marriage certificate in T&T.

The couple tied the knot at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, South Quay, Port of Spain yesterday. 

 Among those extending best wishes to the couple on their milestone was Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar and Registrar General Karen Bridgewater. 

Both Ramadhar and Bridgewater said the “revolutionary move” from a handwritten to a computerised, tamper-proof marriage certificate was intended to save citizens time since it will be available within five minutes. 

A similar service would be available at  the Ministry’s Arima and San Fernando offices. Already citizens can access computerised birth certificates and soon death certificates “which can fit into your wallet “ will be available. 

Ramadhar said: “It is the first time in T&T history a  marriage certificate will be given in electronic format. It is a quantum leap in the technology and also to celebrate the work of Bridgewater and the team. We are moving toward a paperless ministry.”  

Among those who adopted  the “Yes We Can” mantra  were Deputy Registrar General Francis Sandy; Camille Toussaint, senior assistant Registrar General (acting); Tricia Beckles, assistant Registrar General (Tobago) and the senior assistant Registrar General.

  Bridgewater said: “You no longer have to wait. You can get it (marriage certificate)  within five  minutes of the application. It is in digital format and is easily accessible.  Before you had a  five-day wait. It was a manual process. We have had to put information in handwriting on the birth certificate. Even if you are married 20 years ago, you can apply. We will be electronically entering information into the database.”  

Asked how he felt about creating history, Thomas said: “Ecstatic. We are heading to Margarita for our honeymoon.” 

The couple have two children,  Jada and Jalie. 

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