Obtaining documents with a physical presence, i.e. at the counters, costs people time, money and nerves. This was shown by the research on Portalb, where a birth certificate, which can be obtained in 5 minutes, was waited for a week, due to the inefficiency of the administration. Undoubtedly, digitalization is a solution to put an end to wandering from one counter to another. Therefore, the journalists of Portalb made a test – how to obtain a birth certificate electronically, writes Portalb.mk.

The Office for Management of Registers has an electronic portal through which electronic documents can be retrieved via the Internet, i.e. through a computer or mobile phone. This Office provides a total of 13 services, i.e. 13 documents that can be obtained with a physical presence, but only 4 of them can be issued electronically: birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate and a single status certificate.

First, to obtain a document from the system, you need to log in to the Office electronic system. The logging in is done through the user account of the Office system and the user account from the National Services Portal.

The system is only in the Macedonian language, and has 3 categories, i.e. “Home”; “My orders” and “Prices”.

The first category contains the documents that can be issued, while in the second one, you can fill in the form for obtaining the document.

The form is simple, in 5 steps, with a few clicks, and in no more than 5 minutes, you can fill it out and submit it electronically. You can also specify how you want to receive the document – by Post Office services or e-mail.

The first step is to select the type of certificate, the basic data of the applicant, which are automatically generated from the profile you are logged in, the data about the parents, and then you can decide how you want to obtain the certificate, at the premises of the Office for Management of Registers (over the counter), by Post Office services or you want an electronic certificate. Once you have selected the desired option, you move on to the last step, i.e. payment, which in this case is made through a bank card. For the service, you pay 50 denars, 100 denars for administrative fee and 10% commission. Thus, the total price of the service will cost you 165 denars. You can also choose to get the certificate in printed form at the Office premises or if you want the certificate to be delivered to your address by Post Office services, the Office will send it to you, but for that, you have to pay an additional 50 denars, which goes to the account of the Post Office.

Once you have paid, you will automatically receive an email confirming your successful payment. We waited for this confirmation for no more than 24 hours and after this period we received a notification via email that the electronic certificate is ready and that we can download it from our profile on the system of the Office for Management of Registers.

As can be seen, the certificate contains all the data as well as the certificate obtained in hard copy. There is a code or link through which the authenticity of this document can be verified.

We have confirmed the link and it is valid.

At the end of the document, at the place of the logo of the Office, it is written that “The birth certificate is a public document with an unlimited validity period. For the additional changes in the civil status that are not recorded in this statement is responsible the person who uses it as evidence.”

It is also stated that “this document has been officially certified with an electronic seal and an electronic time stamp. The authenticity of the printed copies of this document may be electronically verified.”

It can be said that the system is fully functional, although only a limited number of documents can be obtained online. The procedure is simple, fast and efficient. Everything is done online, and the document is available online.

However, in the next research story, we will explain whether this electronic document is usable in state institutions or legal entities (banks), given that not all institutions are digitally interconnected.

The digitalization of services is undoubtedly beneficial and in the interest of the citizens, the state, but also necessary for where we aim to integrate – the EU.

Our previous research has proved and shown that the results of the reports, analyzes or surveys of international or domestic institutions, but also of non-governmental organizations, about the administration in North Macedonia are not just criticism on paper, but a serious problem in everyday life of citizens wandering the counters to obtain a particular document.

In the previous research story, we showed that it is illegal to ask citizens of RNM to pay for new certificates not older than 6 months. According to the story of Portalb.mk, the Office for Management of Registers informs that it has decided not to request new birth certificates that are no older than six months. With the new decision, the citizens who want to get married will no longer have the obligation to obtain new birth certificates, but the registrar will check the data from the birth certificates. If the citizens do not have birth certificates at all, they will get married only with a personal identification document, and the registrar will issue their birth certificates.

This research story was prepared as part of the project Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation (North Macedonia), Academy for e-Government (Estonia), Levizja Mjaft! (Albania), CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Serbia), NGO 35mm (Montenegro) and ODK – Open Data Kosovo (Kosovo).

This research story was prepared with the financial support of the European Union. The contents of this research story are the sole responsibility of the Metamorphosis Foundation and the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Link to the original article: https://meta.mk/portalb-koi-chekori-treba-da-gi-prezemete-za-da-dobiete-elektronski-izvod/