A nurse takes care of infants at the general hospital in Ngoc Lac district of Thanh Hoa province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Four cities in Vietnam have begun registering birth certificates and issuing citizen identification numbers to infants, in which every infant receives a 12-digit number that is valid for life.

The cities of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and HCM City have been implementing the pilot programme this month, at which time the laws on civil status and citizen ID card took effect.

Parents can register for their children's birth certificate and a citizen identification number online at people's committees at grassroots levels.

According to the Civil Status Law, within 60 days of birth, parents are responsible for registering their child's birth. In the event that parents are unable to register, grandparents or other relatives or individuals and organisations that are raising children are responsible for registering the birth of children.

Upon receiving all necessary documents, local judicial and civil officers record the information in the register of civil status book, and then update the national electronic database on population to obtain personal identification numbers.

Personal information of an infant such as the child's name, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, nationality and name of the parents will be put into the Ministry of Public Security's personal identification number system. The system will encode an identification number, which will be assigned via the Ministry of Justice's information system of electronic civil status.

According to the Law on Citizen ID Card, a unique personal identification number is issued to each Vietnamese citizen and is managed in the national database on population.

For children under 14, the 12-digit personal identification number is listed on the birth certificate. After age 14, individuals are granted citizenship identification.

Tran Thi Le Hoa, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Civil Status, Nationality and Authentication, said that the new procedures help people register more easily.

She added that the register fee is exempted for families who contributed to the national revolution, the poor and those with disabilities.

Truong Minh Trung, an officer at Binh Tan district's Binh Tri Dong ward in HCM City, said that on January 5, his office received four registrations for birth certificate and citizen identification numbers for infants.

All judicial and civil status officers had received online intensive training with other cities and the Ministry of Justice at the end of last month, he said, adding that the hurry in implementation puzzled some officers.

Trung explained that due to some systematic errors in linking with the Ministry of Justice's system, the child's citizen identification number could not be issued immediately along with the birth certificate.

The problem happened at other places as well.

Luu Nguyen Ai Nhan, 32, a father of a month-old baby, came to register at Binh Tan district's Binh Hung Hoa ward on the first day the new procedures took effect.

He said to Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper that although his son was born last month, he decided to wait until the New Year to register his birth certificate in hopes that his son would be among the first babies in the country to get the life-long citizen ID number.

However, due to the connection problem to the ministry's system, he could only get the birth certificate and had to wait for the citizen ID number later.-VNA