Saudi Arabia: Birth Certificates

nb:  image obtained from Google images


In many of the first world one does not give a thought about a birth certificate.  It’s just something that is automatically processed when a baby is born.  Birth certificates have been issued in the United Kingdom since 1837.  Birth certificates became a mandatory law in the United States in 1946.


I do not know exactly when birth certificates became common or required in Saudi Arabia.  I do know that there are a number of Saudis born during the 1950’s and 1960’s who do not have birth certificates.  These are individuals who were born at home.  If they were fortunate their father made a record of the day they were born.  There are some Saudis who are unsure of their exact year or date of birth.


This link from the Ministry of Interior provides the current day requirements and procedures to obtain a birth certificate in Saudi whether a newborn is a Saudi national or an expatriate national.


7 Responses

  1. Interesting. I know somehave trouble finding the exact date in Gulf becasue of converting the Islamic year to Gregorian one. One claimed as rough date, an elderly gentlemen, but does not know the exact time of birth.
    I am 1/4 Irish and finding birth records in Ireland is impossible. There are no records in the 1700’s at all. I am better off winning the lottery.

    I am surprised that it wasn’t unitl mid century that it was mandatory to register births here in the US.

    I am wondering if one, arguably an American couple gives birth in KSA, if the child has KSA as place of birth on the birth certificate of Washington DC.

  2. It was surprising to hear girls in the family section of Fudruckers sing “Happy Birthday” in English and I believe Arabic this last time we were in Kingdom. It was my understanding that celebrating your birthday was not in the culture. 20 years ago we never heard it.

    I had patients who had to guess what year they were born if they were at least 30 and over when they filled out the paperwork.

    How do you get a passport?

    My brother was born in Lybia on an American base. On his birth certificate it says Lybia not Washington DC

  3. KSA would be listed as place of birth but it would be placed on an American passport and raditifed by the US embassy.

  4. My parents both have an 01/01 birthday, which is sorta weird I guess.

  5. I’m lucky to be born in the age where we had birth certificates, at least you know you real age and get a chance to celebrate that special day every year. Its surprising to know that before18th century people didn’t have the proofs of their date of birth.

  6. I don’t care so much about the ”proof” because I think I can prove pretty convincingly that I was born. But it will pose a lot of problems nowadays with all the forms and ”proof” you have to supply for everything.
    Luckily in the Netherlands you can also request international forms so at least you wont need special translators and notary stamps on your papers if you need them for other countries.

  7. I noticed that older Arabs in Bahrain judged their age by some event that was occuring when they were supposedly born…which might possibly narrow it down but doesnt always give an exact date. My ex didn’t know his true age because his mother was confused about the exact year a certain event in Bahrain took place. His passport placed him 10 years older than me but we believe he was more than that. Right now he looks to be in his 60’s…but that could well be due to the stress he underwent after being caught and losing his entire family. Guilt ages you.

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