A baby boy called Ġanni is the first child to be officially named using Maltese fonts after an IT system change that recognises letters in the national language.

For the first time since the system was digitised, Maltese characters can be included in the public registry and on ID cards, certificates and passports.

Previously, only English letters could be used, turning traditional Maltese names like Ġanni, Ġorġ and Ġorġa into Ganni, Gorg and Gorga. 

The Maltese alphabet includes letters not present in the English one, such as ċ, ġ, għ, ħ and ż. 

There have been several calls to fix the problem, including by the Akkademja tal-Malti.

Citizenship parliamentary secretary Alex Muscat said on Wednesday that parents who wished to use Maltese orthography to name their children could do so thanks to Identity Malta's investment in software integrating ID cards, certificates and passports.

While the use of names using Maltese characters had been possible when the system was manual, once the process was digitised this was no longer permitted. This is now possible once again through the new IT system.

ID Malta CEO Anton Sevasta said that, in the coming days, the agency will also be in a position to accept minor corrections to reflect the development.

Legal amendments permit those who have a Maltese name registered without the use of Maltese characters to correct this through a request at the Public Registry.

This service will be given free of charge with the main aim being to mitigate bureaucracy.

Those making use of this service will be issued with a new passport which will have the same expiry date as their old one, as well as a new Identity Card.

These will be free of charge.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us