You Can't Fight City Hall - or the "Cartório" either.

Talk about ridiculous burearcracy! A thirty-five year old woman from Patos de Minas, MG has been engaged in a sixteen year battle to correct a mistake that the registry (cartório) made on her birth certificate.

When she was a bouncing baby girl 2 years old and despite the lovely red dress and bow in her hair, some idiot at the registry recorded her sex as MALE. While Regimar may not be the most common name for a female it is not unique to her. Unless the clerk was blind and used a white cane he should have easily been able to tell that he was dealing with a document for a little girl.

She only discovered the error sixteen years ago when she tried to get married (here you need a birth certificate issued within the previous six months in order to schedule your marriage) and was prohibited from doing so because she was registered as a male. She has been fighting in the courts ever since to get the defective document corrected... a very difficult task here.

This is not an isolated incident either, late last year news reports of a young man who was registered as a FEMALE also drew belly laughs among the expat community. Worse still are the numerous cases where a registry goofs when issuing a Death Certificate, common because so many Brazilians have the same name. The poor "stiff" (pardon the pun) has to spend years in the court system trying to prove he or she is still ALIVE. Give me a break!!! In most other places in the civilized world such gaffes made by the Department of Vital Statistics are cleared up on the spot without all the hassles and red tape. Time that the Notary profession here in Brazil went through a radical remake, it is really a joke.