Public documents

Article 24(1)(a) - languages accepted by the Member State for the public documents to be presented to its authorities pursuant to point (a) of Article 6(1)

French.

Article 24(1)(b) – an indicative list of public documents falling within the scope of this Regulation

Indicative list of public documents:

(a) birth

- birth certificate

- temporary birth certificate issued following the discovery of a new-born child or in the case of a ward of the State (pupille de l’Etat) who has no known birth certificate or in respect of whose birth secrecy has been requested

- court decision declaring birth

- court decision replacing a birth certificate (jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance)

- declaration (acte de notoriété) for the purpose of marriage in lieu of an unobtainable birth certificate, issued by a notary or the diplomatic or consular authority - declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- birth certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

- certificate of origin issued by the prefect (préfet) to replace a birth certificate in the absence of a provisional birth certificate where there is a

- court decision rectifying a birth certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

(b) a person being alive

- certificate stating that the person is alive (certificat de vie)

(c) death

- death certificate

- transcript held in the municipality of residence of the deceased when the death certificate was made out elsewhere

- certificate of stillbirth

- birth certificate

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption ruling with the effect of a birth certificate

- judgment declaring a person dead

- judgment declaring a person missing (déclaration d’absence)

- court decision replacing a birth or death certificate

- declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- court decision rectifying a death certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

- the annotation ‘died in deportation’

- the annotation ‘victim of terrorism’

- the annotation ‘died for France’

- the annotation ‘died in the service of the nation’

- death certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

(d) name

- birth certificate

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption ruling with the effect of a birth certificate

- adoption decision by the court ruling on the name

- transcript of the operative part of a simple adoption ruling

- ruling revoking a simple adoption

- act of joint declaration of choice of name approved by the civil registrar

- statement of disagreement on the name made to the civil registrar

- declaration of change of name made to the civil registrar

- decree of change of name

- decision by the civil registrar to change the name in accordance with foreign civil status documents

- judgment on the name following a change in filiation

(e) marriage, including capacity to marry and marital status:

- marriage certificate

- birth certificate

- declaration (acte de notoriété) in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war

- court decision replacing a birth or marriage certificate

- transcription of the operative part of a plenary adoption decision with the effect of a birth certificate

- certificate of civil celebration of marriage

- certificate of freedom to marry issued by a diplomatic or consular authority

- the decisions referred to in point (f) except for those concerning annulment

- certificate of a notary on the existence of a marriage contract

- court decision rectifying a marriage certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

- marriage certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

(f) divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment

- act of deposit of a mutual consent divorce agreement filed with a notary

- certificate of deposit of a mutual consent divorce agreement

- divorce judgment

- separation judgement

- annulment judgment

- court decision replacing a birth or marriage certificate

(g) registered partnership, including capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status:

- court decision replacing a birth certificate (jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance)

- civil partnership agreement (PACS - pacte civil de solidarité) approved by a civil registrar or diplomatic and consular officials (formerly the Registrar of the District Court (Tribunal d’instance))

- civil partnership agreement by official deed

- receipt of registration of the conclusion/modification/dissolution of a civil partnership agreement provided by a notary, the civil registrar or, up to 31 October 2017, the Registrar of the District Court (Tribunal d’instance).

- certificate of absence of civil partnership agreement issued by the Central Civil Status Service (SCEC)

- birth certificate

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption ruling with the effect of a birth certificate

- death certificate

(h) dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment of a registered partnership

- birth certificate with a record of the dissolution or annulment of a civil partnership agreement

- receipt of registration of the dissolution of a civil partnership agreement provided by a notary, the civil registrar or, up to 31 October 2017, the Registrar of the District Court (Tribunal d’instance).

- separation judgement

- judgment annulling a civil partnership agreement

- certificate of absence of civil partnership issued by the Central Civil Status Service (SCEC)

(i) parenthood

- act of recognition before a civil registrar

- act of recognition by official deed (acte authentique)

- declaration (acte de notoriété) confirming acceptance of a civil status issued by the judge of the court of first instance of the place of birth or residence

- court decision replacing a civil status certificate

- judgment of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance) establishing or annulling filiation

(j) adoption

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption ruling with the effect of a birth certificate

- court decision replacing a birth certificate (jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance)

- adoption ruling

- transcript of the operative part of a simple adoption ruling

- ruling revoking a simple adoption

- ruling of adoption by the nation (adoption par la Nation)

(k) domicile and/or residence:

- attestation of residence (for French citizens abroad)

- attestation of change of residence (for French citizens abroad)

(l) citizenship and nationality

- certificate of French citizenship

- authentic copy of a decree of naturalisation or reintegration into French citizenship issued by the administrative authority

- declaration of French citizenship, with a statement that the declaration has been registered, received either by the director of the registry services of the District Court in the case of declarations made in France, or by the administrative authority, or by the French consul in the case of declarations made abroad and registered either by the director of the registry services of the District Court in the case of declarations made in France, or by the Ministry of Justice in the case of declarations made abroad, or by the ministry responsible for naturalisations in the case of declarations made on the basis of marriage with a French citizen;

- court order, accompanied by a certificate stating that no appeal has been lodged;

- birth certificate bearing a marginal annotation indicating one of the above.

(m) absence of a criminal record, where the public documents concerning this fact are issued for a citizen of the Union by the authorities of that citizen's Member State of nationality

- Bulletin No 3 certificate of good conduct ('Bulletin n°3 du casier judiciaire') stating that the person has no criminal record.

Article 24(1)(c) – the list of public documents to which multilingual standard forms may be attached as a suitable translation aid

Forms relating to birth (1)

- birth certificate

- temporary birth certificate issued following the discovery of a new-born child or in the case of a ward of the State (pupille de l’Etat) who has no known birth certificate or in respect of whose birth secrecy has been requested

- court decision declaring birth

- court decision replacing a birth certificate (jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance)

- declaration (acte de notoriété) for the purpose of marriage in lieu of an unobtainable birth certificate, issued by a notary or the diplomatic or consular authority

- declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- act replacing a birth certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

- certificate of origin from the prefect (préfet) to replace a birth certificate in the absence of a provisional birth certificate where there is a secret

- court decision rectifying a birth certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

Forms relating to life (2)

- certificate that the person is alive (French citizens abroad)

Forms relating to death (3)

- death certificate

- transcript held in the municipality of residence of the deceased when the death certificate was made out elsewhere

- certificate of stillbirth

- birth certificate

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption ruling with the effect of a birth certificate

- judgment declaring a person dead

- judgment declaring a person absent

- court decision replacing a birth or death certificate

- declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- court decision rectifying a death certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

- the annotation ‘died in deportation’

- the annotation ‘victim of terrorism’

- the annotation ‘died for France’

- the annotation ‘died in the service of the nation’

- act replacing a death certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

Forms relating to marriage (4)

- birth certificate

- marriage certificate

- court decision replacing a birth or marriage certificate

- transcription of the operative part of a plenary adoption decision with the effect of a birth certificate

- certificate of civil celebration of marriage

- divorce or legal separation ruling

- certificate of a notary on the existence of a marriage contract

- declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- court decision rectifying a marriage certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

- act replacing a marriage certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

Forms relating to the capacity to marry (5)

- certificate of freedom to marry issued by a diplomatic or consular authority

Forms relating to marital status (6)

- marriage certificate

- birth certificate

- temporary birth certificate issued following the discovery of a new-born child or in the case of a ward of the State (pupille de l’Etat) who has no known birth certificate or in respect of whose birth secrecy has been requested

- court decision declaring birth

- court decision replacing a birth or marriage certificate

- declaration (acte de notoriété) for the purpose of marriage in lieu of an unobtainable birth certificate, issued by a notary or the diplomatic or consular authority

- declaration in lieu of civil registry documents which are unobtainable because they have been destroyed or lost as a result of an accident or an act of war.

- certificate replacing a birth certificate issued by OFPRA, the French Authority for Refugees (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides)

- court decision rectifying a birth certificate delivered by the president of the Regional Court (Tribunal de grande instance)

- certificate stating that a person is not married issued by a diplomatic or consular authority

Forms relating to registered partnership (7)

- birth certificate

- transcription of the operative part of a plenary adoption decision with the effect of a birth certificate

- court decision replacing a birth certificate (jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance)

- death certificate

- transcript held in the municipality of residence of the deceased when the death certificate was made out elsewhere

- civil partnership agreement (PACS - pacte civil de solidarité) approved by a civil registrar or diplomatic and consular officials (formerly the Registrar of the District Court (Tribunal d’instance))

- civil partnership agreement by official deed

- confirmation of receipt of the conclusion/modification/dissolution of a civil partnership agreement provided by the civil registrar (formerly the Registrar of the District Court) or a notary

- certificate of absence of civil partnership agreement issued by the Central Civil Status Service (SCEC)

Forms relating to the capacity to enter into a registered partnership (8)

- birth certificate (with no record of a civil partnership agreement): see 5.2 of the form)

Forms relating to registered partnership status (9)

- birth certificate (except for foreign nationals born abroad)

- transcript of the operative part of a plenary adoption decision with the effect of a birth certificate (except for foreign nationals born abroad)

- judgment replacing a birth certificate (except for foreign nationals born abroad)

- death certificate

- transcript held in the municipality of residence of the deceased when the death certificate was made out elsewhere

- certificate of absence of a civil partnership agreement issued by the SCEC

Forms relating to DOMICILE or RESIDENCE (10)

- attestation of residence (for French citizens abroad)

- attestation of change of residence (for French citizens abroad)

Forms relating to criminal record (11)

- Bulletin No 3 certificate of good conduct ('Bulletin n°3 du casier judiciaire') stating that the person has no criminal record.

Article 24(1)(d) – the lists of persons qualified, in accordance with national law, to carry out certified translations, where such lists exist

Certified translators must be court-approved experts (experts judiciaires). The lists of experts, each one containing a section approved (sworn) translators, are available on the website of the Court of Cassation:

https://www.courdecassation.fr/informations_services_6/experts_judiciaires_8700.html .

The lists of expert translators, updated on an annual basis, are posted on the website as follows:

  • List of experts approved by the Court of Cassation
  • Lists of court-approved experts drawn up by each of the 36 courts of appeal, including experts registered under the heading of translation and interpretation. The lists of court experts drawn up by the courts of appeal are updated by those courts and transmitted periodically to the Court of Cassation. It is sometimes possible to find a more up-to-date list on individual appeal court websites.

Article 24(1)(e) – an indicative list of types of authorities empowered by national law to make certified copies

Note that certain copies can be issued only by administrative or judicial authorities or legal professionals. This is the case for copies of judicial acts or official deeds, which can be issued only by court registries or public officers (e.g. notaries, bailiffs, registrars for civil-status records of which they are the depositaries).

For other documents, Article R113-10 of the Code of Relations between the public and the administration (Code des relations entre le public et l'administration) has abolished the requirement, in administrative procedures, for the certification of photocopies of documents issued by an administration, where the law does not already allow a straightforward photocopy. However, the Code provides that the administration must continue to certify on request copies that are required by foreign authorities. There is no list of the authorities that can issue certified copies. However, Article R2122-8 of the General Code of Local Government (Code général des collectivités territoriales) provides that the mayor and municipal officials delegated by the mayor can certify signatures and the conformity of documents when so requested.

Article 24(1)(f) – information relating to the means by which certified translations and certified copies can be identified

The way in which translations are to be certified is not laid down by law.

However, a duly certified translation can be identified as follows. .

The main, mandatory requirement is that the translation has been done by a translator who is on the list of experts of a French court of appeal or of the Court of Cassation.

Beyond that, the following is common practice:

- the translation states that it is a true and accurate translation of the original ('certifiée conforme à l’original'),

- each page is numbered and initialled by the sworn expert translator,

- the last page includes the signature, stamp and name of the translator,

- the translation includes a registration number (given by the sworn expert translator - same number for source text and translation).

However, none of the above four features is mandatory.

Certified copies are stamped as having been certified and are dated and signed by the certifying authority.

However, certified copies of judicial acts or official deeds can be issued only by the authority with which the original is deposited. These copies are dated, signed, and where applicable stamped by the authority which issued the document.

Copies and extracts of civil status records are stamped by a town hall, a diplomatic or consular authority or the Central Civil Status Service (SCEC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dated and signed by the registrar with whom the original is deposited.

Article 24(1)(g) – information about the specific features of certified copies

Certified copies are stamped as having been certified and are dated and signed by the certifying authority.

However, certified copies of judicial acts or official deeds can be issued only by the authority with which the original is deposited. These copies are dated, signed, and where applicable stamped by the authority which issued the document.

Copies and extracts of civil status records are stamped by a town hall, a diplomatic or consular authority or the Central Civil Status Service (SCEC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dated and signed by the registrar with whom the original is deposited.

Last update: 03/02/2020

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