Last update: September 2018.
Our first practical post is a useful recap on how to get a Romanian birth certificate, if you were born in Romania. As always, the easiest way to do so is to contact us, but if you are looking to do it yourself, here are the steps you need to take.
01 What documents do you need?
To obtain a Romanian birth certificate in person, you only need an ID. The ID can be a passport (if you are a foreigner or a Romanian officially domiciled abroad) or a Romanian national identity card. The following are not considered valid identification documents: a foreign identity card; a residence card for foreigners; a Romanian passport for Romanian citizens domiciled in the country.
If you wish to obtain a Romanian birth certificate through someone else, you will also need to give them a special and authentic power of attorney. We also operate like this, it is just that we have streamlined the process of issuing them. This power of attorney must be given and signed by you, and authenticated by one of the following authorities: 1. a Romanian notary (functioning in Romania); 2. a Romanian consulate or diplomatic mission abroad; 3. a local notary public abroad (but only in civil law systems). In the 3rd case, the power of attorney also needs to bear an Apostille or Legalization from the country where it was made, in order to be valid in Romania. Also, since a foreign notary will not authenticate a document in another language, having a power of attorney made at a local notary involves extra costs of authentic translation in Romania.
Another important document is proof of any changes of name between your birth and your passport. This includes, but is not limited to:
1. marriage certificates, if you changed your surname by marriage;
2. proof of name changes, if you changed your name abroad by administrative procedure;
3. divorce decision, if your surname changed by divorce.
These documents must be original, with Apostille or Legalization, and authentic translation. Otherwise, your birth certificate will not be issued. Basically, there must be an unbroken chain of documents between your birth name and your current name. These documents are not needed for any name changes that have taken place in Romania, or were transcribed in Romanian civil status registers.
The person representing you will also need to have an authentic copy of your passport or Romanian ID card. They will also have to have their own form of ID, in original and photocopy.
02 Who is entitled to a Romanian birth certificate?
You can obtain a Romanian birth certificate if your birth was registered in Romanian civil status registers. The following births are registered in Romania:
1. any birth taking place in Romania, regardless of the nationality of the child or parents;
2. any birth taking place aboard a Romanian ship or aircraft;
3. the birth of any foundling found in Romania; and
4. any birth of a Romanian citizen which took place abroad and is later 'transcribed' (the technical term for 'registered') in the Romanian civil status registers.
A Romanian birth certificate is not a proof of citizenship in itself. Foreign nationals with no claims to citizenship who were born in Romania are entitled to Romanian birth certificates. On the other hand, every Romanian citizen has a right and duty to have a Romanian birth certificate. If they were born abroad, they have a legal obligation to transcribe the birth in Romanian registers. The obligation to transcribe will be the topic of a future blog post. A good indication of citizenship is, however, the presence of a valid Personal Numerical Code (CNP) on the birth certificate.
03 What taxes are applicable?
At the moment, issuing a birth certificate is formally free. However, some town halls apply a RON 100.- tax, legally an administrative fine, for 'the reissuing of a civil status document', because it is considered that you have received the original Romanian birth certificate when you were born and you later lost it. This must be paid in cash, at the civil status office.
04 Where do I go to get the Romanian birth certificate?
The Romanian birth certificate is normally issued in the place of your birth. There are over 3,000 Romanian administrative units (communes, towns and municipalities, plus each of the 6 sectors of Bucharest) which issue them. Our smart form has a list of them. Just enter your name, and select Birth certificate. Choose not to upload a document, and you will be taken to a page listing all the units, where you can search for the one where you were born. The Romanian authorities do not provide a listing of their websites, and not all of them have dedicated websites. You can also go to the civil status office of your domicile in Romania, or of the place of residence inscribed on your Romanian Immigration Card.
Once you have identified the administrative unit, you need to locate it on a map and go there, to the town hall, which is also the civil status office (with the exception of Bucharest). The usual office hours are 9:00-11:00, and later for larger cities.
In Bucharest, the six sector civil status units are not located within the town halls, but have their own addresses, which can be found on the following websites (all in Romanian):
If you are represented by someone else, they need to go to the town hall of your place of birth. This is what we do, and this is the main aspect which adds to the cost of a Romanian birth certificate.
05 What is the process of obtaining a Romanian birth certificate?
Normally, a Romanian birth certificate for yourself is issued on the spot, within 2-3 hours from the time you have made the request. In larger cities, it can take up to a week, if there are many requests. You will need to fill in a simple form, which will be given to you at the office. If you need to come back later, you will receive a small piece of paper with the number of your request. Keep it safe! You will need it when picking up the certificate.
Questions and answers
1. Where do I get a Romanian birth certificate which was transcribed through a Romanian Embassy or Consulate?
-> To obtain such a certificate, you can ask the Embassy or Consulate which transcribed it, or go to the Sector 1 civil status office (link above). Of course, we can also obtain these certificates. In our smart form, just choose Bucharest - Sector 1 as the place of issue.
2. Where do I get a Romanian birth certificate for a person born on a Romanian ship or aircraft?
-> When a person is born on a Romanian-flag ship or aircraft, the captain makes an entry in the ship log. This entry serves as a provisional birth certificate. It is then forwarded officially to the town hall of the place where the ship or aircraft first landed in Romania. This then forwards it to the town hall of Bucharest - Sector 1. Therefore, you can proceed just as for question 1.
3. How do I transcribe my foreign birth certificate in the Romanian civil status register?
-> You can do so only if you are a Romanian citizen. The easiest way is to contact us, choosing Transcription in our smart form. The do it yourself version of this will be the subject of a future blog post.
4. Can I obtain the Romanian birth certificate through a Romanian Embassy or Consulate?
-> Yes, you can do so if you speak Romanian and are able to go through the appointment and pre-check procedure on www.econsulat.ro. You should know that, because of understaffing, and the new bureaucratic portal, Romanian Embassies and Consulates process requests for Romanian birth certificates (other than those first transcribed at the actual Embassy or Consulate) very slowly, because they have to be brought by diplomatic courier physically from Romania. Thus, it can take months. Our service can obtain them in a matter of days or at most weeks.
5. Can I obtain the Romanian birth certificate by post or other correspondence?
-> No. A Romanian birth certificate is considered a very private document and therefore is issued only to the titular or to a person legally representing him / her. The one way you can do this by post is to contact us. We make the process of appointing us as your representatives as seamless as possible and have developed the knowledge to enable document preparation in as few steps as possible.
6. Can the Romanian birth certificate be used abroad?
-> The Romanian birth certificate issued by the town hall comes with none of the formalities needed for it to be used abroad. There are a number of countries where it can be used as such. They can be found here. To use it in other countries, you need to apply further formalities, namely the Apostille or the Legalization. You can find out all about them here. And of course, if you order through us, our smart form will ask you where you wish to use the certificate. Thus, we will provide it with everything you need to use it abroad, including legal translation. Note that the Multilingual Extract does not need any formalities (see below).
7. What is the Multilingual Extract of birth from Romania?
-> The Multilingual Extract is a form of birth record which is already translated several languages and can be used abroad without an Apostille or Legalization. You can read all about it in our dedicated blog post. The process of obtaining a Multilingual Extract is exactly the same as for a Romanian birth certificate, explained above. We also do it! Just contact us, and select in our smart form the country where you wish to use the certificate. If it is one of the countries which accepts Multilingual Extracts, we will offer this option directly. You will then avoid translation, Apostille and legalization costs.
This concludes our practical guide to obtaining Romanian Birth Certificates. For any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us!