Certificates and official deeds are often required for certain administrative procedures.
An attestation is a declaration in which an agency attests to the existence or the truth of an event. A certificate is a document delivered by a competent authority to certify an event or a right. Legal deeds held by the civil registrar, and legalised documents (certifying legal status) or signatures (certifying the authenticity of signatures placed on a deed) are similar to certificates.
Who is concernedAnyone who must provide supporting documents, in the form of certificates, attestations or certified copies, for certain administrative procedures.
How to proceed
Deeds and certificates from the civil registrar
These documents have a legal or official status certifying an applicant's personal situation. The following are civil registrar documents:
- birth certificates, available from the department of the civil registrar (Service de l’état civil) of the commune where the applicant was born;
- marriage certificates, available from the civil registrar of the commune where the applicant was married;
- the family record book, if such a book exists;
- death certificates, available from the civil registrar of the commune in which the death occurred.
Deeds and certificates for citizens
Depending on the personal situation of the applicant, the following may be requested:
- residence certificates;
- certificates of registration on the electoral rolls;
- certificates documenting the duration of mandatory residency.
These deeds must be requested from the population office (Bureau de la population) of the commune of the applicant's residence.
Through signature certification an individual can have their signature certified as authentic. Once certified, the signature can be placed on a document.
To have their signature certified, applicants must appear in person at the communal administration office.
A signature may also be certified by a notary, an embassy, a consulate, etc.
Copies of official deeds
Documents originating from third countries outside of the European Union, as well as certain other official documents needed for various procedures, are required in the form of a certified copy.
Certification of a copy of a document issued by a foreign administrative authority may be obtained from the communal administration offices (upon presentation of the original document).