Algorithm of work with the civil status registration offices in Ukraine
In the process of archival search, we are often faced with the fact that we are missing one or more key documents on the ancestor we are searching for, namely birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, death certificate, name change certificate. If you are talking about documents created after 1945*, you should contact the civil status registration offices. Like any other government agency, this structure has its own specifics.
When applying to the Ukrainian civil status registration offices, it is worth remembering:
- You can make a request for a document only if it concerns you personally or your close relative (parents, children, grandparents, etc.) You cannot get a document for example on your husband’s mother-in-law, husband’s father-in-law, wife’s father-in-law, wife’s mother-in-law, as they are not your relatives.
- The civil status registration office issues certificates (extracts) on the basis of civil status acts and duplicates of certificates (replacement certificates). The latter can only be obtained in certain cases. The extract is an official legal document, which is an A4 format certificate with data transferred from the original civil-status record. If we talk about genealogical research, it should be noted that the extract may contain much more data than the certificate.
- In Ukraine, there is a single State Register of Civil Status Records, which is a database that contains all the records registered in the state territory since the late 1940s (records before 1945 should be sought in the regional archives and archives of the city of Kyiv). This facilitates the search procedure, because you can check the availability of the record in any civil status registration office in Ukraine, provided that you are a relative of the person about whom you are searching for a document, or you have a power of attorney from the relatives of this person.
The organizational features of the work of civil status registration offices include the following:
- It is necessary to apply in person only, that is, this means an in-person visit – requests to the civil status registration office cannot be sent by e-mail or postal mail;
- Under quarantine conditions, pre-registration is periodically available by phone, so it is better to call in advance to clarify this point;
- The civil status registration offices in Ukraine work from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive. Monday and Sunday are days off;
- A list of telephone numbers and addresses of all civil status registration offices of Ukraine can be found on the Ministry of Justice website;
- When you are going to the civil status registration office, prepare and take with you all the documents confirming your right to receive references and certificates;
- Getting references and certificates is a paid service, most civil status registration offices have bank terminals to pay by card, so it is advisable to have it with you. If you do not have a bank card, the registry clerk will give you a receipt with details for payment in the bank.
* As of 2022, the civil status registration offices hold documents from 1945-1946 to the present day, that is, those from which less than 75 years have passed since their creation. If more than 75 years have passed since the documents were created, they should already be transferred to the regional archives and the archive of the city of Kyiv.