How to get a copy of a Croatian birth certificate: Guide for 2024

Croatian Birth Certificate - Rodni List
Image by Porestina

UPDATED: 26.2.2024.

Croatian diaspora from all over the world is increasingly wanting to apply for Croatian citizenship. Their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were Croatian, so they want to apply for citizenship based on their family roots.

In some cases, they know their ancestor was Croatian but lack the proof, mainly a birth certificate (called rodni list in Croatian), or maybe they don’t even know where they were born.

Maybe you have a grandfather who was born in 1912 on Vis, and you’d like to locate his birth certificate. Or perhaps you’re a Croatian with Croatian parents born in Canada. In this case, you’re not registered in the registry of births.

This article addresses who can request a Croatian birth certificate, how to locate a birth certificate, and where to get a copy.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to get a Croatian birth certificate: Guide for 2024

Who can get a Croatian birth certificate?

Croatian birth certificate can be issued to:

  • Any person born in Croatia
  • Any Croatian citizen born abroad
  • Any person granted Croatian citizenship

[Read: How to apply for Croatian citizenship]

This birth document is released according to the written data from the Book of Births called Matica rođenih. Matica rođenih is a book that contains information about all the people born in the Republic of Croatia.

Each new child born in Croatia is automatically added to this registry. Learn how to register a new child in Croatia in this guide. If you are granted Croatian citizenship later in life, you must request to be added to the registry of births.

Before you can request your own birth certificate, you must first have proof of citizenship called domovnica. If you already have it, go ahead and request a copy of the certificate. If you need to find someone else’s birth certificate, that can be a bit trickier. Let’s view all possible options in the below instructions.

[Read: How to get proof of Croatian citizenship (domovnica)]

How to get a copy of a Croatian birth certificate

The process of getting a Croatian birth certificate varies depending on your situation.

#1 You need your own Croatian birth certificate

If you are not yet registered in Matica rođenih

In this case, your first step is to register yourself in the Matica rođenih (Book of Births) BEFORE you can request your birth certificate. New registrations in the Matica rođenih can only be done at a consulate abroad or within Croatia at Matični ured (Registrar’s office). You will need your domovnica and an apostilled/legalized copy of your foreign birth certificate (less than 6 months old).

Registering abroad can take months. It is much faster to do it within Croatia or using a lawyer, which can take as little as 10 days. A list of all Registrar’s offices in Croatia according to Croatian counties is available here.

Note: Children younger than 18 can register in the Book of Births and get their domovnica simultaneously. They must provide their parents’ domovnica as proof of their Croatian citizenship, as well as birth certificates from their country of residence. Every case is unique, and you might be asked for additional documents depending on your situation.

Learn how to register a person in the Book of Births (Matica rođenih) in this guide. Once you are registered in the Book of Births, you can request a copy of your birth certificate.

If you would like help, we can connect you to a vetted lawyer who can register you in Matica rođenih. Contact us using the form at the bottom of this page to be connected with one.

If you are already registered in Matica rođenih

If you are already registered in Matica rođenih, then you can proceed with requesting a birth certificate.

You can request a birth certificate in the following ways:

  • In Croatia
    • At any Registrar’s office in Croatia (for those with Croatian residency) – A list is available here
    • At the Central Registrar’s Office in Zagreb (for those without Croatian residency)
  • Abroad
    • At the Croatian consulate – A list is available here
    • At the Croatian embassy – A list is available here
  • Via e-Građani (e-Citizen) web application – It is available here

[Read: e-Građani (e-Citizens) – Online portal for Croatian government services]

The request for the birth certificate can be initiated by:

  • Yourself personally
  • Person authorized by the owner of the birth certificate, with permission certified by a notary public called javni bilježnik

[Read: How to get something notarized]

#2 You have a Croatian relative and need their birth certificate

If your relative is alive

To get the birth certificate of a relative who is still alive, you have to prove the lineage between you and your family member.

As evidence, you can show your passport and birth certificate, assuming all ancestors connecting you with the relative are already registered in Matica rođenih. Alternatively, your relative can give you notarized authorization to get a copy of their birth certificate.

After you get authorization, you can get the certificate at:

  • Registrar’s office in Croatia – A list is available here
  • Croatian consulate or embassy abroad – A list is available here

If your relative is deceased

If your relative is dead and you need their birth certificate, it can be provided at:

  • Registrar’s office in Croatia – A list is available here
  • Croatian consulate or embassy abroad – A list is available here

To prove you have a right to it, you must show proof of your family connection to the relative that is supported by Matica rođenih records, and you will need to explain your purpose for requesting the birth certificate.

A valid purpose is applying for citizenship based on lineage.

[Read: How to apply for Croatian citizenship based on descent]

You can get the certificate personally or via a person authorized by the notary public.

If you need help finding a birth certificate for a Croatian relative so that you can apply for citizenship, contact us using the below form, and we will connect you with a vetted legal expert who can take care of it for you.

What a Croatian birth certificate looks like?

Croatian birth certificate includes the following data about you:

  • OIB
  • Name
  • Surname
  • Gender
  • Day, month, year, and hour of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality (narodnost)
  • Citizenship (državljanstvo)

[Read: How to get Croatian OIB]

Croatian birth certificate also includes data about your parents, including their:

  • Name
  • Surname and your mother’s maiden name
  • Day, month, and year of birth
  • Place of birth

It also includes:

  • Registrar’s remarks
  • Subsequent entries to the Book of Births

View a blank form of the Croatian birth certificate here.

Excerpt from the book of births

Another document that you can get from the Book of Births is the Excerpt from the Book of Births called Izvadak iz matice rođenih. It includes more information than the birth certificate.

An excerpt shows all changes regarding a person’s eventual name changes and matrimonial status, while a birth certificate shows individual information. An excerpt is mostly used in complex procedures such as inheritance or tax control.

Croatian excerpt from the book of births includes the following data about you:

  • OIB
  • Name
  • Surname
  • Gender
  • Day, month, year, and hour of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality (narodnost)
  • Citizenship (državljanstvo)

An excerpt also includes data about your parents, including their:

  • Name
  • Surname and your mother’s maiden name
  • Day, month, and year of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality (narodnost)
  • Citizenship (državljanstvo)
  • Occupation
  • Residency (prebivalište) and residential address

It also includes:

  • Registrar’s remarks
  • Subsequent entries to the Book of Births
  • Additional notes

View a blank form of the excerpt from the book of births here.

We can help you find Croatian birth certificates

If you need help finding a birth certificate for yourself or a Croatian relative, our expat-vetted lawyer network can take care of it for you. We have connections throughout the country, so we can best match you with a legal expert close to your birthplace or the birthplace of your relative.

This is best suited for those living abroad who cannot come to Croatia to research, locate, and request a birth certificate. In some situations, births are only listed in church records, which requires a bit of digging to find records.

You do not have to live in Croatia to take advantage of this service.

For one flat rate, they can:

  • Research where your relative was born
  • Determine if you or your relative is listed in the Matica rođenih (book of births)
  • Register you in Matica rođenih so you can get your birth certificate
  • Locate birth records not registered in Matica rođenih (like those documented in church records)
  • Request a birth certificate on your behalf in person

As part of this service, you’ll have a dedicated Expat in Croatia caseworker who will follow up periodically to ensure you’re getting everything you need. You’ll also be able to reach out to them as well if any issues arise.

If you’re planning to apply for Croatian citizenship, they can also help you apply. To get help locating a birth certificate, please complete the form below.

View reviews from people who have used our services for citizenship here or jump to this section to see the last 20 reviews.

To get help with your application for citizenship, complete the form below, and will match you with an expert.


See what our clients have to say about working with us…


View our other documentation posts


Sources:

Zakon o državnim maticama
MVEP
MPU

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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