How to get a copy of a birth certificate

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Croatian diaspora from all over the world are increasingly wanting to apply for 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).

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.

In this post, we’ll address who can request a birth certificate, how to locate a birth certificate and how to get a copy.

Croatian Birth Certificate - Rodni List
Image by Porestina

Who can get a birth certificate in Croatia?

Any person born in Croatia or any Croatian citizen even if born abroad can have a birth certificate. This birth document is released according to the written data from Matica rođenih. Matica rođenih is a book which contains information about all the people born in the Republic of Croatia. Each new child born in Croatia is automatically added to this registry.

Before anyone can request their birth certificate or that of a relative, they must have proof of citizenship called “domovnica”. If you do not have this already, here is a post about how to get it.

If you already have proof of nationality, then you can go ahead with requesting a copy of the certificate using the below instructions.

How to get a copy of a birth certificate

Once you have the domovnica for you or your relative, you may purchase a copy of the birth document at any time in Croatia or abroad at a consulate.

The process is slightly different depending on your situation.

1. You have Croatian parents, but you were not born in Croatia

In this case, you may purchase the certificate:

  • In Croatia
    • Any Registrar office in Croatia, for those with Croatian residency
    • Central Registrar’s Office in Zagreb, for those without Croatian residency
  • Abroad
    • At a consulate
    • At an embassy
  • Via e-građani (e-Citizen) web application

The request for the birth certificate can be initiated by:

  • Yourself personally
  • A person authorized by the owner of the birth certificate, with permission certified by a notary (called “javni bilježnik”)

The cost for a copy is 20 kuna.

2. You were born in Croatia

If you hold your domovnica because you were born in Croatia, you can request a birth certificate using all the same options as noted above for those born outside Croatia.

Find birth certificate for grandfather
Image by Mario M Krce

3. You have Croatian parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents and need their certificate, not your own

a. If your relative is alive

To get the birth certificate of your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, you have to prove the lineage between you and your family. As evidence, you can show your identify card 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 purchase the certificate at the Registrar office in Croatia or in Croatian Consular office abroad.

b. If your relative is deceased

If your relative is dead and you need his/her birth certificate, it can be purchased at the Registrar office in Croatia or at a Croatian Consular office abroad.

To prove you have a right to it, you must have notarized authorization or show proof of ID so that your connection to the relative can be proved by looking you up in Matica rođenih. You can purchase it personally or via person authorized by the notary public.

c. If your relative is deceased and you have no idea where they were born in Croatia

If you know that your ancestor was Croatian, you can find where they were born at any Registrar office in Croatia. The Registrar will check the Matica rođenih to find their birthplace.

You can then purchase their certificate, given that you’ve provided appropriate ID and the connection can be made between you and the relative via Matica rođenih.

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2 thoughts on “How to get a copy of a birth certificate

  1. Michael Steirer
    February 9, 2020 @ 12:15 am

    Re: Frances Arth
    I would like to obtain a birth certificate or baptismal record of my grandmother, Frances Arth.
    She lists her bithplace on her marriage license at St, Michael’s Church in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Slavonia which, I believe is a province in Dalmatia in present day, Croatia. She was born on June 8, 1887–at the time, this was probably Austria-Hungary. Any chance of me getting her certificates, I am her grandson, Michael D. Steirer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    • Expat in Croatia
      February 10, 2020 @ 3:14 pm

      Hi Michael,

      You can visit an embassy or consulate abroad to request it. Otherwise, within Croatia, visit the Maticni Red (Registrar) as they keep a record of all births. There is a link to all of those offices within this post. Third option is to hire a lawyer in Croatia to do this for you. If you want a referral, please email me.




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