How to get a copy of a birth certificate

Croatian Birth Certificate - Rodni List
Image by Porestina

UPDATED: 27/07/2022

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), 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.

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

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

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 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. 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. Learn how to register a person in the book of births (Matica rođenih) in this guide.

Before you can request your own birth certificate, you must first have proof of citizenship called domovnica. If you already have proof of nationality, then you can go ahead with requesting a copy of the certificate using the below instructions.

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

If you need to find someone else’s birth certificate, that can be a bit trickier. We’ll go over all of the options below.

How to get a copy of a birth certificate

The process to get a birth certificate varies depending on your situation.

#1 You need your own 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 within Croatia at Matični ured (Registrar’s office). You will need your domovnica for this process.

A list of all Registrar’s offices in Croatia according to Croatian counties is available here.

If you are not physically in Croatia, we can connect you to an expat-vetted lawyer who can register you in Matica rođenih. Contact us for a referral using the form at the bottom of this page to be connected with one.

Once you are registered in the Book of births, you can request a copy of your birth certificate.

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 Croatian consulate – A list is available here
    • At 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 that 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 purchase 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 purchase 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 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 an 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.

A vetted Croatian lawyer 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

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 our other documentation posts

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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