How to register a new child in Croatia: Guide for 2024

Matični ured in Zagreb, Croatia
Matični ured in Zagreb, Croatia

UPDATED: 15/09/2021

Does your family have a new addition? There are 4 ways your new child can qualify to be registered in Croatia and receive associated benefits:

  • You are Croatian and had a child while abroad
  • You are a resident of Croatia and had a child while abroad
  • You are Croatian and had a child while living in Croatia
  • You are a resident of Croatia and had a child while living in Croatia

In order to acquire all guaranteed rights, this post will walk you through where, when, and how you can register your newborn child. In future posts, we’ll cover registering children through adoption and children brought from abroad as part of their family’s relocation to Croatia.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to register a child born in Croatia

When it comes to the child registration process in Croatia, the following must be achieved:

  • The government must be notified that a birth has taken place
  • The newborn must be given a name
  • The newborn must be granted a unique identification number, known as OIB

[Read: How to get an OIB Croatian Identification Number]

Notifying the government of a new child

After the birth, the Registrar’s office must be notified of a new child. It is done in person or via a written application. The deadline to register, whether the child was born in a healthcare institution or not is 15 days from the birth of the child.

If the child is born in a hospital

The majority of children in Croatia are born in hospitals. In this situation, the hospital is responsible for notifying the Registrar’s office of the birth. They will send a written notification to the Registrar.

This notification is called “Prijava o rođenju” (Birth registration) and it includes the most important information about the child and their parents including:

  • Information about the child
    • Gender
    • Place of birth
    • Date of birth
    • Time of birth
    • Whether the child was born alive or dead
    • Whether the child was born in a marriage or outside of marriage
  • Information about parents
    • Name and surname
    • Date of birth
    • Address of the residence (prebivalište)
    • Occupation of both parents

[Read: Prebivalište and boravište – two addresses that must be registered with the police]

If the child is born outside of the hospital

There is no official regulation that prohibits home births. If you plan to use a midwife, it is important to know that Croatian midwives do not have legal permission to work outside of hospitals. An expectant mother is allowed to hire a midwife from other countries, which have more established practices when it comes to home births, like Italy or Austria.

Regardless, sometimes home births happen unexpectedly when the baby can’t wait any longer. In the case of home birth, anyone present at the birth can notify the Registrar’s office.

A person must visit the Registrar’s office in person and provide them with the same information on the newborn child and their parents mentioned above. They must also bring medical documentation on the birth or proof of motherhood called “dokaz o majčinstvu”.

Usually, the person registering the birth will be one of the following:

  • Mother of the child, when she is capable
  • Father of the child
  • Witness to the birth
  • Person in whose apartment the child was born
  • Doctor who helped in the birth of the child
  • Midwife that helped in the birth of the child
  • Person who found out about the birth of the child

Registering a child

If the child was registered by the hospital administration, the facility will notify the nearest Registrar’s office that a birth has taken place.

From that moment on, the parents have two options to complete the process:

  • Register the child in person at the Registrar’s office address
  • Register the child online using the E-Građani (e-Citizen) platform

If the child was born outside of the hospital, the registration of the child can be done when notifying the Registrar’s office about the birth of the child. This means that a person must visit the Registrar’s office and go through both processes at the same time.

Detail on registering both through e-Građani and in person at the Registrar are described in detail in the following sections. First, we’ll go through the steps to register in person. After, we’ll go over the e-Građani option.

How to register a child in person

Registration of a new child in person must be done at the Registrar’s office closest to the parents’ home address. A list of all Registrar’s offices in Croatia organized by Croatian counties is available here.

Foreign parents MUST visit the Registrar’s office in person to register their newborn child. They can’t register their child via e-Građani.

Here is everything you need to know…

Naming the child

The deadline for giving a name to the child is 30 days after the birth. Parents can choose any name they like, as long as the choice of words embodies a name.

The surname of the child depends on the surname of the parents. When there is a case of different surnames, the parents can choose one surname or both surnames to be given to the child.

If a child has both parents, both of them must agree on the child’s name. If there is only one parent present at the Registrar’s office, there must be written and signed consent provided by the other parent giving permission to name the child.

If parents haven’t agreed on the child’s name, a competent social welfare center should name the child. One of the parents should submit the request to the center and they should name the child within 30 days.

Only one parent can name the child if:

  • One parent is not alive
  • One parent is declared dead
  • Residence of one parent is unknown
  • One parent is deprived of parental care
  • One parent is deprived of legal capacity

Documents needed for registration

When going to the Registrar’s office, you will need to bring:

  • Leave letter from the maternity hospital
  • Marriage or life partnership certificate of the parents
  • Personal IDs from both parents
  • Request for issuing documents from the Registrar’s office (available at the Registrar’s office)

You don’t have to pay any administrative fees. All excerpts from the state books at the Registrar’s office are free of charge starting from September 2021.

Procedures at the Registrar’s office

During your visit to the Registrar’s office, the following procedures will occur:

  • Your child will be entered into the Registry of Births
  • Your child will be entered into the Registry of Croatian Citizens (only applicable if one or both parents are citizens)
  • Your child’s residence will be registered to the parents’ address
  • Application for issuance of child’s OIB
  • Application for granting of one-off financial support for a newborn child

The child’s residence permit and OIB number can be obtained during that same visit to the Registrar’s office. Additional information about how and when the financial support will be provided will also be given during your visit.

If parents have registered residence at different addresses, they must agree on only one address that will be taken as the child’s residence address.

If parents are not married, the male parent (if applicable) must state that he’s the child’s father in front of the registrar or the court. For the registration of paternity, consent of the child’s mother is required.

Child benefits

A parent can also apply for a one-off cash grant for a newborn child. This benefit is only one form of monetary benefit that is available to the parents in Croatia.

[Read: Family services and child benefits in Croatia]

To receive child benefits, at least one parent must have permanent residence in Croatia, even if you are an EU or Croatian citizen.

[Read: Rights of permanent residents in Croatia]

How to register a child through e-Građani

The e-Građani platform is for Croatian citizens. To use this tool, you must have a national ID (osobna iskaznica) with a chip and the associated ID card reader (a device that connects to computers using a USB cable). Temporary and permanent residents are not issued this type of ID.

[Read: How to apply for a national ID card]

Registering a child via e-Građani is possible via a service called “e-Novorođenče” (e-Newborn child) which is available here.

All the above steps that can be executed at the Registrar’s office can also be accomplished through the e-Građani platform. It has proven to be especially useful when registering a newborn child, as it saves a trip to see the bureaucratic powers that be in person.

After you register your child via e-Novorođenče, the system will generate the following documents:

  • Electronic record for the child from the Book of births
  • Electronic record for the child from the Book of citizenship
  • Certificate on residence for the child
  • Certificate on the application for compulsory health insurance (within 5 days)
  • Link to the application form for compulsory health insurance called “Tiskanica T2”
  • Certificate of approved payment of one-time financial support for a newborn child
  • Notification of delivery of the “Obrazac PK” (form) if you are registered in the ePorezna (eTax) system (within 3 days)

Since the online system centralizes information on all citizens, the process is simplified. The forms that must be completed will be partially filled out automatically by the system.

Please note that there is a form that must be completed by both parents individually. If one of the parents does not qualify to use the online system, they can still complete the procedure by visiting the Registrar’s office.

The state administration has prepared a tutorial to guide citizens through the process of registering a child online. It is available here (only in the Croatian language).

There are no fees associated with registering your child through the e-Građani platform. The card reader is the only expense. It can be bought online here.

How to register a child born abroad

If a child is born abroad to Croatian citizens or non-citizens with residence in Croatia, the child can be registered with the government upon return to Croatia. The registration process will be fairly similar to the one previously described for registering a child in the Registrar’s office.

To register a child born outside of Croatia, at least one parent must be a Croatian citizen at the time of the birth. In this case, you should also register your child within 30 days after the birth. The only difference is that an apostilled/legalized, officially translated original of the birth certificate from abroad would need to be provided.

It may take a bit longer for all the procedures to be completed for children born abroad because the Registrar’s offices in Croatia do not have direct communication with their counterparts in other countries.

In addition, you may not register a child born abroad online through the e-Građani platform. It must be done in person.

If you have a residence in Croatia

Go to the Registrar’s office closest to your Croatian residence (prebivalište) address in Croatia. A list of all Registrar’s offices in Croatia organized by Croatian counties is available here.

Bring written proof from the foreign country where your child was born. This is something like a “book of birth” record equivalent (usually a birth certificate). The documentation may vary depending on the country based on international conventions and treaties. However, this document must be apostilled/legalized and officially translated.

[Read: How to prepare your foreign documents for use in Croatia]

Our recommendation is to call the Registrar’s office to confirm the latest requirements. If you need help with the registration process, contact us.

If you don’t have residence in Croatia

If you don’t have a residence (prebivalište) in Croatia, you have to register your newborn child at one of the registrar’s offices in Zagreb. You must bring a birth certificate or equivalent document with you (read the section above for more information).

A list of Registrar’s offices in Zagreb is available here.

Registration outside of Croatia

If you are prevented from traveling to Croatia, there are some alternatives to registering a child. This is possible regardless if you have residence in Croatia or not.

Alternatively, you can register your child:

  • Via an authorized person
  • In written form to the Registrar’s office
  • In a Croatian consular office or embassy abroad

Again, you will need proof of birth from the country where the child is born (usually a birth certificate). However, the documentation may vary by country based on international conventions and treaties. Check with your local embassy or consulate on the latest requirements.

What to do after registration of a child

Register a child for compulsory health insurance

After you register your child with the registrar, they must be registered for Croatia’s mandatory health insurance. Children up to the age of 18 with residence (prebivalište) or permanent stay in Croatia must have state health insurance.

They can be insured as independent holders of health insurance or as family members through one of their parents.

To sign up a child for health insurance, visit the HZZO administration office according to your residence.

[Read: HZZO List of Local Health Insurance Offices]

Bring the following documentation with you:

  • Application form T2 – available at HZZO or to download here
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Proof of residence or permanent stay of the child
    • Statement from MUP OR
    • ID card

HZZO will send the health insurance ID card of the child called “zdravstvena iskaznica” to the home address within 15 days.

[Read: How to sign up for state health insurance in Croatia]

Changes to the personal deduction

Another thing you can do is request an increase in the personal deduction. Your child must be entered onto your tax card called “PK obrazac”.

To do this, you must visit the Tax administration (Porezna uprava) according to the address of the child’s residence. A list of all administrative offices of the Tax Administration in Croatia is available here.

How to get help with registering a newborn child

We can help with registering the birth of new children as well as new citizens in Matica rođenih. This service can be helpful if you live abroad, or if you live in Croatia and don’t know the language or are not comfortable dealing with the Croatian bureaucracy on your own.

You can skip the embassies entirely by having an authorized person complete registration on your behalf with Matični ured in Croatia.

In addition to doing the registration for you, they can also request copies of the birth certificate (and domovnica, if they are a new citizen).

We can connect you to a trusted and vetted family lawyer who can handle the registration and document request on your behalf. To get help with birth registration, please complete the form below.

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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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