Schmidt & Schmidt will help you get a copy of your public documents for lost or damaged documents issued in France in order to further attest your documents with an apostille certificate and, if necessary, translate them into a language of the state of destination for their use there.
If the personal documents are lost or damaged or if you need an up-to-date copy of your documents, a new document must be obtained. Our service allows you to remotely obtain a new document from France and have it delivered internationally by a courier service.
Validity of the documents
Civil status documents issued in France usually expire in 3 to 6 months after their issuance. A new document with current data need to be obtained. In some states, documents have no expiration date, so this must be stated at the place of issuance. In addition, a validity period of the initial document can be set by the receiving party.
The following documents can be obtained:
- Certificate of birth
- Certificate of birth with filiation
- Certificate of birth without filiation
- Marriage certificate
- Marriage certificate with filiation
- Marriage certificate without filiation
- Divorce certificate
- Death certificate
- Criminal record
- Educational documents
- Other documents
When a new document from France is needed
A new document (certificate of birth, marriage certificate, change of name certificate, divorce certificate, criminal record or death certificates) may be required to register a marriage abroad, register a newly-born child, apply for citizenship, receive an inheritance, apply for the confirmation of a pension, open a bank account, take up employment and clarify other bureaucratic issues.
An international certificate for the following countries can be applied for:
- North Macedonia
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cape Verde
- the Netherlands
To apply for a new document, a letter to the registry office or presence in person is required. In some cities, online application is possible. The holder of the document can order a new certificate independently online via the official website or by email with the delivery to our office in Germany since in most cases documents can only be sent within Europe.
For the acquisition the following documents are required:
- Signed power of attorney from the owner of the document (Since civil documents are personal documents that contain personal data, they can only be obtained by their owners or persons authorized by them)
- Copy of ID
- Information about change of name
- Information about the place of registration of civil registration
Depending on the regulations applicable in a particular federal state, documents of civil status can be requested from the registry office or a similar institution.
Educational documents must be applied for at the relevant educational institution. Educational documents can be issued as a certified copy of the original.
Criminal records are issued by the Federal Office of Justice in Nantes. This document can only be applied online by the recipient of the document. However, Schmidt & Schmidt will take the legalization of your new criminal recorg certificate. For this, you can give the address of our office in Germany as a delivery address. We will send the new document to Bonn for additional certification and then to the Federal Administration Office in Cologne for the issuance of the apostille.
France acceded to The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents on 25 November 1964.
Therefore, the documents issued in France are exempt from consular legalization for use in other member states of the Convention. The documents gain full legal validity if accompanied by the apostille and a notarized translation.
Time of the procedure
It takes approximately two weeks to obtain new documents from France. The issuance time may vary depending on the processing time of the issuing authorities. This time frame does not include the time required to issue an apostille certificate and translate your documents. The apostillization usually takes about two weeks.
Translation of documents from France
In addition, you can obtain a notarized translation from French into a language of the state of destination from Schmidt & Schmidt. The fee is calculated based on the scope of a specific document.