Civil status

  1. Last updated on

Issues concerning the civil status of a person (birth, lineage, adoption, name, marriage, divorce, decease, etc.). can be very complex. Questions related to civil status cannot be answered by phone. Always submit your personal case in written to the Consulate General in Montreal.

The Belgian civil code is applicable to all Belgians, living in Belgium or abroad. You can read more on the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs. Since June the 1st 2014 a new law on the given names of a person is applicable. You can find more details on the following site (only in Dutch or French).

How to find civil status certificates

One has to contact directly the authority that edited the civil status certificate at the moment of the event. If for example a birth or marriage took place in Belgium one should contact directly the city administration where the event took place. If a foreign certificate has been transcribed in Belgium one should contact the authority that executed the transcription.

Which Canadian authorities issue civil status certificates?

Canadian civil status records (birth, marriage, etc.) can be obtained from provincial or territorial authorities: 



Transcription in Belgium of foreign civil status certificates

When you send a certificate to the Consulate General in Montreal in order to notify any change in your civil status, the relevant data will be entered in the consular register as well as in the National register. The certificate itself will however not be registered.

The Civil Code allows in its article 48 however for foreign civil status certificates to be transcribed in the civil status registers of a Belgian city administration. This transcription is highly recommended for certificates that have been issued in countries where it is difficult, if not impossible to obtain an original certificate. The transcription can be done by the administration of the city where you will live once you return to Belgium. If you continue living abroad: the city where you last lived, or the city where your parents live, or the city where you were born. In the absence of any of the aforementioned you can ask the city of Brussels to do the transcription. If you were married in Belgium, the divorce judgment proclaimed abroad will have to be transcribed by city administration that registered your marriage. 

Once the transcription is done you can always ask for a literal copy or an extract thereof. The city administration can provide more detailed and practical information. 

For more information, please visit the central website of Belgian Foreign Affairs

A foreign civil status certificate can only be transcribed in Belgium when it is duly legalized and translated into the language of the city administration.