State Archives of Belgium

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Civil registry

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Not older than 100 years:

  • Only public authorities, the person concerned, his or her marriage partner, legal representative, ancestors and descendants, heirs, notary public and lawyer can request an excerpt without explicit authorisation.
  • All other persons need an explicit authorisation issued by the family court of the judicial district in which the municipality is located.

Older than 100 years:

  • freely accessible
Cadre légal
  • Art. 29 of the Civil Code (excerpt or copy)
  • Art. 79 of the Civil Code (genealogical, historical or scientific purposes)
  • The law of 21 December 2018 (published in the Belgian Official Journal of 31 December 2018) modified the rules governing the publicity of the civil status registers:

          -      Death and marriage certificates become public after 50 and 75 years respectively.
          -      For birth certificates, the 100-year term remains applicable.
          -      The rules governing population registers (120 years) also remain intact.

    Obviously, these modifications have a positive impact on genealogical and socio-demographic research. The State Archives works hard to implement these measures in the most efficient manner possible, but only the records of the courts of first instance already transferred can be made accessible. Delays are among others due to mould infestations of records in a series of court buildings.

    These new provisions only take effect upon publication of a Royal Decree for the execution of the provisions regarding (1) copies and excerpts of civil status acts (art. 29) and (2) consultation for genealogical, historical or scientific research purposes (art. 79). A legal text is in preparation, but it is impossible to predict at this stage, when it will be enforced. e-Procurement