Correction of civil status: how to do it?

Correction of civil status: nature of errors

A distinction is made between material errors and substantial errors. The administration or the judicial judge consider that there is a material error when the civil status includes, for example:

  • a spelling error in the surname and/or first names of the applicant;
  • an error in the mentions relating to his profession, his domicile, the sex;
  • forgetting the existence of a marriage contract on the marriage certificate;
  • an error in the qualification of filiation (child born before marriage, for example).

On the contrary, we will rather evoke a substantial error in the presence of an incomplete birth certificate or marriage certificate.

Correction of civil status: procedure

Procedure in case of hardware error

The person who deplores a material error in his civil status document must contact the public prosecutor of the judicial court of the place of establishment of the civil status document. If the applicant is French, but the civil status certificate was made abroad, the request must be made to the public prosecutor at the Nantes judicial court at the following address: Nantes Judicial Court , Public Prosecutor’s Office, Quai François Mitterrand, 44921 Nantes, Cedex 9.

A specific form must be completed for this purpose (Cerfa n°11531). It is based on the provisions of articles 99 and 1046 of the Civil Code to allow the implementation of the civil status rectification procedure. The request must be sent to the public prosecutor by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. The applicant must attach:

  • a copy of his identity card,
  • a copy of his civil status certificate which contains an error,
  • all the documents which make it possible to justify the exact mentions which it is necessary to carry on this act.

If the request is accepted by the public prosecutor, the rectification of the civil status will be made by his registry automatically, without any further action by the applicant. If he considers that no error is justified and refuses the rectification of civil status, the applicant has the possibility of appealing against this negative decision within one month, with the compulsory assistance of a lawyer.

Procedure in case of substantial error

The person who deplores a substantial error in a civil status document must address the judicial court of the place of his domicile or the place where the document was drawn up, with the assistance of a lawyer. If the applicant is French but resides abroad, the Paris court has sole jurisdiction. The same supporting documents requested to submit the request for rectification of a material error in the civil status must be produced.

If the judge of the judicial court accedes to the applicant’s request and grants his request for rectification of a substantial error in the civil status, he communicates his decision to the public prosecutor who has the obligation to have the modifications made in the 3 days of the judgment rendered. If the application is rejected, the applicant also has one month to appeal the decision with his lawyer.

>> To read also – Referral to the judicial court: all the steps

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