Information on the issuance and replacement of birth certificates [UKR27159.E]

The following information was provided in a meeting in Kiev on 23 September 1996, by the head of the Registration Department at the Ministry of Justice who specializes in birth certificates.

A birth certificate is the first document a person receives and the only one required until he or she turns eighteen and obtains an internal passport. It is the only document that is required to get an internal passport. All children are registered in the place where they are born. Therefore, if a child is born in Kiev, but the parents are registered in another district, the child must be registered in Kiev. For Ukrainian citizens, the birth certificate is proof of citizenship. Not so if the child is the child of foreign nationals.

If a birth certificate is lost, a person may apply for a second one based on the registration notice in the national birth registry. Registration notices are kept in the local registration office for 75 years; then they are kept in the regional archives. If a person requests a second birth certificate, the registry office checks to see if there is a registration notice. If one is found, a second birth certificate is issued. This birth certificate is stamped to indicate that it is a replacement and not the original birth certificate. If the person is more than 75 years old, the local registry must contact the regional office. If the notice is found in the archives then the second birth certificate is issued. The first birth certificate is free. The second one costs a minimal fee; which, at the current exchange rate, is about US$1.00. The process takes about ten days.

A second birth certificate can be obtained by a person's parents or guardian. If a person is outside Ukraine, he or she can apply for a birth certificate through a Ukrainian embassy. If the person does not wish to contact the embassy for any reason, he or she can have his or her parents in Ukraine obtain a birth certificate by following the above procedure. The parents can then send it to the applicant. It is no more difficult for a parent to obtain a birth certificate for a child than for the child to obtain it him- or herself.

This system is the same as it was under the USSR. If someone was looking for a birth certificate in the Ukrainian Republic of the USSR, he or she would follow, or would have followed, the same procedure which currently exists.

If a person is born outside Ukraine, he or she can obtain a birth certificate from a Ukrainian embassy. Those records are kept at the embassies until the end of the year when they are sent to Kiev. So, if a person requires another birth certificate in this case, he or she would go to the registry office in Kiev.

If there is no record of birth in the registry, or if the registry is missing for the period of birth (due to loss in fire, war, etc.), the person can still obtain a birth certificate, although the procedure is slightly different. The person must first get a letter from the local registry office stating that his or her birth notice was not found in the registry, or that the registry for that time has been lost or destroyed. With this letter the person can make an application with supporting documents such as a marriage licence, work and education history/documents, etc., and any other documents that support the claim that he or she was born in Ukraine or lives in Ukraine. These documents are sent to Kiev where the head office determines whether the person is a citizen. If the person is determined to be a citizen, head office contacts the local registry office and authorizes the issuance of the birth certificate to the applicant.

If a person was born in Ukraine but lived most of his or her life in another republic of the USSR and was living outside of Ukraine at the time of Ukraine's independence, he or she could go to the Ukrainian embassy in the newly independent state in which he or she resides and file an application. This would be forwarded to the registry office where the person was born and a search would be done. If the birth was registered, a birth certificate would be processed. If there was no record in the registry, then the applicant would have to try to gather all the information that might support the claim that he or she was born in Ukraine, and would follow the above noted process.

The opinions expressed in this Response are those of the source. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Head of the Registration Department, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Kiev. 23 September 1996. Interview with DIRB.