According to the Chancellery “the Civil Registry in Colombia is the document that proves the civil status of a person, that is to say, its legal situation in the family and society, determines its capacity to exercise certain rights and to contract certain obligations. It is indivisible, unavailable, imprescriptible, and its assignment corresponds to the law.”
The Civil Registry in Colombia is obtained by registering vital events in the Civil Registry office corresponding to the place where the event occurred. There are three types:
- Civil registry of birth: This is the basis for the identification of the Colombian population and it is currently possible to register the civil registry of birth in hospitals, clinics, as well as in any notary’s office, Registrar’s Office or consulate, regardless of the date and place of birth of the person. This procedure must be completed within one month after the birth of the baby. If not done within this time, the certificate of live birth issued by the hospital center or the sworn statement of two persons who have witnessed the birth must be presented.
- Civil marriage registry: this registry legalizes the existence of the marriage, whether it has been celebrated through a religious rite or before a civil authority such as a judge or a notary public. The documents required for registration depend on the type of marriage that was celebrated, i.e., whether it was Catholic, of another religion, before a notary, judge or abroad.
- Civil registration of death: it is the document that legally certifies the death of a person, which must be done within two days from the moment the death was reported. It is handled differently depending on whether the death was violent, presumed, outside or natural. They have a duty to report the death:
- Surviving spouse.
- Persons living in the house where the death occurred.
- The physician who attended the deceased in his last illness.
- The funeral home attending your burial.
- The director or administrator of the barracks, convent, hospital, clinic, asylum, prison or public or private establishment where the event occurred.
- The police authority who finds a corpse of an unknown or unclaimed person.
It is important to have an updated and complete civil registry because it serves as legal proof of a person’s identity, marital status and relationship. The civil registry is used to obtain official documents such as identity card, passport, identity card, electoral registration, among others. In addition, the civil registry is necessary to carry out legal procedures, such as obtaining insurance, inheritance, pensions, adoptions, naturalization processes, among others.