Where does term cerfa come from?

Why are some official forms in France called “cerfa”?  J.D.

24 October 2018
By Oliver Rowland

A “cerfa” is any official form for carrying out an administrative procedure, which is in a format that is fixed by a decree.

It was originally the acronym for the French state body that drew up and registered such documents, which was called Centre d’enregistrement et de révision des formulaires administratifs (its job is now done by an interministerial body with an even longer name).

Each cerfa has an official five-figure number, sometimes plus two figures for the specific version.

To add to the complication, some cerfas are named with another number as well. For example, this year’s main income declaration tax form 2042 (for declaring 2017 income) was cerfa no. 10330*22 whereas the previous one was cerfa no. 10330*21.

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