What do I do with my French livret de famille?

If you recently got married in France or obtained French citizenship, you may have received a livret de famille. Here’s what you need to know

We look at the livert de famile, what it is and how to use it
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Reader question: I received a livret de famille as part of my welcome package to becoming a French citizen. I have not done anything with it. I assume it is to record births, marriages and deaths but is it just for me and my (British) husband – or also siblings and his adult children?

A livret de famille is a booklet that people usually receive upon marriage or, for unmarried couples, the birth of their first child.

Foreign citizens who are married or have children will be given one on obtaining French nationality.

It contains proof of key aspects of your family’s history – in particular, ‘extracts’ of relevant marriage, birth and death certificates (an official will copy the information into it and stamp it).

It is useful for certain administrative procedures, such as registering a child at school.

You are legally required to update it as soon as possible with changes to l’état civil (personal information) of people recorded inside – notably marriage, change of marriage regime, divorce, a birth, adoption, death, or name change.

Changes must be done by the mairie – you should come with proof of any change.

In case of changing your name, you can request a new livret.

Updates should be made at the mairie of the town where the birth, marriage or death took place.

If this is outside France, the request must be posted to Service central d’état civil, 11, rue de la Maison Blanche, 44941 Nantes Cedex 09.

You can request more information by emailing courrier.scec@diplomatie.gouv.fr.

The booklet only records information related to parents or their children, so there is no need to add information about siblings or other members of the family.

Nor are children from a previous relationship included, unless they are adopted by the other partner.

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