Civil records (Register of Births, Register of Marriages and Register of Deaths) are the main official records of citizens’ personal status. Civil records contain entries of the facts of birth, marriage, death and other facts required by the law, as well as any changes in those facts.
Serbia has had a long tradition of civil registration, with the first compulsory civil records introduced as early as the first half of the 19th Century, which makes registrar one of the oldest professions in the country’s administration.
Initially, civil records were kept by priests; however, after the passing of the first Serbian constitution, the Sretenje (Candlemas) Constitution of 1835, the government began imposing rules in this area and enacting legislative provisions to govern it.
The Registrars’ Day is observed every year to commemorate the effective date of the Law on State Civil Records of 1946, which provided for state-mandated civil records in Serbia for the first time. Until the passing of this Constitution, only the regions of Banat and Bačka kept state civil records.
Today, civil records are kept electronically, with the new legislative provisions enabling the establishment of a Register of Civil Records, thus creating a single register of citizens’ personal status.
These records are kept as a delegated duty by city or municipal administrations or the City Administration of the City of Belgrade, as the case may be. Thus, citizens can register any change of their personal status with their local self-government.