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Civil Records in China

 

Keywords: China notarial office, notarial certificate, birth record, death record, marriage record, divorce record, criminal record, household register

 

Most of the documents listed below can be obtained from one of China's Notarial Offices (Gong Zheng Chu). All Chinese documentation to be used abroad is processed through the notary offices and issued in the form of notarial certificates. Notarial offices are located in all major Chinese cities and in rural county seats. These offices are part of the Ministry of Justice structure, but are separate from the people's court system.

Notaries in China do not perform the same functions as their American counterparts. Chinese notaries affix their signatures and office seal to certificates that attest to the probity of claims made by the applicants. By regulation, notaries are empowered to issue certificates only after they conclude that the applicant's claims are true. Notarial certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorce, no criminal record and pre-1981 adoptions are, at best, secondary evidence of the events they purport to document. Although these certificates are secondary evidence, they are used because primary evidence is not standardized, is easily forged, and difficult to evaluate.

Notarial certificates are easier to interpret than primary evidence and theoretically represent an expert judgment on the part of the notarial official as to the facts documented.
 

Source: http://shenyang.usembassy-china.org.cn/civil_records_china.html


 

 

 

 

 

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