Marriage Certificate and Livret de Famille


We plan on moving from the US to France. My wife is French, I’m American.

My wife has a Livre de Famille which contains our US marriage certificate information (our names, place and date of wedding).
Does anyone know if we would still be required to obtain a certified translation of our marriage certificate into the French language from a court approved translator?

Thanks for any response,


I fo not know the answer but we are foreigners who got married in France. We therefore have a ‘Livret de Famille’ and certificate.
To my knowledge, in the fifteen subsequent years we have never been asked to show the marriage certificate. For administrative purposes the documents most commonly requested seem to be passport, tax returns, evidence of domicile and, on occasion, livret de famille. Am I correct in assuming that you are witnessed as a couple in the ‘Livret de Famille’ by the Maire? If so, I would not concern yourself with translating the marriage certificate unless requested.


Are you any nearer arriving in France?

From my own experience (albeit as British not American) both OH and I had to produce a copy of the marriage certificate.

Perhaps your wife will be OK with her Livret de Famille - but that is not your Livret and I reckon you will need to produce your marriage certificate. If it does need translating, there are folk in France who have the correct qualifications to do just that - and it doesn’t take very long to get it done… :relaxed:

But the livret de famille is a record of everything affecting both partners in a marriage, Stella - it is the proof of a marriage among other things, it may be necessary to show a marriage certificate but not necessarily at all, nobody has ever asked to see my certif of marriage and I married a foreigner*, abroad**.
** not in France

That’s great news @vero… we live and learn. :hugs: and that’s what the forum is for.

I’ve searched unsuccessfully for my grandmother’s Livret de Famille. I suspect her English children destroyed it after her death, not realising the wealth of information it had stored within its pages. :cry:

(as an aside, who completes/authorises the details in the Livret de Famille? I believe our Mairie does when we have weddings here… but a non-French wedding, abroad - G’ma was married to an Englishman in London)!

Hi Stella we were married in England and Janine was issued a Livret de Famille by the Consulate in London on production of our Marriage certificate. Our children were added on production of birth certificates. The Livret was used recently by our daughter to obtain her French Passeport - a surprisingly painless process.

That’s interesting to hear @Dan_Wood

Gran married into a very English family - who spoke no French - so I wonder if she ever would have visited the London Consulate to have her marriage entered into her LdF. :thinking: let alone anything/anyone else. (I’d like to track down her French relations, but… getting nowhere.)

Glad it worked for your children… :relaxed:

Would she have had to register at the consulate? My mother did in the 1960s when my parents lived in London, it was pretty much compulsory because you were considered an alien. I got my livret de famille when I registered my marriage (in Scotland) and as my elder children were born in England they were added in London, further filling-in was done here in France. My birth certificate is a back-up, because all the information about marriage/divorce/pacs/whatever is added to it (but not births of children or being widowed, I think those go just in the L de F, but I could easily be wrong).

My hubby was on 2 livret de famille. The first one with his previous wife which also showed the birth of their son. She kept that when they divorced. Then we were given a livret de famille when we married.

Does the livret de famille always stay with the woman on divorce? How would that work with same sex couples? @vero

No idea, presumably they decide who gets it or they get one each. It is a useful document :grinning:

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Thank you for your response.

The ‘Livret de Famille’ was issued by the Consulat General de France in San Francisco and, on pages 4 and 5, is the “Extrait de l’Acte de Mariage”, which shows when and where we were married, our names, birthplaces and birthdates, and the birth names of our parents. And it was signed and stamped by the Consulat Generale.

I assume that that will be sufficient, and not require a marriage certificate translation.

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From experience I believe that it will suffice Peter and wish you all the best.

Thank you Damian.

It is as valid as the original certificate.

Hi Stella,

We are slowly making progress toward our move, thanks for asking. I was hoping we would be closer by now, but will be happy if we can make it happen sometime next year.
I am more anxious and Chantal more patient. She practices yoga and sleeps much better at night than I do.

Thank you Veronique.

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Hi Stella - When Flo and I got married in Austria, we had to send a copy of our Austrian marriage certificate to the French Embassy in Vienna and it was they who prepared the Livret and sent it to our home in the UK, It has both mine and Florence’s details within.

you lucky people… I know my aunt (who lived with G’ma) had a huge bonfire and thus so many documents will never be found :cry:

we are in the process of applying for DH’s CNF and we had to get a recent copy of our marriage cert (I think so that they could check we haven’t been divorced) but that is the firs time in nearly 20 years I’ve been asked for it here. Mind you I don’t remember being asked to look at it in my LdF either!