In July 2012, the Lithuanian Government decided to simplify the civil status registration procedures that involve the issuance of paper-based birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates.
Currently, in order to apply for social and health care or other services, authorities typically ask individuals to provide them with an official paper of their civil status. For example, in order to receive a lump-sum grant for a child’s birth, individuals may need to provide the child's birth certificate; similarly, for a funeral, they need to provide a death certificate. The Minister of Justice, Mr Remigijus Šimašius said that all the decision-making institutions, which would require information about a person's civil status, will be able to obtain data directly from the Population Registry.
He said: "All the information about the civil status of individuals is stored in the registers, but for some reason authorities still ask people to provide paper documents. In the age of information technology, this kind of bureaucracy that costs time and money is not justified. People should not play the role of a postman, transferring a document from one public institution to another."
The Ministry of Justice will prepare amendments to the laws providing all information about a person's birth, death, divorce and other civil status directly from the civil registration office of electronic systems, thus avoiding any involvement with such public services as courts, notaries and health services. For example, court decisions about granting a divorce, establishing paternity or recognising notarial acts, medical records or birth and death certificates will be made available online. Therefore, there is no need to transfer documents from one institution to another, as people will only be required to go to the civil registry office if they want to get married or register the birth of a child (lodge a birth registration statement in the child's name).
According to the Minister of Justice, this new procedure will save individuals about 100 000 visits to public institutions a year. Additionally, it is estimated that people will save about LTL 300 000 (approx. €86 000) a year that were to be paid by the civil registry office for these services. Moreover, about LTL 200 000 (approx. €57 000) will be allocated to the Population Register, which will be used to upgrade electronic data; other public institutions have adapted and built up information systems capabilities.
In addition to these changes, individuals will be able to contact any civil registration office and not necessarily the one located at their place of residence, as is currently the case. Thus, for example, individuals will apply directly to any of the civil registration offices they want to get married.
To reduce the administrative burden for citizens and simplify the bureaucratic procedures, a draft law has been examined along with other civil status registration acts. These amendments were incorporated into the civil registration bill and other laws. They have been accepted by the Government and will soon be submitted to the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) for further consideration. More information about these amendments can be found online.