Amendment to the Registry Act: Embracing Partnership Equality

Amendment to the Registry Act to Facilitate the Conclusion of Registered Partnership

Registered partnerships can currently only be concluded in 14 locations in the Czech Republic. Only the Prague 1 City Hall has the authority to perform these registrations in Prague. However, a new amendment to the Registry Act may soon change this situation.

In addition to allowing registered partnerships to be entered into before any registry office, the amendment also introduces establishing a registry information system, determining paternity through a tripartite agreement at the registry office, and strengthening children’s rights in decisions regarding changes to their names. The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic provided information about these changes on its website.

The main change will be introducing the centralized registry information system, eMatrika. This system will be connected to other public administration information systems and used by all registry offices and designated diplomatic missions abroad.

“This new modern electronic information system will streamline the registry agenda and reduce administrative burdens for both registry officials and citizens who need data from the registries,” said Vít Rakušan, Minister of the Interior (STAN).

The new system will bring several advantages. For example, anyone can obtain a birth certificate from any registry, and registry documents will exist electronically. It will be possible to get an exact extract from the registry book, use a name in a different form, or obtain a certificate for a church wedding electronically. The eMatrika system is expected to be operational by January 1, 2027.

The need to travel to specific registry offices to conclude a registered partnership will become a thing of the past. Individuals interested in entering a registered partnership will no longer have to travel long distances but can do so at any registry office. This change is the first step towards eliminating disadvantages faced by the LGBTQ+ community and other individuals.

“We want to make life easier for these people and eliminate unnecessary complications. This amendment will allow partners to enter into a partnership without having to travel to the regional capital but instead be able to do so in the municipality where they reside,” explained Vít Rakušan.

The declaration of entering into a partnership will now be possible at any suitable place within the administrative district of the respective registry office. This applies to both registered partnerships and traditional weddings.

Last year, there were over 46,000 weddings in the Czech Republic, with 5,704 in the capital city. The number of registered partnerships in the country was 315.

For example, in the sixth municipal district, 425 couples decided to marry last year, according to the district’s website. Among them, 359 were civil weddings, and 76 were church weddings. Most weddings traditionally took place during the summer, around 50 to 70 per month, compared to 15 to 20 during the winter. The most popular months for weddings were June, August, and September. Half of the couples in the district chose to say “I do” at the Glass Palace.

The number of foreigners getting married in Prague 6 is also increasing. In 13% of cases, one of the partners is a foreigner, and in 17% of cases, both partners are foreigners. Among the 30 countries of origin for the newlyweds are Japan, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Guatemala, the Republic of the Congo, and Namibia.

The amendment to the Registry Act also brings changes in family law. It will now be possible to determine paternity not only through a court but also through the registry office based on a tripartite agreement, which includes the consent of the mother, her husband (who is not the father), and the biological father.

Children’s rights in decisions regarding name changes will also be strengthened. The current age limit requiring their consent will be reduced from 15 to 12 years. It will also be possible to enter diminutive or familiar names into the registry book.

The proposed law aims to implement these changes as of January 1, 2024.