TN 31 (08-05)

GN 00307.669 Mexican Vital Statistics Records

A. Background

1. Public Vital Statistics Records

Public vital statistics records are maintained at both State and local levels. Events are registered first at the local level and each year copies are sent to the State Archives. In the past, the registers were copied by hand. Now, a multi-copy registration form, one copy of which is designated for the State Archives, is used. State Archives registers are (except as noted in GN 00307.673) copies of the original records made at local level.

Compliance in sending copies to the State Archives varies. In some places, records exist on the local level but not at the State level. Records can also exist at State level even though those at local level have been destroyed by fire, revolution or other disasters.

In some areas, there is also a “distrito” or judicial recordkeeping level. This office may have copies (handwritten or carbon) of registers or the original records where a civil registry office no longer exists. FSPs check this source when available.

NOTE: Spanish is the official language of Mexico. Public and virtually all religious certificates are issued in Spanish.

2. Types of Registers

State laws provide for the maintenance of up to seven different types of registers. These can be kept as separate registers or combined and are as follows:

  1. Births and Acknowledgement of Children

  2. Marriages — Civil marriages are entered in these registers as they are performed. Religious marriages are not recorded here since they are not legally valid in Mexico.

  3. Adoptions — Entries are based on certified copies of adoption decrees which, in most States, must be filed with the local civil authorities within 8 days of the adoption. Failure to register an adoption timely enables the authorities to charge a late registration fee but does not invalidate the adoption.

  4. Divorce — Entries are based on certified copies of divorce decrees which judges must file with the local civil authorities for registration. (If marriage was in another locality, a copy is also sent to that local civil registry.) Some courts let litigants take these copies to the registry. Some registrars attach the copies to a divorce register entry; some add a marginal note to marriage record; some attach the copy to the marriage record.

  5. Guardianship and Emancipation

  6. Deaths

  7. Presumed Deaths

3. Reliability of Birth Certificates

Birth certificates issued by State Archives and religious authorities are generally reliable. Certificates issued by local civil registry officials are less reliable.

B. Policy

1. Birth Records

a. Local Civil Records

See GN 00307.671 and GN 00307.673.

b. State Archives Records

SSA accepts certificates issued by State Archives officials or Jefe de la Oficina del Registro Civil del Distrito Federal in Mexico City at face value, except as provided in GN 00307.673.

See GN 00307.674 for guides on identifying certificates issued by State Archives officials.

c. Baptismal Records

SSA accepts baptismal records at face value, except as provided in GN 00307.673.

NOTE: Authentication stamps or certifications on religious records by public officials do not affirm the document's contents or mean the information agrees with that in the civil records. They attest only to the identity, and sometimes signature, of the church official.

2. Marriage Records

SSA assumes a civil marriage record from Mexico was based on a record established at or near date of marriage.

3. Adoption Records

SSA accepts at face value properly certified copies of adoption decrees and certificates based on entries in local or State Archives adoption registers.

4. Divorce

SSA accepts certified copies of divorce decrees and certificates based on local or State divorce or marriage registers as evidence of divorce proceedings.

NOTE: Whether a divorce is valid for Social Security purposes depends on the individual case and the applicable law.