Preparing for Registration of a PACS

Information on which documents you need to register a PACS, where to send them and how to register...

Registration is made through a common declaration at the local magistrates' court (Tribunal d'Instance, TI) in the area of residence. A PACS certificate (convention) can be drawn up with the help of a notaire, particularly if the couple wish to establish additional terms of the agreement with regards to property ownership and inheritance.

  • Find the relevant local TI by entering a postcode in the search box

Documents required by both

These documents are required by both members of the couple being "pacser":

  • A convention (a PACS contract; this must be in French). This is a document that must state that the partners have entered into an agreement governed by the Law No 99-944 of November 15 1999
  • Proof of identity
  • Copy of the birth certificate (acte de naissance ou extrait avec filiation) issued no more than three months prior (foreigners birth certificates must have been issued no more than 6 months prior)
  • A sworn statement that a PACS can be legally entered into, that there is no kinship or alliance through marriage or PACS preventing the conclusion of this PACS agreement (Attestation sur l'honneur)
  • A sworn statement that the partners have a common residence in the area of registration

Other documents:

  • Widowhood: must provide details of the deceased partner (birth and death certificates)
  • Divorcees: must present a copy of the divorce decree
  • Prior PACS: must provide proof of dissolution

Note: Courts may demand that these documents be recently issued copies no more than six months old - it is strongly recommended to find out if this applies before starting the process.

Foreigners are required to provide further documents

  1. A Certificat de non pacte civil de solidarité, issued by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris. Foreigners or people born outside of France must provide this proving that they are not already bound by a PACS agreement. The request form (cerfa n°12819*04) can be obtained at the Tribunal de Grande Instance or downloaded and posted along with copies of personal documents.
    • Download the request form cerfa n°12819*04
    • Contact details and information on where to send (adresse postale) or hand in (accueil du public) the applicaiton (in French)
  2. A Certificat de coutume. This is a document issued by the foreigner's consul's office in France; it serves to prove their nationality, legal capacity, legal adult age and declare that they are legally single (neither married nor holding a partnership agreement issued in another country)
  3. An Attestation de non inscription au répertoire civil is required if the foreigner has been resident in France for over one year. This can be requested by email or in writing from:
    • Ministère en charge des affaires étrangères - Service central de l'état civil
      11, rue de la Maison-Blanche
      44941 Nantes cedex 09
      Fax: 02 51 77 36 99

Further information regarding these and other documents that may be required from a specific magisterial district is available from the local magistrates' court. All foreign documents and certificates should be translated into French by an official court translator.

  • More information on PACS from Service Public

How to Register a PACS

Once the documents have been verified by the local court, the declaration is registered by a court official (greffier). A copy of this declaration is sent to the Tribunal d'Instance of the place of birth of both partners. If one or both partners were born abroad a copy is sent to the Tribunal d'Instance in Paris. Both partners then receive an original copy of their PACS agreement, stamped and dated by the greffier. From the moment that the PACS is entered into the register the legal effects as provided by law come into play.

The partners also receive a document stating the name, address, place and date of birth of each partner and the date the PACS agreement was registered. This document is used to prove the existence of a PACS. Copies of this document can be obtained from the Tribunal d'Instance of the place of birth, or from the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris for those born abroad.