Civil registry adopts electronic methods and dumps books

Another long tradition based on paper has given way to modern methods.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, which maintains birth, death and marriage records in its Registro del Estado Civil, said these records have been electronic since Aug. 16.

The purpose is to optimize resources and save paper, the tribunal said. The agency also said that it was applying a new law that requires an agency to reduce excess requirements.

Right now the tribunal has 8,500 paper volumes developed
since 1888. The agency said this takes up a lot of space. Spanish and Latin American civil agencies were great creators of books. And citizens would have to sign the books for any number of actions.

The electronic status also will allow the Registro Civil to keep track of citizens. Unlike in the United States, the Registro keeps a running list of the life and marital status of citizens. That is not possible up north where someone may be married in one state and divorced in another.

The Registro also issues documents that attest to the marital status of a citizen. This also is the agency that issues cédulas, so each citizen has a unique identification number.

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