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CABINET OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA

22 August, 2000, RigaRegulations No. 295

Regulations on Spelling and Identification of Names and Family Names

Issued according to Part 3, Article 19
of the State Language law

1. These Regulations establish the procedure how personal name and family name shall be spelled and used in the Latvian language as well as spelled and identified in documents.

2. The goal of these Regulations is to ensure conformity of the spelling of a name and family name to the valid codified norms of spelling personal names and to protect a person against unfounded transformation of his/her name and family name, as well as against a refusal of an institution to acknowledge the fact of ownership of such a document to this person, where his/her name and family name are spelled different than in the person's documents, issued before or after.

3. When spelling and using name and family name in the Latvian language the following basic rules shall be observed in records:

3.1. A person's name (names) and family name (double family name) are the personal names that shall be written in Latvian language in the basic documents;
3.2. name and family shall be spelled according to the spelling norms of the Latvian language and Latvian alphabet letters;
3.3. every name and family name shall have an ending corresponding to the Latvian language grammatical system in masculine or feminine gender according to the person's gender (except common gender family forms with the feminine endings for person's of both genders);
3.4. Indeclinable in the Latvian language are names and family names of foreign origin ending with – ?, -?, -i, -?, -o, -u, -?.

4. Foreign names and family names shall be spelled in the Latvian language (expressed with Latvian language sounds and letters) as close as possible to their pronunciation in the original language and according to the rules for spelling foreign proper nouns as well as the norms given in Article 3 of these Regulations.

5. If a new personal document is issued based on the civil status registry certificate, issued on the territory of Latvia, it shall be spelled in the state language.

6. The institution that issues or reissues a personal document, spells the name and family name according to the requirements stipulated by Articles 3 and 4 of these Regulations, in case of necessity performing equalisation – matching the form of the name and family name to the valid language norms (hereafter equalisation). Equalisation is not a change of a name and family name. The institution that performed equalisation shall inform the Residents Register about it within 7 days.

7. Equalisation and reproduction of the form of name or family name shall be performed by:

7.1. local government registry offices (if equalisation has not been performed in the passport) – by making a record in the civil status register, as well as reissuing registry certificates, based on former records;
7.2. the Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs – issuing new personal basic documents (if equalisation has not been performed in the civil status registry certificate);
7.3. diplomatic and consular representatives of the Republic of Latvia abroad issuing personal basic documents;

8. If a person wishes and produces documents verifying the historic or original form of his/her surname:

8.1. institutions, named in Articles 7.2 and 7.3 of these Regulations, indicate in the documents in a certain place the historic form of this person's family name, the original form or the transliterated (replaced letter by letter from other alphabets’ spelling) form in Latin alphabet writing;
8.2. institutions mentioned in Article 7.1 of these Regulations enter additionally in documents testifying civil status registration in the column ®family name, name” the historic form of the name or family name, the original form or the transliterated form in Latin alphabet writing according to the record in the person's documents.

9. In documents that are not mentioned in Paragraph 8 personal names are written in Latvian, but the original, historic or transliterated form in Latin alphabet writing is additionally entered upon the person's request.

10. The form of the personal name written in Latvian is legally identical to the original form, transliterated form or historic form of the personal name in Latin alphabet writing.

11. The institution does not have the right to question the ownership of person's name/names and/or family name recorded in different documents to one and the same person if the name and family name is recorded in the documents with the following differences:

11.1. the name and family name is recorded according to the Latvian language grammar and spelling rules of different periods of time: 11.1.1. in one document name or family name is used with an ending, in the other without an ending;
11.1.2. in every document the name or family name has an ending of a different declension;
11.1.3. in each document the name or family name is recorded in different orthography;

11.2. in one document the name or family name is spelled according to dialectical peculiarities, in the other – in the literary language;
11.3. in one document the person's name or family name is in a different case form than in the other;
11.4. in one document the name or family name is recorded in another language but in the other – in Latvian;
11.5. in one document two or more names are entered while in the other document according to the legal norms effective at the moment of issuing the document only one name is kept;
11.6. in each document name or family name is recorded according to different principles of spelling foreign proper nouns.

12. In official copies and extracts names and family names shall be written as in the original document.

13. Should the spelling of a person's name and family name not be regulated by these regulations, the conclusion made by the State Language Centre on how the name and family name of this person shall be spelled in the state language, is binding for the institutions mentioned in paragraph 7 of these regulations .

14. If the spelling of a person's name or family name offends vital personal interests, the person may turn to the State Language Centre with a request to reproduce the personal name in the state language in a form less offending to this person's interests. The decision of the State Language Centre on how this person's name and family name shall be spelled in the state language is binding to the institutions mentioned in paragraph 7 of these regulations.

15. Should an error be stated in a person's document due to the fault of an institution mentioned in Article 7, this institution shall correct it and issue a new document upon the person's request.

16. Regulations enter into effect September 1, 2000.

Prime MinisterA. Berzins
Justice MinisterI. Labucka.



Source: Unofficial translation


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