About Local Register Offices
Local register offices are local state administrative authorities. There are 11 local register offices in Finland. The operational area of each local register office is comprised of one or more jurisdictional districts. In addition, the local register offices have a number of service units in order to ensure that its services are as available to the public as possible. The offices provide also national consumer advisory services since 2009.
Part of the local register offices operate as departments of jurisdictional districts and some as their own separate bureaux. In the Åland Islands, the county government is responsible for carrying out the same tasks.
Local register offices assignments
The local register offices are responsible for maintaining their regional Population Information System and their local information services, as well as for acting as both the local authority handling Trade Register and the Register of Associations matters and the guardianship authority. Other services offered by the local register offices include the maintenance of the boat register, notary public services, the investigation of impediments to marriage and performances of civil marriages, name changes and the confirmation of the list of parties to estate inventories.
In terms of population bookkeeping, the history of the tasks carried out by the local register offices extends back to the year 1544, when a local organisation responsible for the drafting of a population register was established. An annual census has been carried out in Finland since 1634. The Trade Register has been handled since 1895, and the Register of Associations since 1919. District registrars have acted as notary publics since 1961, and as marrying authorities since 1969. The most recently assigned tasks are the boat register and guardianship functions in 1999.