What is STEP?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Benefits of Enrolling in STEP
Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Stay Safe!
The Department of State recommends that American Citizens enroll with the Embassy before they start foreign travel in order to facilitate communication and assistance in case of an emergency. U.S. citizens may sign up at: https://step.state.gov/ .
Please send an email to the Consular Section at ChisinauACS@state.gov if your travel plans change after you enroll, or if you have any questions.
Criminal Records Request
U.S. citizens or others who have resided in the United States may be asked to present a “certificate of good conduct” or “lack of a U.S. criminal record.”
The U.S. Embassy cannot issue an affidavit of no outstanding U.S. criminal warrant or no criminal history. This affidavit is not sufficient to satisfy the legal requirements of a criminal background check in Moldova. All U.S. citizens who need this service will need to obtain a U.S. police certificate, as explained below. Note that it is much easier to obtain this report while you are in the United States and it is recommended that anyone seeking residency or who may need a criminal background check, do so before arriving in Moldova, if possible.
U.S. citizens who need criminal reports from the United States should review the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks. You can also check with your U.S. state of residence on obtaining a certificate from that state.
The FBI requires fingerprints to obtain a criminal records check. Fingerprints can be recorded electronically in the United States, at a participating U.S. post office or FBI-approved business (channeler). Ink fingerprints can be mailed to the FBI. Please note that U.S. embassies and consulates abroad do not provide any fingerprinting services.
If living in Moldova, a fingerprint card can be printed from the FBI website (on appropriate card stock). Fingerprints can then be ink printed on the card at:
Police Inspectorate Forensics lab (free of charge)
Address: Str-la Putna (V. Komarov) nr. 10, Unitatea de Garda, Chisinau, Moldova
Tel: (+373) 22 868-222
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday (closed 12:00 to 13:00 for lunch)
Note: Applicants must bring a valid passport as proof of identity. Your fingerprints will become part of the Moldovan national fingerprint database.
NOTE: The Bureau for Migration and Asylum will not accept a U.S. police certificate without a Hague apostille. To obtain an apostille on an FBI Criminal Background Check, see the information on the U.S. Department of State website. For State/local police background checks, please refer to the appropriate authority in the State that issued the document. More information is available here. The U.S. Embassy does not issue apostilles.
If you have questions about this process, please contact us: ChisinauACS@state.gov
Converting U.S. Driver’s License for Use in Moldova
Please be advised that U.S. Consular Officers are not authorized to confirm the authenticity of a driver’s license issued in the United States in order to fulfill a request from the Moldovan Department of Motor Vehicles.
Only the issuing state can certify a driver’s license.
You must obtain a letter/certification from the issuing state.
Once the certification has been obtained, it should be submitted “Competent Authority” of the issuing state for an apostille in order for the document to be valid in Moldova.
We recommend that U.S. Citizens contact the DMV in the state that issued their driver’s license for such requests. A helpful website is www.dmv.org. Please note that this website is not endorsed in any way by the Department of State.
Renewing Driver’s License
Please contact the DMV in the State that issued your driver’s license. The U.S. Embassy cannot assist with renewing driver’s licenses issued in the United States.
Getting Married in Moldova
The Government of Moldova only legally recognizes civil marriage ceremonies that are performed in the City Hall in the area where the Moldovan citizen resides. Many couples also choose to hold a religious ceremony after the completion of the civil ceremony. The documents listed below are needed by the Marriage Offices in Moldova to authorize marriage to a Moldovan citizen:
Documents required of a U.S. citizen to marry a Moldovan citizen in Moldova:
Note: All public documents issued or obtained in the U.S. must be authenticated for use in Moldova with an Apostille certificate.
- Original birth certificate or certified copy of the birth certificate. U.S. birth certificates, authenticated with an Apostille as mentioned above, and a Romanian translation of the birth certificate obtained from a Moldovan Notary Public’s office.
- Notarized statement that the American citizen is free to marry. This statement can be obtained at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau. Please complete the statement (Microsoft Word 19 KB) and bring it to your appointment. To make an appointment for a notarial service click here. The fee is 50.00 USD and your U.S. passport must be presented when signing the affidavit.
- Proof of termination of any previous marriages. Original or certified copy, with a translation in Romanian, if necessary (i.e. Divorce/Annulment Decree, Death Certificate). These will require an Apostille if issued in the United States.
- ID documents of the future spouse. (passport)
- Marriage application with addendum or annex provided by Marriage Office.
For more information about marriage in Moldova please see Agency of Public Services
Extended Stay in Moldova
U.S. citizens who would like to stay in the Republic of Moldova for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit. The residence permit may be obtained at the Bureau for Migration and Asylum offices located at the following locations:
124 Stefan cel Mare Blvd., Chisinau
12 Dostoevschi Street, Balti
22 Comsomolului Street, Comrat
79 Ioan Voda cel Cumplit Street, Cahul
Information on the application process can be found on the Bureau for Migration and Asylum website. The application for a residence permit must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your legal stay in the Republic of Moldova.
If you already have a Moldovan residence permit, you must notify the Bureau for Migration and Asylum about any address change within 15 days. Failure to report your change of address may result in fines.
Note: If you apply for a Moldovan residence permit, you will need to supply a police certificate from countries of previous residence. All public documents issued or obtained in the United States must be authenticated for use in Moldova with an apostille certificate. See the information above on a U.S. criminal records request.
Obtain Vital Records or Moldovan Civil Documents
The Embassy in Chisinau keeps no files of the different documents we issue, such as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or documents dealing with the death of an American in Moldova. These records are maintained in Washington. We also do not keep any files of Moldovan civil documents, such as records of marriages and divorces in Moldova. These records are held by the local government. Other records, such as birth certificates for people born in the U.S., are available only through the state of origin.
The Embassy cannot obtain documents on your behalf, and cannot provide translations of documents issued in Romanian.
Documents that Must Be Ordered from the Department of State in Washington
A document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of the birth abroad of a child acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth through one or both parents. This record, also known as an FS-240, along with the Certification of Birth, DS-1350, are acceptable as proof of birth and U.S. citizenship for all legal purposes.
This is a document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of the death abroad of an American citizen. The document is based upon the local death certificate.
Requests for copies of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (FS-240 & DS-1350), Consular Report of Death Abroad (DS-2060, Formerly OF-180), Certificates of Witness to Marriage, and death certificates must be notarized. The request must include a copy of a valid photo identification of the requester (driver’s license, passport, etc.).
The written request must be notarized, which can be done at no charge at the American Embassy in Chisinau. Click here for more information.
Documents That Must Be Obtained From a U.S. State
Vital records are documents such as birth, death, or marriage certificates. In the U.S., such records are usually held by state, county, or city governments, depending on location.
Go to http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm for more information about obtaining vital records in the U.S., such as birth certificates.
There are also on-line services that will help you obtain records for a fee. One such service is VitalChek, http://www.vitalchek.com/ and 800-255-2414, which allows you to request birth, death, and marriage certifications online, by phone, or by fax.
Another service https://www.usbirthcertificate.net/ can help you obtain or amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, in addition to obtaining a birth certificate. You must have a physical street address to use this service (no APO’s, FPO’s, or PO Boxes).
Moldovan Civil Documents
The Embassy cannot obtain Moldovan civil documents on behalf of private citizens, nor can we provide translation services. If you wish assistance in the filing process, please refer to our lists of local attorneys who can communicate in English.
If your child was born in a U.S. military hospital, they may have a record of his/her birth. Unfortunately, the Embassy does not have access to any of those records.
There is no central office for vital records in Moldova. To obtain copies of birth, marriage, divorce, or death records, write to the Civil Registration District Office in the Town Hall where the event occurred. Current registration of vital records is considered comprehensive. Prices vary by document and district.
Police Clearances/Criminal Records Checks
These checks cannot be obtained from the American Embassy in Chisinau. Instead, please contact the relevant Police Authority.