Ticket for a tutor, Address Forwarding Agency and My Documents: the evolution of the public services system in Moscow

October 26, 2019
Social sector

On 15 October, the address enquiry service celebrated its 210th anniversary. The history of the agency began in the 19th century. Today, Muscovites can get more than 260 public services at My Documents offices. 

The centres have been opened in every Moscow district, so residents do not need to spend much time on paperwork, they can do everything in one place at a convenient time. But things used to be different before. The Main Archive Department of Moscow tells how the system of public service in Russia evolved, why citizens were given tickets and what was the duty of janitors in the 19th century.

Address offices and residence tickets 

By the Supreme Decree of Emperor Alexander I of 15 October 1809, address offices were established in both capitals of the Russian Empire — Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Main Archive Department of Moscow has a Complete Collection of Russian Empire laws for 1808-1809. The edition of 1830 contains a provision for address offices in capitals, regulating the agency's activities.

Address offices were opened at special police departments that registered all people who came to work in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and gave them tickets as a confirmation of their legal stay in the city. In Moscow, this service was under the direct supervision of the military Governor General. Those who received tickets were divided into two 'branches': the first branch included children's teachers, tutors and governesses, nannies and foster nurses. The second branch were valets, coachmen, janitors, cooks, kitchen maids, laundresses and housekeepers.

To obtain a ticket, one had to pay a fee to the office's Treasury Department: 10 roubles for men from the first branch, and 5 roubles for women; men and women belonging to the second branch had to pay 3 and 1 roubles respectively. Those who hired people without a ticket were fined: 2 roubles a day in Moscow, and 5 roubles in St. Petersburg.

The Archive Department has the original of one of the address tickets of that time. The document was issued on 18 October 1837 by the address office of Moscow to a house serf Nikita Andreyev. This ticket entitled him to live in the city and serve Mrs. Likharyova.

Address ticket (identity card) of Mrs. Likharyova's house serf Nikita Andreyev (required to live and work in Moscow). Issued on 18 October 1837 by the Moscow Address Office. Original document. List of photographic documents related to the topic 'Address Enquiry Service'

Address enquiry office, state-owned property and specific features of janitors' job

In 1839, the office was transformed into the Address Forwarding Agency. It had an address enquiry office in St. Petersburg 'to provide the necessary information about the place of residence of a person staying in the capital'. A similar address enquiry office opened in Moscow, too, when on 22 May 1861 the provision on its establishment was confirmed.

To provide full information to the address office, the police offices of the quarters (later precincts) collected information about the addresses of all those living or staying in Moscow, as well as the addresses and owners of all Moscow real estate, including state, court, city, church and private real estate.

This information was submitted to the police offices by house owners or managers, and janitors. Quarter guards (later district officers) were in charge of the information's accuracy. This was facilitated by the mandatory registration of persons newly arriving in Moscow with police stations. Address offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow existed until 1888.

Address enquiry departments

Address enquiry units revived after the October Revolution of 1917. On 4 May 1923, there was a provision issued 'On Address Bureaus and Address Offices in the RSFSR’. Address offices were established at police departments for registration of the city population and issuing address certificates to the institutions and private persons.

Mosgorspravka officers at work, Moscow enquiry and information office. Photo by V. Gende-Rote. Moscow, December 1962. Main Archive Department of Moscow

Address bureaus were part of divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Central Internal Affairs Directorate, Departments of Internal Affairs of RSFSR entities and Departments of Internal Affairs of large municipalities. During reorganisation of the Federal Migration Service as part of its territorial divisions, there were address enquiry departments opened to become address bureaus' successors.

My Documents centres

Today, it is enough for people who come to Moscow to live and work to come to the district My Documents centre at the place of residence or stay. Russians will need to register at the place of residence or stay. Foreign citizens and stateless persons have to obtain migration registration, with presence of the host party required. My Documents specialists will accept documents and advise on registering necessary services. No state fees required for registration.

The procedure for entering information about real estate facilities and their owners has also changed: now the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography and the Federal Cadastral Chamber are in charge of these functions. However, My Documents staff are also there to help in such cases. You can submit documents for registration or transfer of the property title and for state cadastral registration of facilities located Moscow, extraterritorially. At the Public Services Palace at VDNKh, individuals can register title to facilities located in any Russian region.

Public services centres are open daily 08:00 am till 08:00 pm. My Documents flagship offices and the Public Services Palace at VDNKh are open 10:00 am till 10:00 pm.

You can print a document or make a copy, take a photo, pay a fee in any of the centres. During one visit, you can obtain several necessary documents or apply for a large variety of services. After all the changes, the total number of services provided by centres has reached 260.

Every week, My Documents offices offer free master classes and seminars for everyone. For example, senior citizens attending computer classes are told about the capabilities of mos.ru portal and helped with registration. Specialists show how to submit meter readings and make an appointment in the public services centres.

Besides, here you can join the Moscow Longevity project to attend free sports, educational and handicraft classes.

Source: mos.ru

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