For professional assistance & information on legal & business matters regarding Mexico and Latin America, please contact:
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Please contact us at our Mexico offices located at:
Apartado Postal No. 9
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
TEL. US.: (800) 856-5709
Local Phone (415) 152-3648
|OUR MEXICO CITY OFFICES
Montecito no. 38 Piso 37 Oficina 37
Edificio World Trade Center
Colonia Napolis C.P. 03810
Mexico, Distrito Federal
MARRIAGE IN MEXICO
Congratulations on your engagement! Here's what you need to know to make the marriage legal in the Federal District of Mexico City.
The following are the requirements for marriage in the Federal District (Mexico City). However, marriage requirements prevailing in the thirty-one states of Mexico are in general very similar to those of the Federal District.
Consent: People under the age of 18 may not get married in Mexico without parental consent. With parental consent, boys have to be at least 16 and girls need to be at least 14 years of age.
Foreigners Getting Married to Foreigners: You don't need to be resident in Mexico in order to get married there, you'll just need a passport and your tourist permit, plus some other paperwork (see below). If you plan to get married to a Mexican in Mexico, you will need additional documentation.
Required Legal Documents
An American or other foreigner wishing to be married in Mexico must present to the appropriate Civil Registry certain documents described in the paragraphs below. All documents from the U.S., except for the valid U.S. passport, must be authenticated by an American authority (usually the Secretary of State), from the state where they originated, who attaches an "Apostille" to the documents listed below.
Foreign documents listed below (with the exception of your passport) will need
The Marriage Process
In Mexico, only civil marriage is recognized as legal. Persons wishing to
do so may also have a religious ceremony, but it has no legal effect and does
not replace in any way the legal binding civil marriage. A civil wedding in
Mexico is fully valid for legal purpose in the U.S.
Civil marriages are performed by the Civil Registry of each municipality
(Registro Civil). The address of the main office of Mexico City's Civil Registry
Oficina del Registro Civil
Arcos de Belen y Doctor Andrade
06720 Mexico, D.F.
tel. (011-52-5) 578-7140
Marriages are performed without charge at the premises of the "Registro
Civil". They may also be performed elsewhere, but in this case a fee is
charged which should be ascertained from the "Registro Civil".
Foreigners are not subject to a residence requirement but will have to
identify themselves by a presentation of their tourist cards and of a valid
passport and a copy of their birth certificates authenticated and translated as
described above. Foreigners planning to marry a Mexican citizen should pay
particular attention to the special requirements listed in paragraph below.
Persons previously married must present proof of the termination of that
marriage in the form of a divorce decree or death certificate. If the divorce or
death took place outside of Mexico, it must be authenticated and translated into
Spanish. Divorced people cannot marry in Mexico until one year after the
termination of the divorce.
If either party is widowed, the death certificate of the deceased spouse
will be needed as part of the documentation requirements.
If you plan to marry a Mexican National in Mexico, you'll need to fulfil some additional requirements:
In addition to all of the above documentation, you will need to
obtain permission from the "Secretaria de Gobernacion - Oficina de
Migracion" where for a fee of around US$200/£130 you'll need to acquire a
permit to marry a Mexican national. The document is known as "Permiso para
contraer matrimonio con un nacional".
The office issuing this permit must be the same office that has
jurisdiction over the area where the marriage is to take place - so check
This process can take from two days to two weeks, depending on the State
and the people at the local government office: be prepared to be patient if you
have to! Foreigners wishing to marry a Mexican citizen must first obtain
permission to do so from the "Instituto Nacional de Migración"
Secretaria de Gobernación (Ministry of Interior).
You will need to pay your Marriage License fee (approx £20/US$30*),
allow the waiting period to go by (anything from 30 minutes to a few
days, depending on the State), and then the ceremony can take place and the
marriage will be legal.
The least expensive option is to have the ceremony performed at the Local
Registry Office. For a further fee, you can arrange for the ceremony to take
place elsewhere (hotel, beach, colonial mansion, etc). You will need to make
further arrangements with all parties involved, or instruct your Wedding Planner
to arrange this on your behalf.
Once the civil ceremony has been completed, you will need to obtain a
certified copy of the marriage certificate (Acta de Matrimonio). This will prove
that you have been legally wed in accordance with Mexican law, and the marriage
will be recognised just about everywhere in the world where it can be, including
the USA, Canada, United Kingdom / EU.
Word is, that local authorities in Cancun are charging foreigners a
disproportionate fee of US$600 (£420) for a permit to get married there (locals
pay around US$30/£20).
Church Weddings: Are very difficult to arrange here for a variety of reasons, Firstly, the Mexican government recognizes only civil weddings; Secondly, the Roman Catholic Church (which predominates in this country)requires compliance with many formalities, which have proven be cumbersome in most cases. The civil judge, however, has no problem with a minister or lay person being present and speaking at the ceremony, on several occasions, protestant ministers (usually Presbyterian) have read from the bible, etc.
If you would like to get married in a church in Mexico, this can be arranged, although additional planning and fees will be required.