a Mexican marriage legal?
Absolutely! Getting married
in Mexico is as legal as getting married at home,
it's just a lot more romantic! However, you need
to know the local laws and regulations to ensure
your Mexican marriage is legally recognized in
Mexico and other countries. But don't panic, Vallarta
can help guide you through the paperwork.
There are several
types of ceremonies that can be performed, but
only the civil ceremony is legally recognized.
You don't have to have a religious ceremony, but
if you choose to do so, you must first have a
civil ceremony or the marriage will not be legal.
The Civil Ceremony
(Matrimonio Civil) is performed by a civil judge
or justice of the peace of the Registro Civil
office in the local jurisdiction for your wedding.
It can be performed anywhere in the judge's jurisdiction.
After the ceremony, the judge's office will issue
a marriage certificate (Acta de Matrimonio) which
is recognized by the Mexican government as well
as the governments in most countries. You should
also have your certificate "legalized"
in Mexico. This is the reverse process of having
your documents legalized by the necessary authorities
for your marriage in Mexico.
Mexican law requires
you choose which type of union you want -
Society - Whereby everything both parties bring
to the marriage, as well as what they accumulate
after the marriage, is split 50/50 upon dissolution
of the marriage
Separation of Goods
- Whereby everything you bring into the marriage
remains yours and everything your partner brings
into remains theirs. Everything accumulated after
the marriage is split 50/50 upon dissolution of
the marriage. This is similar to a prenuptial
The following documentation is required if you
wish to be married legally in Mexico. All documents
must be translated into Spanish. Original documents
will need to be notarized by your nearest Mexican
Consulate and "legalized" in the country
where you reside.
- The legalization
process differs by country of citizenship. Your
wedding consultant can advise you how to get
it done in the country where you reside.
- Original birth
certificate (or certified copies) with attached
- Copies (2) of
valid driver's licenses
- Mandatory Prenuptial
Video Briefing and Certificate of Atendance*
(Required in the State of Jalisco (Puerto Vallarta)
but not the State of Nayarit (Nuevo Vallarta))
- If divorced,
the original or certified copy of your divorce
decree with attached annotation
- If widowed, the
death certificate of the deceased spouse
- Blood tests with
doctor's health certificate (must be done in
Mexico 2 to 3 days prior to wedding date)
- Copies (2) of
- Copies (2) of
tourist cards (issued upon arrival in Mexico)
- Witnesses (4)
- 2 each for bride and groom. Witnesses may
not be parents or grandparents of the bride
or groom. If witnesses are not available, they
will be provided for you by your wedding coordinator.
- Witnesses must
provide copies (2) of either a passport or original
or certified copy of their birth certificate,
tourist card and driver's license
- Marriage application
forms will be provided by your wedding consultant
with a translation into English. The license
fee is approximately $30 USD. There is no waiting
period in Jalisco or Nayarit.
* Effective 3/1/2002
Prenuptial Briefing is mandatory for all couples,
both Mexican and foreign, wishing to be married
in Mexico. Presentation video is conducted on
Wednesday in English and on Friday in Spanish.
All couples must be physically present in Puerto
Vallarta prior to the wedding so they can attend
the briefing. After the briefing, the couple must
complete a questionnaire. They will then receive
a Certificate of Attendance of Prenuptial Briefing.
This certificate must be included in the documents
presented to the Registro Civil office when applying
for the license. Without the Certificate of Attendance,
the couple will not be permitted to get a license
to marry. Therefore, it is critical to comply
with these rules.
**According to Mexican
law, the blood tests must be performed in Mexico
All marriage certificates
remain on file with the Registro Civil office
for 25 years, during which time you may request
a certified copy.
Original Weddings will adhere
strictly to all laws, rules and regulations pertaining
to legal marriages in Mexico. There will be NO
- To marry without
parental consent, individuals must be at least
18 years of age. With parental consent, boys
must be at least 16 years of age and girls,
at least 14 years of age.
- If one or both
parties is a Mexican National, permission must
be obtained from the Secretaria de Gobernacion
- Oficina de Migracion in the jurisdiction where
you will be married, which may require several
months and costs around $200 USD. Non-Mexicans
do not need permission.
- Previously married
individuals must provide proof of a legal divorce
accompanied by the "Apostille Protocol"
or a death certificate, if the spouse is deceased.
If the death took place outside of Mexico, the
death certificate must be authenticated and
translated into Spanish.
- Divorced individuals
may not marry in Mexico until 1 year after the
divorce is final
- Before a couple
may be married in the church, they must have
been married under civil law by a judge. The
civil ceremony does not have to be performed
in Mexico, but authenticated proof of the marriage
must be presented.