Legal requirements and general information
People think that getting married in Costa Rica is a complicated matter but your legal officiator can perform a wedding with just copies of your passports and the wedding questionnaire. Your legal officiator takes care of the rest.
You do not need to apply for a marriage license from your county or from Costa Rica. According with Costa Rican Laws, women do not change their last name when they get married. On the legal documentation on your marriage certificate your names will appear as they currently appear in your passports. You can start the process in order to change your last name in your country, if this is your desire, when you submit your marriage certificate to your county.
After the ceremony, you will receive a marriage statement sent to the Costa Rican Civil Registry (the governmental institution which records the marriages in Costa Rica) officially translated into English. You will be able to submit this document to your Marriages Record Office and get your marriage filed in your country once you get back home without waiting for the registration process in Costa Rica to be concluded.
The registration process of a Civil Marriage in Costa Rica takes approximately three months alter your wedding day. You will be mailed the definitive official marriage certificate issued by the Costa Rican Civil Registry Office and officially translated by your legal officiator.
The marriage in Costa Rica is recognized in the USA and Canada and it is considered legal internationally.
Your legal officiator services include performing of all the legal documentation you will need, the registration of the documents at the Costa Rican Civil Registry Office and the translation and mailing of the final marriage certificate. The fee for their services is $500.00.
Below you will find the necessary information needed to begin planning your Costa Rican wedding. If you have any questions, you can contact us, and we will be glad to help you.
Requirements for getting married in Costa Rica
- Current passports for Groom, Bride and Witnesses (obligatory / copies needed beforehand).
- Birth Certificates for Groom and Bride (dispensable).
- Single or divorce certificates for groom and bride (dispensable).
- If anyone, groom or bride, has been married previously, a photocopy of the final Judgment executing the divorce (dispensable).
- In case the bride has been divorced from previous marriage during the previous 10 months from the wedding date, certifications issued by two official Costa Rican Physicians stating that she is not currently pregnant.
- Two witnesses at the ceremony. Anyone can serve you as witnesses even your close family or citizens of Costa Rica (In case you do not have any witnesses the attorneys office can provide them for you).
- Fill out the wedding information questionnaire
The bride and groom must be in Costa Rica at least 2 days prior to the wedding, in order to finalize the necessary paper work, and the ceremony must be scheduled at least one month in advance. The documents you bring here do not need to be translated into Spanish, and you don't need to bring the originals.
When we say “dispensable” it is because we substitute all the dispensable documents with a sworn declaration by the two of you that are prepared based on the information you give.
All that we need from the couples to prepare the legal documentation is that fill out the questionnaire attached to this information.
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