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Costa Rica Marriage License Laws

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If you've just set a date for your wedding, this can be an exciting time for the two of you! Don't let the marriage license laws of Costa Rica put a dent in your wedding plans.

Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a Costa Rica marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your wedding date.

Congratulations and much happiness as you begin your lifetime journey together!

Requirements may vary as each area in Costa Rica could have their own requirements.

ID Requirement:

A Costa Rican identity card ("Cédula de Identidad") and a Certificate of Single Status issued by the Civil Registry.

Additionally, you must present this information one month prior to your wedding: name, profession, passport numbers, foreign address, birth date, place of birth, nationality, father's full name, mother's full maiden name, parents' address, original copy of passport.

Residency Requirement:

None. However, if you are not a Costa Rican you must have the following documents: A passport valid for at least six months, a certified copy of your birth certificate, a certified copy of your police record, an Affidavit of Single Status.

Waiting Period:

Unless previously married, none.

Previous Marriages:

If the bride has been previously married, she must wait 300 days after her divorce or the death of her husband before she can remarry.

An official copy of the divorce decree or of the death certificate must be presented also. This requirement may be waived if she can prove that she is not pregnant before the marriage ceremony.

Other Tests:

According to some websites, women must take a pregnancy test. This is administered by the Supreme Court of Costa Rica at the Forensic Medicine Office (Medicatura Forense de la Corte Suprema de Justicia) in San Joaquin de Flores in Heredia, Costa Rica. Their telephone number is 506-295-3000. If the pregnancy test is negative, there is no waiting period.

Call first to verify if this test is still necessary.

Under 18:

If either of you are under the age of 18, you will need parental consent before you can get married in Costa Rica.

Proxy Marriages:

No.

Same Sex Marriages:

No. However, commitment ceremonies are offered by wedding planners.

Witnesses:

Yes. You need two witnesses at your wedding.

Family relatives up to the third degree cannot be your witnesses. That means that your best bet is to choose friends or strangers for your witnesses!

PLEASE NOTE:

Marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with the local marriage license office before making any wedding or travel plans.

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