Spain: Authorization – Marriage Registration

Authorization – Marriage Registration in Spain

  • What is it?
  • Who can request it?/present
  • How to request it/present

What is it?

Registration certifies the marriage and the date, time and location at which it took place. It is the means of proving that the marriage took place, and it is the certification that gives legitimacy to the married marital status.

The marriage is legally effective from the moment it takes place, but it requires registration in the Civil Register for full recognition.

A marriage celebrated before Head of the Civil Registry, Justice of Peace, Mayor or Councillor his deputy or to the clerk shall be recorded in the minutes; which will be held before a Notary shall state in public writing. In both cases must be signed, in addition to those to which it was concluded by the parties and two witnesses.

It extended the record or authorized public write is delivered to each of the parties supporting copy of the marriage and forwarded by authorizing, in the same day testimony or electronic authorized copy of document to the Civil Registry for registration, prior qualification of the Head of the Civil Registry.

Who can request it?/present

Individuals wishing to be married must first certify, in a file processed in accordance with the legislation for the Civil Register, that they meet the requirements established by law.

If either of the partners is affected by mental deficiencies or anomalies, a doctor must issue an expert opinion regarding their ability to give consent.

Once final approval for the marriage has been issued, the wedding shall take place as soon as the needs of the service so allow.

The capacity to enter into marriage depends on the personal circumstances of each individual. Of special interest are the following cases:

  • Age: individuals must be independent; that is, over the age of 16, living independently from their parents.
  • A person may only be married to one person; being married to two people at the same time is not allowed.
  • Can not marry straight relatives by blood or adoption or by collateral consanguinity within the third degree.
  • Can not marry convicts of having participated in the wrongful death of a spouse or person with whom he had been linked by an analogous relationship to marriage. However, the judge may waive just cause at the request of a party, by prior judgment given in proceedings of voluntary jurisdiction, the impediments of willful death of a spouse or person with whom it would have been linked by an analogous relationship to marriage and third degree of kinship between collateral. Further validates waiver from its celebration, marriage annulment which has not been judicially filed by either party.
  • If either party person is affected by mental deficiencies, intellectual or sensorial, will be required by the Clerk, Notary, Head of the Civil Registry or official who processed the record or records, medical opinion on his ability to provide consent.
  • Removal of impediments: this is the possibility of eliminating all impediments to performing the marriage for any reason.

Start of proceedings:

The proceedings for civil marriage must always be initiated at the Civil Registry of the municipality in which one of the interested parties is registered or has their permanent place of residence. If the parties are registered in different towns, they may choose the one that best suits their needs.

Place of the ceremony:

Although the prior proceedings are conducted at the corresponding Civil Register, once the pre-marriage proceedings have been completed, the interested parties may choose to hold the marriage ceremony in any municipality, to:

  1. Charge Judge of the Civil Registry and Justices of the Peace by delegation in offices or agencies of the Civil Registry.
  2. The mayor or his delegate Councillor in premises that meet the right conditions.
  3. The clerk or notary freely chosen by both parties having responsibilities in the venue.

How to request it/present

  • In person

Required documents

  • Religious marriage:
    • Presentation of the ecclesiastical certification expressing the circumstances required by law.
    • NOTE: To register Islamic, Jewish or Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain marriages in the Civil Register, the latter two cases require prior processing of the preliminary procedure that determines matrimonial capacity; this is also advisable in the first case.
    • Following the completion of this procedure, the wedding must be held within a maximum of 6 months from the date on which the certification was issued.
  • Civil marriage:
    • Marriage celebrated before the Head of Civil Registry or Justice of the Peace: the act of celebration of civil marriage is the inscription itself to be signed by the Head of Civil Registry, the two spouses, two witnesses and the Secretary.
    • Marriage celebrated before the Mayor or his delegate Councillor: the marriage will be forwarded to the Civil Registry where the marriage took place, being the Civil Registry who performs the registration.
    • Marriage celebrated before a judicial Secretary: shall be recorded in the minutes, which will be held before a notary public shall state in writing. You must be signed in addition to that to which he is held by the parties and two witnesses. It extended the record or authorized the deed is delivered to each of the parties supporting copy of the marriage and sent by the authorizing, on the same day and by electronic means, testimony or electronic authorized copy of the document to the Civil Registry for registration, prequalification of the Head of Civil Registry.
  • Marriages celebrated abroad when at least one of the spouses has Spanish citizenship or obtains it after the wedding:
    • Religious marriage registration:
      • Presentation of the ecclesiastical certification expressing the circumstances required by law.
      • Literal birth certificate of the Spanish citizen or naturalised citizen issued by the Spanish Civil Registry Office.
      • Birth certificate of the foreign spouse.
      • National Identification Card of the naturalised Spanish citizen.
      • Certification of the interested party’s domicile in Spain.
      • Data declaration form.
    • Civil marriage registration:
      • Marriage certificate issued by the foreign local Civil Registry Office.
      • Literal birth certificate of the Spanish citizen or naturalised citizen issued by the Spanish Civil Registry Office.
      • Birth certificate of the foreign spouse.
      • National Identification Card of the naturalised Spanish citizen.
      • Certification of the interested party’s domicile in Spain.
      • Data declaration form.

    (The list of documents indicated in the Marriages Celebrated Abroad section is for information purposes only. The Chief Magistrate, who is responsible for assigning the registration qualification, or the Secretary of the Registry Office dealing with the file may request any other data they deem pertinent at the time of carrying out the procedure. Foreign documents must be translated and legalized.)

Where to process it

At the Civil Register where the marriage was celebrated or the Central Civil Registry Office if the marriage was celebrated abroad when at least one of the spouses is a Spanish citizen or obtains citizenship after the wedding and habitually resident in Spain.

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