One of the most frequent question we receive -other than what package we offer – is what are the legal requirements to say I do in Puerto Rico. So we have researched the matter so we can provide you with a solid answer.
As we all do, I first turned to Google to look for an answer but most of what I found is out f date and plain wrong.
So I then turned to my iPhone and started to call government agencies to get an authoritative answer. Between disconnected phone (it seems like every time we have a new governor all the agencies phone numbers change. Of course I may be exaggerating, but that is how it feels…) and not getting anyone to answer the phone, I must say that finding the authoritative answer can be daunting and frustrating as trying to get a hold of someone at a government agency can be difficult, specially if you do not get anyone that speak English.
So, FINALLY, I got my answers and here it is, this are the requirements:
Residency Requirements – To get married in Puerto Rico you don’t need to be a resident or an American citizen. The only requirement is wanting to get married on our enchanted island.
If you are an U.S. Citizen you will need a valid id (any U.S. State driver’s license or passport will be fine). But, just so we are clear, you do not need a passport to come to Puerto Rico.
If either party is a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S, a declaration certifying that he or she is not married must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer paths in that country. This declaration must accompany the application.
Marriage License – A marriage license is required and must be requested in writing from the Dept. of Health, Demographic Registry Office, Box 11854, Fernandez Juncos Station, Santurce, PR 00910 (allow 2 months) . You can also call at 787-767-9120 (Yes, this one works but be ready to try several times).
Laboratory Test – According to PR Law 127 of August 11, 2010, If you do not live in Puerto Rico and you are not planning to stay living in Puerto Rico after your wedding, you do not need to take a blood test in Puerto Rico to get married. If you are a Resident of any of the States or are a foreigner, the only thing you need is a medical certificate that meets all the marriage requirement of your state or country of residence. That is it.
Sworn Statement - You will need a sworn statement in which states that you are not a Puerto Rico resident, that the purpose of your visit to Puerto Rico is to get married, and if you are a foreign citizen, that you will not stay any longer that it is stated in your entry visa.
Authentication of Documents – A quick visit to the Demographic Registry and $30 worth of license stamps gets your license authenticated. Every town has a local office. You will first need to go to a “Colecturia” to get the $30 worth of stamps and then you are ready to go to the Demographic Registry Just ask at your hotel to give you direction to the near one.
Identification – Don’t forget to bring valid photo identification or your passports. If a Non-U.S. resident, the party must have a valid up to date passport and obtain a certified Declaration that he or she is not married. This declaration must accompany the application.
Other Documents Needed – If you have been divorced or are a widower, please bring the corresponding certificates.
Religious & Civil Ceremonies – For your marriage to be legal, it must be performed either by a registered minister, judge or authorized clergyman.
So, in a nutshell, this is what you have to do:
- Request and obtain your marriage license by mail.
- If you are a non-US citizen a sworn declaration before a Notary Public that neither party is married
- Medical Certificate that states that you meet all your State or Country of origins marriage’s requirements.
- Go to a local “Colecturia” (part of the Departamento de Hacienda, PR version of the IRS) and get your $30 worth of license stamps.
- Go to the Demographic Registry with $30 worth of license stamps to gets your license authenticated. Make sure you got all the documents we mentioned earlier. Both the groom and bride must be present.
- You are set!
The Puerto Rico Demographic Registry address is: P.O. Box 11854 Fernandez Juncos Station San Juan, PR 00910 and their phone number is: 787-767-9120.
We are going to visit and interview a representative of the Demographic Registry and we will post it here later.
Hope this is helpful in planning your wedding in paradise.