Getting married in Mexico requires more than just a quick trip across the border to recite wedding vows. The country’s marriage requirements involve going through several steps and providing specific paperwork. If you have Tijuana in mind as your wedding destination, these guidelines will help you in your planning process to obtain a legal marriage license.
Verify that your passports are valid. They must be at least six months before their expiration date to qualify.
Before you head south of the border, get all of the required paperwork together. Obtain certified copies of the birth certificates for both you and your spouse-to-be; these copies will remain in Mexico. Also, if you have been married before, you will need a copy of the divorce or death certificate of your previous spouse.
Find a translator to translate all of your documents into Spanish. You’ll want to have original and translated certified copies with you. Then, notarize all of the paperwork at a Mexican Consulate.
When you cross Mexico’s border, hang on to your tourist card. You’ll need to have this card with you, along with the other documents, when you apply for the marriage license.
Have a blood test performed by a health professional in Tijuana. Couples must submit a signed clinical analysis to obtain a marriage license.
Head to a local Registro Civil, or civil registry office, in Tijuana to present your documentation, fill out a marriage application and schedule an appointment for your civil ceremony. Tijuana’s civil registry offices offer this service between 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
At this time, you will also pay the marriage license fee. Keep in mind that you will have to wait a bit before the civil ceremony. The required waiting period after the application process is typically a few days, so be sure to plan ahead.
Have the civil ceremony, which is required for legal marriage in all parts of Mexico, performed at the registry office. Religious ceremonies must be held separately. You’ll need four witnesses present at the ceremony, two for each individual being married, and they must have proper identification.
Congratulations! Now that you are officially married, you’ll receive a certified copy of the marriage certificate, which will prove that you followed the country’s laws to be married legally.
Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.