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Mexico Legal Requirements

General Information on Marrying in Mexico

A matrimonio civil or civil marriage is the only Mexican marriage that changes your marital status from 'single' to 'married', and the only Mexican marriage recognized by some 60 countries around the world--England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Poland and the U.S. among them. A matrimonio civil requires specific paperwork and two documents from you: that's all (see Check List below).

There is no law requiring couples to be in Mexico a specific number of days prior to getting married here: it's simply a matter of how quickly the wedding coordinator can push through the paperwork.

A strictly religious/spiritual marriage ceremony of whatever denomination is considered a private affair between individuals into which the government does not enter. It is perfectly acceptable to have only a religious/spiritual ceremony as long as you understand the event is NOT registered with the Mexican government and will NOT change your marital status in the eyes of the law in Mexico or in your country of origin. Other countries recognize the marriage that the Mexican Government recognizes and that is matrimonio civil--there are no exceptions to this basic fact.

Couples who choose the religious/spiritual option--and many do--simply get legally married before coming to Mexico or after going home either by a justice of the peace or at their local court house or civil registry or however their respective states/countries handle legal marriages. Couples interested in a religious/spiritual wedding are provided with a list of clergy and advised as to requisites--but generally there are none (no paperwork to file, no government fees to pay, no blood tests etc). Some clergy ask for proof of legal marriage before performing the religious ceremony, but most do not. One or two witnesses are usually requested and the couple is given a 'Marriage Certificate' generated by the church to which the celebrant belongs, NOT by any government agency. Such a marriage certificate is a memento of the ceremony; it is NOT proof of marriage for legal purposes in any country.

DOCUMENTATION CHECK LIST for Civil Marriage:

What couples must provide:

1. Passport

2. Visa (given all travellers upon entering Mexico OR the forms are sometimes given passengers in-flight then Mexican Immigration stamps the form upon landing)

3. If marrying in CANCUN: a photocopy of the birth certificate, no translations required. If marrying in the RIVIERA MAYA: No birth certificates required at all. If marrying in ISLA MUJERES: certified copies of birth certificate w/ apostille and translated in Mexico by court approved translator.

4. Four witnesses. Non-Mexican witnesses must provide passports and visas (non-Mexicans must prove they entered the country legally). Mexican witnesses must provide a passport or credencial de elector. Basic data on each witness is required for the civil registry forms.

5. Divorced/Widowed Requisites. Applies ONLY to Bride. Lots of variables and options. ASK for full information if this applies to you.

SUPPLIED for you in MEXICO by your wedding planner:

6. All paperwork, government forms, copies of documents etc

7. Blood tests (blood type, RH factor, syphilis and HIV screen). Tests must be done in Mexico and performed within 14 days of the wedding date.

8. Doctor's Letter; one per person.

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