How to Get a Marriage License in the Philippines?
The Philippines is one of the many countries that take the ceremony of marriage seriously, with a great number of citizens who are under the Roman Catholic religion, our country definitely won’t allow a Las Vegas type of wedding wherein the requirements are at a bare minimum.
For most Filipino families, the Sacrament of Marriage is sacred and should be blessed by the Church and legalized by law.
Planning for weddings is not a simple walk in the park, it requires a handful of paperworks and a good amount of effort on top of the actual preparations for the big day! Prior to being allowed to marry here in the Philippines, you and your future spouse should apply for a Marriage License.
What is a Marriage License?
A Marriage License is basically a document required by the Philippine law to ensure that you and your future spouse are both under legality to get married and that you have completed all the requirements to proceed with your marriage or to put it to a more simple set of words, it is your license to get married.
You and your future spouse will not be allowed to proceed with the wedding ceremony or to declare your “I do’s” without this piece of paper.
What are the Requirements in getting a marriage license?
In many cases, the requirements to apply for a marriage license would vary depending on where you wish to be married or on what area you and your spouse wish to accomplish the said requirements (i.e. town or city requirements) if you wish to get hitched under a Civil or Church setup.
Some localities will require a simple checklist of requirements while big cities usually are very tedious in asking for marriage requirements completion.
In this article, we will walk you through how to request and get a Marriage License here in the Philippines.
The first step which you and your future spouse should do is to visit your local civil registry and inquire for the list of requirements they will ask you to complete for them to grant you with a marriage license.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, also widely known as PSA, your local civil registry will then ask you and your future spouse to provide them with your basic personal details such as:
- Full name of the contracting parties;
- Place of birth of the two parties;
- Ages and dates of birth;
- Civil Status
Here is a quick list of the generic set of requirements being asked by most local governments for a couple to be granted with a marriage license which can be easily applied for a Civil Wedding:
- Original copies of the Birth Certificates of the couple released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Request for your Birth Certificate now by clicking this link: PSA Helpline: Request for original copy of Birth Certificate
- Certificate of No Marriage Record which is also known as CENOMAR, a document required to cross check if any of the two parties has an ongoing marriage record or is truly a holder of the Single status, the CENOMAR can be requested from the PSA website and could also be delivered at the very step of your door!
Visit the PSA website through this link: PSA Helpline: Request for a CENOMAR
- Completion Certificates from attending Marriage Counseling and Family Planning sessions conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). These sessions became a prerequisite prior to marriage license issuance to help couples understand more the real essence of being married, how the Sacrament of Marriage works and to guide them in making the right decisions if they wish to proceed with building their little family in the future.
- Original copies of the Community Tax Certificate of each of the parties as a proof of residency which is being issued by the municipality’s Treasury Office. Note that this certificate is commonly known as a CEDULA and the Tax amount varies depending on the type of employment each of the parties is currently under.
Two-step Process on How to Apply for a Marriage License
Completing the requirements will make obtaining the marriage license a more easy task!
- Bring and submit all your requirements to your local Civil Registry Office. Make sure to document all the receipt process.
- The Civil Registry Office staff should review all your requirements and notify you on the available dates and schedule where you can proceed with the Civil Wedding ceremony.
This goes the same if you plan to get married in a Church. Only, there’s no need to submit the requirements first to the Civil Registry, the Church Administration Staff will be the one to do the works for you!
Cost in Php of the Getting the Requirements
Some provincial municipalities would also require the couple to do a simple community service such as tree planting activities as part of the requirements for the marriage license issuance.
Of course, requesting for these documents are not free. They definitely will come with a little amount of cost.
In one of our articles, we have talked about the costs of weddings in the Philippines but to make this an easy browse for you, we have captured the cost breakdown of some of the required documents to get a marriage license. Do check below!
Related: What are the Costs of a Wedding in the Philippines?
- CENOMAR (2 copies, 420 Php for each copy) 840.00 Php
- Or the Certificate of No Marriage Record
- Birth Certificate (2 copies, 365 Php for each copy) 730.00 Php
- PSA-issued copies
- LGU Requirements (varies, i.e. DSWD seminar sessions) 300.00 Php
- Marriage Counseling, Family Planning Completion Certificates
- Community Tax Certificate /CEDULA (varies, i.e. private employee) 720.00 Php
What are the Marriage License Requirements for a Church Wedding?
You should also note that if you wish to marry in a Church, the Church officials might require a different set of seminars on top of the family planning and marriage counseling being conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
These seminars are widely known in the Philippines as Pre-marriage or Pre-cana seminars and are conducted by the Church which may or may not come with a cost or in-kind gifts and donations.
Some Churches may specifically require the couples to attend the Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) or the Discovery Weekend (DW) which are intended to instill to the couple the value of being a wife and husband in accordance to the Will of the Lord.
If you or your future spouse happen to be a minor, make sure to secure parental consent as a requirement of the Philippine Family Code. Here’s how to do it:
- Both of your parents should be present or come with you in applying for the marriage license. This is for the civil registry office to ensure that your parents are allowing you to get married;
- Bring a notarized affidavit of your parental consent in cases that any of your parent or both of your parents cannot accompany you during the application process;
- In cases that both parents are already deceased, a notarized guardian consent is another option to proceed with the application;
- Should your parents be against the marriage, a marriage license won’t be issued even if you have obtained a guardian’s consent. The best thing to do is to convince them to agree and simply wait for them to accept the wedding.
Are there age requirements before getting a Marriage License?
If you belong within the age range of 22 (twenty two) to 25 (twenty five), both of your parents are still required to come along with you in applying to obtain a marriage license.
In any cases that they won’t be able to make it due to some reasons like they are both not in the country, a written parental advice stating that they have full knowledge of your plans to get married and that they allow it.
On the other hand, if they are against your plans to get married, you should submit a sworn statement that you have notified them but unfortunately, they are against it.
These are the different additional requirements should you or your future spouse be a minor or at least 25 years of age.
Once you and your future spouse have completed the requirement list, you may submit them back to your local civil registry office for review and checking. The office staff will advise you on the status of your application, whether there will be lacking documents or none. If all are good upon review, they shall advise you further when your marriage license is available for claiming.
What are the contents you should expect to see in a Marriage License?
To be considered as a legitimate document, your marriage license should at least entail the following details of you and your spouse:
- Full names of both future wife and husband
- Birthdates of the two parties
- Places of Birth
- Citizenship of the two parties
- Residence or resident addresses of the couple to be married
- Religion of the two parties
- Civil Status
- Contact details such as telephone or mobile numbers
- Fathers’ names of the two parties
- Citizenship of the fathers
- Resident addresses of the fathers
- Mothers’ names of the two parties
- Citizenship of the mothers
- Resident addresses of the mothers
Do note that if the parents are not available, the name of the guardian or the person who is giving the consent or advice shall be declared as well as the relationship to any of the parties, his or her citizenship and resident address.
If any or both of the parties were previously married, they should declare the following:
- How was it dissolved?
- Place where it dissolved
- Date when the marriage was dissolved
Once you and your spouse already have your marriage license on hand, you may now start polishing your wedding plans!
The license can be used should you and your future spouse wish to be married under a civil or Church setup. In the Philippines, having a marriage license is like holding a local passport, this allows you and your future spouse to get married anywhere in the country!
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