This blog post has been updated on October 2021 with the new Civil Code regulation for destination couples marrying in Puerto Rico and remote work changes due to COVID-19.
Hey there, Cami here! As I grow more in-depth into the Puerto Rico elopement photography world, I discover new pains of my clients, the biggest of them, concerning Puerto Rico marriage requirements. There are a few blogs up there that are either outdated, missing information, or just misleading in general.
Most resources make getting married in Puerto Rico seem like this complicated chore. So I decided the best way to defeat this was to bring a legal professional actively involved in the Puerto Rico wedding and elopement industry: meet my dear #bosslady Ana María!
Since this is a written collab, I'll highlight my own (Camille) comments in blue, and share Ana María's work in black. Finally, all photos shared in this blog are of weddings we've worked together. So that you see how happy couples were about having savvy Ana María by their side.
Ana Maria Hernández, wedding officiant and founder of Wonderland
Hello, gorgeous couples! For those who do not know me, I am Ana María Hernández, the queen boss behind Wonderland, a project where we believe in diversity and dare to think differently about weddings. I am an Attorney, Notary, and Translator living in Puerto Rico. My passion for weddings made me end up as a Wedding Officiant and Planner in Puerto Rico. It is truly an honor to be invited to Camille's blog to talk to you about one of my passions: marrying couples!
As a Notary and wedding officiant, I will guide you through the process of getting your marriage license in Puerto Rico if you are not residing in Puerto Rico.
There is this notion that it is complicated to get your marriage license in Puerto Rico, and I am here to tell you that it is false. You just need an expert like me to guide you through the process. There is a lot of incorrect information on the internet, including the one coming for the Registro Demográfico (Demographic Registry or Vital Records Office), the office in charge of issuing marriage licenses in Puerto Rico. So, the first step to consider when getting married in Puerto Rico: book the services of an expert officiant like me to guide you through the whole process.
Before Starting the Marriage License Process in Puerto Rico
Visiting Puerto Rico, you'll have a lot of amazing experiences. Overcoming the language barrier at a government office, and figuring stuff out as you go could put a damper on all those other happy moments you will live here. As a wedding professional that continuously works with destination couples, can't stress enough the convenience of having an expert Puertorican wedding officiant holding your hand through the process. Even if you're bringing someone else to officiate the actual ceremony.
The second thing to consider is that while you can visit the Registro Demográfico offices in person to request your marriage license. However, and with COVID changes, most of the process can now be done virtually, with help of a professional notary or officiant.
Registro Demográfico offices open from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday, their offices close on weekends.
Documents to Bring for your Puerto Rico Marriage License
Here's the (updated as of November 2020) document list you need to share with the Registro Demográfico:
- Birth Certificates
- Government-issued ID
- Lab results for the following tests: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and VDRL. These can be done at your place of residence; just make sure to bring or scan the original documents.
- Medical certificate by a Licensed Physician in Puerto Rico.
- If one of you is divorced or your spouse died, you will need the Divorce Judgment, Decree, Sentence, or Death Certificate of your deceased spouse.
- If you had a legal name change, the official evidence or documents
- For the day of the ceremony, you will need two witnesses: two people that are 21 years old or older, who know how to read and write.
- After you are married, you can request your Marriage Certificate online.
- On your Marriage Certificate, your names will appear just as they appear on your Birth Certificate. If you wish to change your name, you will have to do so in your state or country of residence.
- For non-US residents: Depending on your country's requirements to register a Marriage Certificate from the United States (remember, for all legal purposes, Puerto Rico is considered part of the United States), you may need an Apostille.
Medical Certificate for Getting Married in Puerto Rico
My partner, Dr. Jose Carlos Herrera, MD, is well acquainted with the medical certificate process (down to the pen color you have to use on this document, literally). He's usually the one who helps my clients, Ana Maria's, and other officiants in our network with the medical paperwork needed for a Puerto Rico marriage license.
He's used to destination clients. Therefore, Dr. Herrera can do the process over video conference, offer help with any labs referrals, and help if you need a quick health-related consultation.
His preferred method of contact for Puerto Rico medical certificates is over text message or e-mail.
Dr. Jose Carlos Herrera, MD
Ceremony and Post-Ceremony Procedures
For the day of the celebration, you will need two witnesses, both need to be 21 years old or older, and they need to know how to read and write. After your wedding, you can request your Marriage Certificate online. Your names will appear as they do on your Birth Certificate, if you wish to change your name, you will have to do so in your state or country of residence.
Final Comments Concerning Puerto Rico Marriage Requirements
I've never been married, and to the fun-loving photographer in me, for many years working in the industry, this sounded like the worst part of planning a Puerto Rico wedding or elopement. However, after getting to know and work with Ana María, I've learned how easy it is when you're thoroughly informed, and with the correct officiant as your teammate.
It may sound like a lot, but believe me, with a great officiant like me, who guides you through the complete process, step by step, it is straightforward. The best part is that you will be supporting our local economy and vendors here in Puerto Rico, something that we appreciate so much.
The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy because we are #weddingready for you to Say I Do in this paradise called Puerto Rico.
Cami & Ana María
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