This blog post has been updated on September 2023 with the new Civil Code regulations for destination couples marrying in Puerto Rico in 2023 and 2024.
Hi there, it's Cami! As I delve deeper into the Puerto Rico elopement photography scene, I am discovering new problems that my clients face. The biggest issue they face is related to the Puerto Rico marriage requirements. Now, planning my own wedding, I have come across several articles on this topic that are outdated, needing more information, or are just misleading.
Most of the resources available make getting married in Puerto Rico seem complicated and tedious. To address this problem, I have decided to bring in the help of a legal professional who is actively involved in the wedding and elopement industry in Puerto Rico.
This blog uses the most updated information provided by Lcda. Ana María Hernández, the founder of Wonderland PR, is an Attorney, Notary, and Translator living in Puerto Rico. She is also a Professional Wedding Officiant who can guide you through obtaining your marriage license in Puerto Rico.
You can request your Puerto Rico marriage license virtually
Even if you bring a friend or relative to officiate the ceremony symbolically, an officiant like Ana can help you obtain your marriage license virtually, making the process much more convenient. If not, you must arrive in Puerto Rico 2 to 3 business days before your wedding to personally visit the Registro Demográfico office.
The Registro Demográfico office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and closed on weekends.
Important Elements to Get Married in Puerto Rico: Frequent Questions
- Who can officiate a wedding in Puerto Rico? To be legally married in Puerto Rico, the officiant must be an official wedding officiant registered and authorized by the Demographic Registry. You can have a civil ceremony performed by a Puerto Rican judge, lawyer-notary, or minister. Religious ceremonies are also allowed, but an authorized religious officiant must perform them.
- Can non-residents get legally married in Puerto Rico? You do not need to be a resident of Puerto Rico to get married there.
- Is gay marriage legal in Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is LGBTQ+ friendly and has recognized LGBTQ+ marriages since 2015.
- Can non-US residents get married in Puerto Rico? 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.
- When should I book my wedding officiant in Puerto Rico? You should book your officiant and have an orientation with them 2 to 3 months before your wedding to have enough time to comply with all the requirements.
Legal Requirements for your Puerto Rico Marriage License
- Identification: Valid, government-issued photo IDs.
- Birth certificates: Certified copies of birth certificates
- Previous marriages: If either party was previously married, a copy of the former spouse's divorce decree or death certificate.
- Previous name changes: If you had a legal name change, the official evidence or documents
- Future Name Changes: On your Puerto Rico Marriage Certificate, your names will appear just as they appear on your Birth Certificate. If you wish to change your name, you must do so in your state or country of residence.
- Blood tests: All couples intending to wed in Puerto Rico, regardless of their residency legally, must submit laboratory or blood test results for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV.
- Medical Certificate: A doctor licensed to practice in Puerto Rico must sign a Medical Certificate confirming that you have complied with the lab test requirements.
- Witnesses: You'll need at least two witnesses present during the ceremony. They must be at least 21 years old, be able to read and write, and have a valid identification (passport or driver's license).
- Obtaining your marriage certificate after your Puerto Rico wedding: After the ceremony, your officiant will register your marriage during the next ten days after the wedding, and to receive your Marriage Certificate via mail, you can request it online through different providers like Vital Check.
Medical Certificate for Getting Married in Puerto Rico
My fiancé, Dr. Jose Carlos Herrera, MD, is well-versed with the medical certificate requirements for marriages in Puerto Rico, down to the pen color to be used on the document, literally! He assists my clients, Ana Maria's couples, and other officiants in our network with the medical paperwork required for obtaining a Puerto Rico marriage license.
Dr. Herrera is experienced in working with destination couples and can guide and work with you remotely. He can also help with lab referrals and provide a quick health-related consultation.
Request your Medical Marriage Certificate
Dr. Herrera prefers to be contacted via text or email for Puerto Rico medical certificates since he does have an active medical practice with demanding hours.
Dr. Jose Carlos Herrera, MD
Ceremony and Post-Ceremony Procedures
To celebrate your wedding day, you will need two witnesses who are both 21 years or older and can read and write.
After the ceremony, you can acquire your Marriage Certificate via online request.
Your names will appear as they do on your Birth Certificates. If you want to change your name, you must do so in your state or country of residence.
Final Comments Concerning Puerto Rico Marriage Requirements
Planning a wedding can feel like a neverending series of daunting tasks, but with the right vendor team and information, it's easy and enjoyable, even!
We'll guide you through the process step by step, and you'll be supporting our local economy while we make your day as close to perfect as possible for you.
Relax and enjoy the experience. Say I Do in Puerto Rico!
Cami & Ana María