Marriage

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

In general, to marry a Mexican national in Mexico, a U.S. citizen must be physically present in Mexico and present documents required by the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place.  U.S. citizens who marry U.S. citizens or other non-Mexicans are not subject to a residence requirement, but are required to present their tourist cards. For additional information on marriages in Mexico, contact the Mexican Embassy or nearest Mexican consulate in the United States.

For general information about marriage overseas, please click here. 

If you would like more information about sponsoring your foreign-born spouse for an immigrant visa, click here.

If an American Citizen plans to marry in Mexico, he/she must follow all the applicable rules and laws of Mexico. A marriage will be recognized in the United States as long as it is apostilled and translated. Only marriages performed by Civil Registry Officials (not religious officials) are considered legal and valid in Mexico.

U.S. Citizens must have a valid Passport and their Tourist or Residence permits up to date with Mexican Immigration Authorities; you must also request from Mexican Immigration a marriage permit. Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, the marriage can be performed at the Civil Registry Office.

Requirements For Marriage In Civil Registry Office

  • Completed marriage application, giving exact names of applicants, just as they appear in their birth certificates (Article 93 of the Civil Code)
  • Birth Certificate and three photocopies (Mexican Citizen).
  • For the American Citizen: Apostilled birth certificate translated into Spanish.  “FMT” form (Tourist or Residence), and a special permit to marry in Mexico issued by Mexican Immigration.
  • Four witnesses. Two for each applicant (over 18 yrs. of age) with original and copy of a valid photo I.D (both sides).
  • Proof of Planned Parenthood lecture given at the “Consejo Estatal de Poblacion” located at: Oficialia 01, corner of Heroico Colegio Militar Street and Francisco Villa Street in downtown Juarez.The lecture is a one-day event from 3:30p.m. to 5:30p.m. and from 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. weekdays (Please do NOT bring children and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the lecture). A fee of $50.00 pesos must be paid at the Civil Registry’s cashier between 9:00a.m. and 3:00p.m.In Chihuahua City: At the Civil Registry Office (northern zone) – corner of Tecnologico Ave. and Sicomoro Street. Weekdays from 7p.m. to 9:00p.m. A fee of $30.00 pesos  must be paid at the Civil Registry Office between 9:00a.m. and 3:00p.m. You must arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the lecture.Note: A Planned Parenthood lecture from Juarez is valid in Chihuahua City and vice versa.
  • Prenuptial medical examination, issued by the local General Hospital, or by another public or private entity of their selection, which should include HIV, V.D.R.L. and blood type, issued no more than 15 days before the marriage takes place. Medical examinations from the U.S. are NOT acceptable.
  • If applicants are living together or have children, all of the above requirements still apply, including Steps 5 and 6.
  • Photo I.D. and a copy (both sides) for each of the applicants.
  • If applicants are divorced or widowed, they should present the corresponding divorce or death certificates and three copies.
  • When one or both of the persons marrying is/are under the age of 18, the parents of the minor(s) must present photo I.D. to be able to give their consent and must accompany them first to City Hall to obtain an “Underage Permit” and then to the Civil Registry Office.
  • An appointment for the marriage must be scheduled the day before. Bring all the above required documents to the Civil Registry Office from 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. Monday through Friday. Marriages at a location other than the Civil Registry Office require an appointment at least 14 days in advance. As of June 2011, fees were:
    • Private Ceremony: $496.00 Pesos
    • Marriage Performed at Home: $4089.00 Pesos

Civil Registry Offices In Juarez, Mexico

If calling from the U.S. dial 011-52 before the number

  • Oficialia Aztecas: Centro Comunitario No. 1. Corner of Codorniz St. and Ave. de los Aztecas. Phone #: (656) 610-01-42
  • Oficialia Zaragoza: Plaza Bensa, Carretera Juarez Porvenir.    Phone #: (656) 682-05-24
  • Oficialia Zona Centro (01): Corner of Heroico Colegio Militar Street and Francisco Villa Street (Recaudacion de Rentas building)    Phone #: (656) 629-33-00 Ext. 55150 & Ext. 155153
  • Oficialia 05: Eje Juan Gabriel, edificio administrativo del Gobierno del Estado. Phone #: (656) 629-33-00 Ext. 55704, 55705
  • Oficialia 06: El Mezquital, Ave. El Mezquital corner with Almendro Street. Phone # (656) 637-44-03

Civil Registry Offices In Chihuahua City, Mexico

If calling from the U.S. dial 011-52 before the number

  • Oficialia 01: Calle Libertad y 13a. Col. Centro Phone #: (614) 429-33-00 ext. 148819
  • Oficialia 02: Avenida Ocampo y Justiniani Phone #: (614) 420-99-95
  • Oficialia 17 (Zona Norte): Avenida Tecnologico #5506 Phone #: (614) 421-47-77
  • Oficialia 18 : Pistolas Meneses, Carretera a Ciudad Juarez Km 14.5   Phone (614) 185-36-99

For Locations in other cities in Chihuahua State, please contact the Consulate.

If you are getting married in Mexico, you need to follow the rules and laws of Mexico. U.S. citizens must have a valid passport and either a tourist permit or a resident permit for Mexico. In Mexico, foreigners wishing to marry a Mexican citizen must request permission from the Mexican Immigration Institute. For information on the subject, please contact:

  • Instituto Nacional de Migracion
    Blvd. Garcia Morales #114
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Telephone: (662) 236-0698 / Airport (662) 261-0509

Remember that, in Mexico, only civil marriage is recognized as legal. Civil marriages are performed by the Registro Civil.

  • Registro Civil in Hermosillo
    Blvd Vildosola y Vado Del Rio, CP 83280
    Hermosillo, Sonora
    Telephone: (662) 217-1772, 217-0608, 213-3820.
  • Registro Civil in Culiacan
    Escobedo #496 Oriente entre Aquiles Serdan y Aldama
    Culiacan, Sinaloa
    Telephone: (667) 758-7000 ext. 2700

If you are a citizen of the United States and you are interested in gaining resident or immigrant status for your non-U.S. citizen fiance’(e), you will need to fill out a petition provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Please call the local USCIS office near your U.S. residence for precise information on exactly which documents and what information will be needed. For general information about procedures, please go to following USCIS web page.

The following are the requirements for marriage in Matamoros, Mexico.  However, marriage requirements prevailing in the thirty-one states of Mexico are in general very similar to those of the State of Tamaulipas.

U.S. citizens or other foreigners wishing to be married in Mexico with a Mexican citizen must present to the appropriate Mexican government agency certain documents.  All documents from the U.S. except for the valid U.S. passport should have the apostille from the State Secretary of the State where they originated and should be translated by a Mexican official translator.

In Mexico, only civil marriage is recognized as legal.  Persons wishing to do so may also have a religious ceremony, but this is without legal effect, and in no way replaces the obligatory civil marriage.  A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes in the U.S., but a religious ceremony without the civil ceremony is not, as U.S. law only recognizes marriages which are valid in the country in which they take place.  This point is an especially important one for couples planning on applying for an immigrant visa for a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen.  An application for an immigrant visa on the basis of the marriage will not be accepted without the civil ceremony.

Civil marriages are performed by the Registro Civil (Civil Registry).  The addresses of the three offices of the Civil Registry in Matamoros are:

OFICILIA PRIMERA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Morelos 8 y Altos 2do. Piso
Zona Centro
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 13 52 74
(868) 8 12 14 54
(868) 8 12 11 60

OFICILIA SEGUNDA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Sexta entre Rayon y Zaragoza s/n
Zona Centro
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 13 33 78

OFICILIA CUARTA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Ocampo entre Guillermo Martínez D.
y Roberto F. García #500, Col. Modelo
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 12 34 31

The Civil Registry charges approximately $520.00 pesos to perform a marriage at the Office of the Civil Registry.  Marriages may be performed elsewhere, but the fee for the civil ceremony should be ascertained from the Civil Registry; these fees are approximately $1,299.00 pesos.  American consular officers are not empowered to perform marriages, nor is permission given for marriages to be held on the premises of the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros.

Persons desiring to marry must fill out a written application at an office of the Civil Registry, which will include a statement as to whether they wish to marry under the system of joint or separate property.  This application must be accompanied by a certificate from a doctor in Mexico 15 days prior to the marriage, stating both are free of those diseases, which are impediments to marriage.  A blood test and X-rays taken in Mexico are required.

U.S. citizens and other foreigners are not subject to a residence requirement, but will have to identify themselves by presentation of their tourist cards.

Persons previously married must present proof of the termination of that marriage in the form of a divorce decree or death certificate.  If the divorce or death took place outside of Mexico, it must be authenticated and translated in accordance with the information given in the second paragraph.  Divorced persons cannot marry in Mexico until one year after the finalization of the divorce.

Persons under the age of eighteen cannot be married without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.  If the parents or guardians cannot be present at the marriage, they must send a written authorization, apostilled by the state where it originated.  This written authorization must be translated in accordance with the instructions given in the second paragraph.  Under no circumstances can males under the age of sixteen, or females under the age of fourteen, be married in Mexico.

U.S. citizens or other foreigners wishing to marry a Mexican citizen must first obtain permission to do so from the Mexican Immigration Office located at División del Norte and Acción Cívica, Colonia Doctores, Building “B”, tel. (868) 8-14-48-94; they should present their tourist cards, along with their applications.  Persons who are going to be in Mexico for a short time should remember that obtaining permission to marry a Mexican may require several days.  The application should be made in person at the information booth or by writing in Spanish.  The application must include a valid U.S. passport (U.S. passport cards are not accepted) and a copy, proof of legal status in Mexico; the Mexican citizen must prove his/her own nationality, and a statement needs to be made to the Mexican Immigration officer (Local Immigration Delegate).  Look at the following example:

“I________________a U.S. citizen and ___________________a Mexican citizen declare that we do not have any legal impediment to marry in Mexico on the date__________before the presence of the Civil Registry officer______________.”
(Name)

The cost is approximately $2,658.00 pesos and you can pay it at any bank with the payment format “DPA”, (which is available at the website www.inami.gob.mx, here you need to go to the link “e5cinco”) you should keep a copy for the Civil Registry officer.

Men wishing to marry Mexican women must also present proof of their ability to support their wives.  This proof of economic solvency should be a letter from the employer stating position, salary, seniority, etc., or equivalent proof in the case of self-employed persons.  It should be apostilled as well and translated by an official translator in Mexico.  The foreigner should bear in mind that the Mexican authorities at “Gobernación” will decide whether or not his proof of solvency is sufficient, and it is his responsibility to meet their requirements.  The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros cannot in any way certify the individual’s economic solvency, either by examining documents presented to a consular officer or by contacting banks, employers, etc., even at the citizen’s expense.

A certified copy of the marriage certificate (acta de matrimonio) prepared by the Civil Registry should be obtained after the marriage has been performed.  It is encouraged to have the document apostilled by the “State Government of Tamaulipas”, at calles 16 e Hidalgo s/n frente al Palacio de Gobierno del Estado with the head of the Department of Management and Control in charge of the area of authentications for the State Government of Tamaulipas (Jefe del Departamento de Gestión y Control, encargado del área de legalizaciones de la Subsecretaria General de Gobierno), tels. (834) 315-0977 o 318-8817/19.  This process will make the document valid in the U.S.   The service is performed for a nominal fee, it gives validity to the marriage, and is proof for officials in the U.S. of the genuineness and official character of the document.

In Sonora, only civil marriage is recognized as legal.  People wishing to get married in Mexico may also have a religious ceremony but this religious ceremony will have no legal implications.

Marriages are performed by the “Oficina del Registro Civil” (Civil Register Office) for a fee around 600 pesos, marriages can also be performed elsewhere for an additional fee.  The Civil Register’s Office can tell you the amount of the fee.  There are Civil Register offices in each city or town throughout Sonora.

You must present the following documentation at the time of your wedding:

  1. Marriage application (obtained at the civil register office) including a statement as to whether you will marry under joint or separate property
  2. A certified copy of your birth certificate translated into Spanish and Apostilled
  3. If divorced, a certified copy of the divorce decree also translated into Spanish and Apostilled
  4. Blood tests (they have to be done in Mexico, civil register will provide more info)
  5. 2 legally qualified witnesses.  The witnesses must be over 18, present at the ceremony and have valid government-issued identification.

Additional notes:  In Sonora, a tourist permit is no longer required.  Divorced people cannot marry in Mexico until one year after the divorce decree is obtained. People under 18 cannot get married without parental consent.  Copies of marriage certificates are available at the Civil Register Office where the ceremony was performed.

As in the United States, each state in Mexico determines marriage and divorce procedures for that state. You should contact the office of the civil registry (Registro Civil) in the jurisdiction where you plan to get married for complete information about the requirements. Please Contact the consulate to obtain more information about a specific Civil Registry Office.
A marriage that is properly executed in Mexico is valid and legal in the United States.

To obtain a divorce in Mexico, you would need assistance from an attorney (PDF/1.33 MB) with experience in family law proceedings.

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