Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Marriage/Affidavit

Marriage/Affidavit of Civil Status

Marriage Formalities

As in many European countries, getting married in Spain is more complicated than in the United States.  An average delay of 45 to 60 days should be expected after the following documents have been submitted and before the ceremony may be performed. 

Civil Marriages

Applications for a civil marriage must be made to the Civil Registry (Registro Civil) or District Court (Juzgado) in the place where the marriage will be celebrated.  The Civil Registry in Barcelona is at Plaça Duc de Medinaceli 2, 08002. Tel. (34) 93-412-0474, web: http://www.justicia.es

Important: The following documents are generally required.  There might be local variations, therefore, please check with the Civil Registry or District Court prior to assembling your documents.

1.          Application Form:  This form can be obtained from the Civil Registry or District Court assuming jurisdiction

 2.         Birth Certificate:  The original document is mandatory. Instructions on how to obtain a birth certificate from your state is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm .

Apostille: You should submit the document with an "apostille" which is an official international seal verifying a document for use outside its country of origin. 

The apostille is issued by an authorized office in the state where your certificate was issued, NOT by the Spanish or American Consulate.  For information on how to obtain The Hague Legalization Convention "apostille" visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/judicial/authentication-of-documents/notarial-and-authentication-apostille.html.

Naturalized citizens should check with the embassy/consulate of their native country for guidance on authentication of birth certificates, as the apostille is not available in certain countries.

Translation:  The certificate must be translated into Spanish by an official translator. Access this link to download a list of translators: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/barcelona/788/pdfs/List_of_Sworn_Translators_Barcelona_Consular_District_2011.pdf

 3.         Proof Both Parties Are Free to Marry (Fe de Soltería):  No document equivalent to the  "Fe de Solteria y Vida" exists in the United States.  Spanish authorities will accept a sworn statement from the American citizen affirming that he/she is single and free to marry executed before the American Consul. 

Fee:  There is a fee of US$ 50.00 (or the equivalent in Euros) for this affidavit and may be done at the same time as items 5 and 6. Please bring your valid U.S. passport.

Appointment:  An appointment must be booked on-line for this service at our web site: http://barcelona.usconsulate.gov/citizen-services/appointments.html.

 4.         Divorce/Annulment/DeathCertificates:  If you have been married before, you must submit evidence that the relationship has ended.  Access the following link for instructions on how to obtain vital records: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm Certified documents originated outside Spain must be accompanied by an apostille and Spanish translations. Please see information on Apostille and Translation above.

 5.         Certificate of Residence:  Americans legally resident in Spain for the prior two years can obtain a certificate of residence at no charge from the Tenencia de Alcaldía in their district of residence (Empadronamiento).  Americans who are temporary residents of Spain or have lived here less than two years may execute an affidavit regarding their place of residence before a consular officer. See the information on Fee and Appointment above. 

Note: Spanish law may permits foreigners who are not Spanish legal residents to marry here.  The different autonomous communities in Spain may, however, interpret this law differently and may be required that one of the parties be a citizen or resident of Spain.

6.         Posting of Banns:  Banns are a public announcement that a couple plans to marry, giving any knowledgeable citizen an opportunity to object.  If required, Americans can execute an affidavit at the Consulate.  See Appointment and Fee abovePlease bring your valid U.S. passport.

General Information

Anyone under 18 who wishes to marry must have parental consent.

American diplomatic and consular officers cannot perform marriages.

A religious ceremony may be performed after or in lieu of a purely civil ceremony, if desired.

Check with the Civil Registry or the District Court where the marriage will be performed, if the signature of the U.S. Consul on the affidavits prepared at this office will need to be legalized by the Spanish “Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores”.  If this is the case, please access this link: https://sede.maec.gob.es/pagina/index/directorio/citaprevia for information and instructions.

Marriages which are legally performed and valid in Spain are, as a general rule, also accepted in the United States.  Please consult the office of the State Attorney General in your state of residence as regards the validity of "foreign" marriages in that jurisdiction.

If the parties are planning to return to the U.S., they should consider having the original certificate certified with the Apostille of The Hague by the Secretario de Gobierno, Audiencia Territorial, Palacio de Justicia, Paseo Lluis Companys s/n, 08071 Barcelona. Tel. (34) 93-486-61-83.

Information on obtaining a U.S. visa to reside in the U.S. for a foreign spouse may be obtained from any office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (www.uscis.gov).