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Civil Marriages in Spain

Civil marriage between foreign nationals is not possible in Spain unless at least one party to the marriage has been resident in Spain for a minimum of 2 years. Although this residency is not enshrined in National Law, it is  strictly enforced in all regions of Spain. The chances of getting a derogation are not good, so unless one of you is resident in Spain you should plan to have your civil ceremony elsewhere.

There are two ways in which couples regularly overcome this strict residency requirement:

The information below only applies if you can meet the residency requirement. All documentation must be submitted in Spanish and translation from English must be done by an approved translator.

Application for Marriage Licence

An application form can be obtained from the Civil Registry or District Court in the area in which the wedding will take place.

It must be signed by both bride and groom and requires information about full names, occupations, places of residence, and the citizenship of the couple and their parents.


The following documentation should be sent with the completed application form:

Posting of Banns

After the judge has accepted all the documentation required, banns are posted for a period of fifteen days prior to the marriage ceremony.

Issuing of Marriage Licence

A Licence to marry will be issued by the Office of the Registrar in the region where the application was made once the period of the Banns has passed.

Marriage Certificates

After the ceremony is performed, the marriage is recorded in the Civil Registry and a Spanish marriage certificate is issued.