The marriage license is the one-way ticket, well, one of the tickets, to a life of wedded bliss. It is valid in any part of the Philippines for one hundred twenty days from the date of issue, and shall be deemed automatically canceled at the expiration of the said period if the couple has not made use of it. The expiry date shall be stamped in bold characters on the face of every license issued.
The marriage license is issued by the local registrar of the city or municipality of either parties. Each party should file a separate application which shall specify the following:
- Full name of the contracting party;
- Place of birth;
- Age and date of birth;
- Civil status;
- If previously married, how, when, and where the previous marriage was dissolved or annulled;
- Present residence and citizenship;
- Degree of relationship of the contracting parties;
- Full name, residence and citizenship of the father;
- Full name, residence and citizenship of the mother;
- Full name, residence and citizenship of the guardian or person having charge, in case the contracting party has neither father nor mother and is under the age of twenty-one.
Remember to bring along your original birth or baptismal certificates. Certified true copies are likewise accepted. In case the birth or baptismal certificates are missing, were destroyed, etc., the current residence certificate may be submitted, or an instrument containing the sworn declaration of two witnesses of lawful age, setting forth the full name, residence and citizenship of such contracting party and of his or her parents, if known, and the place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin are preferred as witnesses, or persons of good reputation in the province or the locality.
However, the birth and baptismal certificates are no longer required if the parents of the couple appear before the local registrar and swear to the correctness of the legal age of the said parties and if the registrar is convinced that the couple is of marrying age.
In case either of the parties has been previously married, a copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse should be submitted, or the judicial decree of absolute divorce, of annulment, or declaration of nullity of previous marriage. In case the death certificate cannot be secured, an affidavit stating the party’s actual status and the name and death of deceased spouse should be executed.
If both or either parties are between the ages of eighteen to twenty-one, written consent should be secured from their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them. If both or either parties are between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-five, the couple is still obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice. If they do not obtain such advice or if the parents are against the union, the marriage license should not be issued until after three months following the publication of the application for the license. The couple should also submit a sworn statement that advice was sought, and the written advice should also be attached to the application for license. If the parents refuse to give advice, this should also be noted.
In the cases where parental consent or parental advice is needed, the parties should attach a certificate issued by a priest, imam or minister authorized to solemnize marriage or a marriage counselor duly accredited by the proper government agency to certify that the couple have undergone marriage counseling. Failure to attach said certificates of marriage counseling shall suspend the issuance of the marriage license for a period of three months from the completion of the publication of the application.
The local civil registrar shall then prepare a notice containing the full names and residences of the applicants for a marriage license and other data given in the applications. The notice shall be posted for ten consecutive days on a bulletin board in a conspicuous place within the registrar’s building and accessible to the general public. This notice shall request all persons having knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the local civil registrar thereof. The marriage license shall be issued after the completion of the period of publication.
In case of any impediment known to the local civil registrar or brought to his attention, these shall be duly noted. The registrar could still issue the license unless ordered otherwise by the court.
The local civil registrar shall require the payment of the fees prescribed by law or regulations before the issuance of the marriage license. No other sum shall be collected in the nature of a fee or tax of any kind for the issuance of said license. It shall, however, be issued free of charge to indigent parties who have no visible means of income or whose income is insufficient for their subsistence.
For more information, consult the 1987 Family Code and your lawyer.
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Nolledo, Jose N. “The Family Code of the Philippines.” The Civil Code of the Philippines. 2000 Revised Edition