Marriage Paperwork Requirements

Please note that there are certain legal considerations that must be taken into account before you get married in Spain. Here is an overview of some of the requirements specifically for Madrid.

For a civil marriage, both parties must have been residents in Madrid for 2 years.

The Catholic church is allowed to sometimes wave these residency requirements but the Archdiocese of Madrid must approve all paperwork. Because of some recent falsification of documents, paperwork is scrutinized with a keen eye.

Any European Community citizen who attempts to marry a non European Community member in order to gain residency for that member risks breaking the law and should be aware of the consequences.

At OLM, one or both parties should be from Spain. If both parties are not from Spain, please call Fr. Ron to see if you may be married in Spain.

The Process starts 6 montsh before the wedding date and the normal paperwork requirements are:

  • Newly issued baptismal certificates (Catholics). If the certificate is from outside the Archdiocese of Madrid, you must have your local bishop's office also place their seal on the certificate. These certificates must be issued no sooner than 6 months previous to the wedding date.
  • Photocopy of baptismal certificate (Christians).
  • Photocopy of full birth certificate (libro de familia for Spaniards). The short record card or abbreviated birth certificate is NOT accepted.
  • Marriage preparation certificate.
  • Affidavit of being single, fe de soleteria for Spaniards, or a similar document if the country of nationality provides such a document. (The Irish Embassy in Madrid does but the American Embassy does not).
  • Photocopy of passport (non Spanish) or DNI (Spanish).
  • Divorce Decree if previously divorced. Same goes for declarations of nullity.
  • If a previous spouse is deceased, a copy of the death certificate is required.
  • Two witnesses -- One for each of you.

Where do you prepare this paperwork?

In the parish if you are both Spanish or legally resident in Madrid for more than 3 years. You must go to the bishop's office in the following cases: if one party was previously divorced, if a previous spouse died, if you are cousins, if one of you (non Spanish party) has been resident in Spain for less than 3 years.

The bishop's office is located on:

Calle Bailén, 8

28071 Madrid

and is open from 9:30 until 1:30 every week day. You should have scheduled your wedding with a parish BEFORE you attempt to have your paperwork approved. There is a fee, normally 50-75 Euros.

This information is provided as a courtesy and we do not guarantee the accuracy of the requirements as laws and local customs change.

It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of these norms.