Marriage Requirements for Costa Rica


Residency Requirement: None

Necessary Documents: A valid passport

Note: Two marriage witnesses (relatives or friends) are required. After the ceremony, the couple, their witnesses, and an attorney sign the marriage statement. It is then submitted to the Civil Registry of Costa Rica, the governmental institution which records marriages. After registration, which normally takes about 10 weeks, the Civil Registry executes the marriage certificate and sends a certificate that has been officially translated and authenticated by the Consulate to the couple to submit to their marriage record office. Costa Rican marriages are recognized all over the world. You must be at least 18 years old to marry in Costa Rica.

Women must also take a pregnancy test, administered by the Supreme Court of Costa Rica at the Forensic Medicine Office, (506) 295-3000. If the test is negative, there is no waiting period. Accordng to Costa Rican law, a woman doesn't change her last name after marriage. In all legal documents, the bride's name will appear as it does in her passport. Changes may occur after submitting the license to the marriage record office in her country.

For More Info: US Embassy Consular Section, (506) 220-3050, or visit

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