So you’re engaged and have completed like 60% of your wedding planning. Or are you just wondering about how to go about obtaining your marriage license (aka posting of banns) and applying for your marriage certificate?
If you’re currently nodding your head, continue to read and learn more about the legal requirements to getting married in T & T.
There are four kinds of marriages recognized in T&T, however, this blog will focus on Civil Marriages.
A Civil Marriage is the most common form of marriage in Trinidad and Tobago and can be performed by a Marriage Officer, Warden, or the Registrar General. All Christian marriages performed in a church are considered civil marriages, provided the presiding minister is a licensed Marriage Officer. Under Civil Marriage Law, you must be at least 18 years to marry but exemptions may be granted on religious grounds.
Couples wanting to get married must first give Notice of Marriage in person at their nearest District Registrar Office. If the couple lives in separate areas, banns are posted in both areas. An appointment is not required at this moment and the couple can walk-in to their nearest District Registrar Office with the following documents:
- A form of identification must be presented.
National Identification, Passport or Birth Certificate
- If divorced, an original decree absolute must be presented.
- If widowed, an original death certificate must be presented.
The cost to post banns is ten dollars ($10). After seven (7) days, the couple will return to the District Registrar Office on the eight-day with another ten dollars ($10) to take down their banns and collect their Marriage License. With this license, the couple can now get married within a period of six (6) months.
Otherwise, if you’re not wed within six (6) months, you would be required to apply for a renewal of your marriage license at a cost of one hundred dollars ($100.00) only at the Office of the Solicitor General Tower C, International Waterfront Centre, 1A Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
Issue of Special Marriage License (Visitors)
Non-Resident couples can get married in a little as three (3) days with a Special Marriage License. A Special Marriage License waives the requirement for both parties to post marriage banns.
To apply for a special marriage license the couple must be non-residents of Trinidad and Tobago (i.e. not normally residing in Trinidad and Tobago; and for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, they must not normally reside in Trinidad and Tobago for at least 3 years)
Each party must be present in Trinidad and Tobago for not less than three days prior to the time of the marriage. The requisite three-day period runs from the day after the date of arrival of the respective parties.
Before a marriage can be solemnized both parties must appear personally before the Registrar of Marriages or a District Registrar not less than 24 hours before the intended time of the marriage and shall each make an affidavit or statutory declaration.
The following documents are required:
- Valid ID of parties, preferably passport.
- Original divorce absolute or death certificate of the previous spouse and certified translation thereto, if applicable.
- Proof of entry into Trinidad and Tobago.
This special marriage license is obtained at the Civil Registry of the Registrar General’s Department, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, AGLA Tower, Government Plaza, corner of London & Richmond Streets, Port of Spain, or District Warden’s Office. The cost of this license is three hundred dollars ($300.00).
APPLYING FOR YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
After your wedding ceremony and you along with your witnesses have signed your marriage papers. The officiant keeps one copy for the church, he will give one copy to the couple and he will submit the third copy to the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
Approximately two weeks after the wedding the couple will visit the Ministry of Legal Affairs to receive their Marriage Certificate.
An appointment is needed for a marriage certificate if you are doing a walk-in appointment. The appointment can be made on the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs website. Then payment is made in person via Cash or Linx at a cost of twenty-five dollars ($25) when collecting your marriage certificate.
On the other hand, you can apply online and have it mailed to you.
The following fees would apply:
Cost per certificate – $25.00 TTD
Convenience fee – for one certificate and registered post – $3.16 TTD
Delivery via registered post within Trinidad and Tobago – $23.00 TTD
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