Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Brazil
Allow at least 35-75 days from arrival in Brazil to wedding date to process paperwork (20-60 days are required to process the Intent to Marry and another 15 days to post and publish wedding banns). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note: All documents must be submitted in Portuguese, by an authorized translator and authenticated by a public notary. The Embassy of your home country in Brazil should be able to provide a list of authorized translators.
- Original or certified copy of birth certificates, certified by the Brazilian Embassy in your home country
- Certidão de Inscrição Consular (only needed if your birth certificate does not state the full names of both your parents-obtained from your resident Embassy)
- Foreigner’s identity card or valid passports and photocopies of photo page and page with dated entry stamp
- Declaration of Civil Status (to be obtained from your Embassy in Brazil)
- Divorce decree or death certificates, if applicable
- Some places of worship may require additional documentation. It is recommended to contact the officiant prior to leaving on your trip, if applicable
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
All legally recognized weddings preformed in Brazil are civil ceremonies. The ceremony is preformed in Portuguese. If either party does not speak Portuguese, an interpreter should be hired.
Traditional, religious and non-denominational ceremonies are not legally binding on their own, but can be combined with the requirements of a civil ceremony to become legally recognized. Note that couple’s choosing a catholic ceremony are required to take a one day course prior to the wedding day.
It is possible to have an officer from the Civil Registry Office/Registros Civis come to any ceremony of your choice, if you decide not to marry at the Civil Registry Office. If the ceremony takes place without an officer from the Civil Registry Office present, documents provided by the officiate should be brought to the Civil Registry Office within 90 days to ensure your marriage is legally binding.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 21 years of age. If underage, parental consent is required. With parental consent, the bride must be at least 16 years of age and groom must be at least 18 years of age. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. They cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two –four witnesses 21 years of age or older must be present to register your intent to marry and for the ceremony. Witnesses must provide identification. Two witnesses are required for marriages in the registry office, while other ceremonies (not legally binding) may require four witnesses.
Prenuptials are becoming more popular, but are not mandatory. However, before a couple weds a Marital Regime (property contract) is mandatory to sign. There are four choices:
- Partial Property Ruling: Property owned prior to the marriage remains that party’s property. Any property bought during the marriage is dually owned by both parties.
- Community Property Ruling: Property bought during or prior to marriage becomes dually owned by both parties.
- Separate Property Ruling: Property bought during or prior to marriage is the property of the party that bought it and stays that party’s property. If either of party is 60 years of age or older, this marital regime is mandatory.
- Final Partition of Acquisitions: Property bought during or prior to marriage is the property of the party that bought it. In the case of a divorce or death, all property bought during marriage is divided equally.
To obtain a Declaration of Civil Status (valid for 90 days), go to your Embassy in Brazil. Here you can request a list of authorized translators for all your necessary documents.
Take witnesses and all paperwork to Register Intent to Marry at the Civil Registry Office/Registros Civis in the area the couple intends to marry.
The Intent to Marry can take 20-60 days to process. To be on the safe side, register 2 months prior to the planned wedding date.
The Civil Registry Office will post your Intent to Marry and publish Wedding Banns in the local press. These are posted and published during a 15 day waiting period. Once this period has come to completion, pending objections, the couple is free to marry.
Once you and your fiance are free to marry, the Civil Registry Office will issue a Marriage License (permit to marry, valid for 90 days) and any ceremonies can commence.
- If the ceremony takes place without an officer from the Civil Registry Office present, documents provided by the officiate should be brought to the Civil Registry Office within 90 days to ensure your marriage is legally binding.
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in Brazil” in the subject line.