Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Switzerland
Allow at least 5 weeks from arrival in Switzerland to wedding date (5 weeks to process paperwork and post wedding banns). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in the corresponding language to the region you plan to marry; French, German or Italian. Contact the Embassy in your home country or your Embassy in Switzerland for an authorized translator. All translated documents must be certified with an Apostille. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Certified copy of birth certificates, which should include the full names of your parents and your mother’s maiden name, issued within the past 6 months
- Valid Passports
- Proof of domicile (i.e. utility bill)
- Verification of single status (can be obtained from your Embassy in Switzerland)
- Certificate of No Impediment*/Affidavit declaring that each party is free to marry (obtained/sworn in your resident country at the Swiss Embassy or contact your Embassy in Switzerland)
- Marriage Request Form (obtained from Registrar’s office in the region you plan to marry)
- Certified copy of divorce decree and corresponding marriage certificate to previous spouse. A bride-to-be must wait 300 days from the finalization of divorce to remarry, if applicable
- Certified copy of death certificate and corresponding marriage certificate of deceased spouse, if applicable
- Armed Forces/Military Personnel: may require permission to marry from a Commanding Officer, 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 Switzerland are civil. The ceremony may be performed in French, German or Italian. If either party does not speak the corresponding language to the region, an interpreter should be hired. Traditional, religious, non-denominational or secular ceremonies are not legally recognized, but can proceed a civil ceremony to fulfill the desires of the bride and groom-to-be.
- Age and Relation
The bride must be at least 17 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 in order for your marriage to be recognized. They cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide their passports.
As requirements vary, it is recommended to contact the Registrar in the region you plan to marry prior to leaving for your trip to ensure that all required documents are accounted for. They may require fewer or additional paperwork. Most of this paperwork can be completed from your resident country in advance of your trip.
Bring all documents to the local . A more extensive list of Registry Offices can be found here. If all documents are in order, allow 5 weeks to process and publish Wedding Banns. Once a Marriage License is issued, it is valid for 6 months area.
Once the Marriage License has been issued, prepare to schedule the wedding date with the Registrar’s Office. Be prepared to schedule the wedding date, within 10 days to 3 months from approval. There are no Sunday or holiday appointments.
Note that a matrimonial property regime is mandatory. The wife assumes the husband’s surname when they marry. If they decide to take the wife’s surname or a hyphenated name is chosen, this must be arranged prior to the marriage.
- The couple will need to contact the applicable Registrar’s Office, where their marriage took place, to obtain a Marriage Certificate.
- They will receive a booklet that contains the official marriage and provides space for significant future events, such as names changes, births, deaths and divorces for a family.
*A Certificate of No Impediment, is also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or a Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form).
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 Switzerland” in the subject line.
- Zivilstandsamt, Rittergasse 11, 4051 Basel
- Zivilstandsamt, Buemplizstrasse 97, 3018 Bern
- Tel: +031 387 38 38
- Fax: +031 387 38 39
- Email: email@example.com
- Etat civil, 37, rue de la Mairie, 1207 Genève
- Tel: +022 418 66 50
- Fax: +022 418 66 51
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Etat civil, 8, rue Beau-Séjour, 1003 Lausanne
- Tel: +021 315 29 82
- Email: email@example.com
- Ufficio dello Stato Civile, Palazzo Civico, Piazza Riforma, 6900 Lugano
- Tel: +091 800 70 33
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zivilstandsamt, Obergrundstrasse 1, 6003 Luzern
- Website: www3.ti.ch
- Canton of Vaud
- Zivilstandsamt Stadthaus, Stadthausquai 17, 8001 Zurich
- Tel: +01 216 31 11
- Website: www.stadt-zuerich.ch
- Zivilstandsamt Kreis Zug, Kolinplatz 19, 6300 Zug