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Getting a Marriage License in the Philippines

People say that getting married is one of the few most exciting events in one’s life that gives positive stress. Getting married gives the nuptials stress on wedding preparations, receptions, catering, foods, bands, invitations, tokens, dates, church locations, dresses, tuxedos, flowers, cakes, rings, etc.; the planning and arrangements won’t seem to stop. Nonetheless, most couples should keep in mind that one of the first things they would have to be preparing is their individual marriage licenses.

Marriage licenses are documents issued by local government units (City Hall or Municipal Hall) that allow a man and a woman to get married. The requirements needed in obtaining a marriage license depend on one’s civil status and residence or nationality.



The BASIC REQUIREMENTS that are needed by a man in order to avail a marriage license from their lady’s hometown are:

a.) National Statistics Office (NSO) Birth Certificate – 1 original and 2 photocopies (

b.) Parents’ Consent or Parental Advice.

The legal age of getting married under the Philippine laws is 18 years old. However, any person getting married at the age of 18-21 years old should present a written parental consent from his / her parents or legal guardians, before being allowed by the Philippine   government to get married. Furthermore, for individuals getting married at the age of 21 -25 years old, it is necessary to present a parental advice containing information that his/ her parents are allowing their marriage.

c.) Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness– 1 original and 1 photocopy

This is a document issued by the NSO that certifies an individual has not contracted himself/ herself to any marriage.

d.) Certificate of Attendance

This is a certification indicating that the couple had attended seminars on pre-marital counseling and family planning conducted by the Municipal hall or City hall from which they had applied their marriage licenses.

e.)Cedula – 1 original and 2 photocopies

f.) Barangay Certification or Barangay Clearance – 1 original and 1 photocopy

g.)At least 2 valid IDs


Here are additional requirements needed when you are a:

Additional Requirements

Additional Requirements

 A. Foreigner

  • Passport – 2 photocopies-ID – 2 photocopies
  • Latest Date of Arrival – 2 photocopies
  • Certificate of Legal Capacity -This is a document issued by their respective regional diplomatic officials or consular officials.
  • Certificate of No Marriage CENOMAR or Certificate of Singleness

    A.1) Foreigner who is a divorced

**All the above mentioned requirements are necessary, including:

  • Judicial Decree for Absolute Divorce – 1 original 2 photocopies


    A.2)  Foreigner who is a widow / widower

**All the above mentioned requirements are necessary, including:

  • Death Certificate of Deceased Spouse – 1 original and 2 photocopies

    A.3) Foreigner who is a naturalized Citizen

**All of the above mentioned requirements are necessary, including:

  • Naturalization Papers – 1 original and 2 photocopies

B. Filipino/ Filipina Widow or Widower

  • National Statistics Office (NSO) Birth Certificate – 1 original ang 2 photocopies
  •  Parents’ Consent or Parental Advice.
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness– 1 original and 1 photocopy
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Cedula – 1 original and 2 photocopies
  • Barangay Certification or Barangay Clearance – 1 original and 1 photocopy
  • **Death Certificate of Deceased Spouse – 1 original and 2 photocopies

C.Filipino / Filipina Who is Annulled

  • National Statistics Office (NSO) Birth Certificate – 1 original ang 2 photocopies
  • Parents’ Consent or Parental Advice.
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness– 1 original and 1 photocopy
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Cedula – 1 original and 2 photocopies
  • Barangay Certification or Barangay Clearance – 1 original and 1 photocopy
  • **Certificate of Finality of Annulment from the Court – 1 original and 2 photocopies
  • **  Certificate of Registration from the Local Civil Registrar – 1 original and 2 photocopies

Here are the BASIC STEPS in getting a Marriage License in the Philippines

The basic steps for marriage license

The basic steps in getting a marriage license in the Philippines

1.Schedule a Pre-marital seminar at the City Health Department or Municipal Health Department and pay the necessary fees.

2.Attend the Pre-marital Seminars conducted by the Municipal Health Department or City Health Department  and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

3.Get your Certificate of Attendance for the seminar you have attended

4.Get and fill out Application For Marriage License (Form 90)

5.Attach all the necessary documents needed (these are the basic requirements mentioned above)

6.Submit the Application and attached documents

7.Get Claim Slip

8.Wait until the application had been posted by the posting officer

9.Get the Marriage License



The most optimistic amount of time to get a marriage license to the point where you can be married is one to two weeks, but it can be considerably more depending on whether any of your paperwork has any issues, and the schedules of the officials whose approval you will need.

Even though the application for marriage license may be tasking, it will always be good to know that a marriage well-celebrated and well-prepared-for will always be worth the wait and the effort. It is not important how long and tedious the preparation is; what matters most is being married with the person you truly love.

If you are interested in a free report on immigration visa tips, please request it via our Filipino Visa website, which is part of our trusted and award-winning service Christian Filipina.

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  1. how can i furnish those requirements when infact i have no filipina it possible to get marriage license if i have no G.F.?will the agency in-charge will find the right woman for me?

    Comment by Clark Field C. Arrono III — October 21, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  2. Hi Mr. Arrono, Thanks for writing with your question. If you do not yet have a fiance, then this article is just for reference only. But once you later meet the right lady for you, this will help you to prepare the documents.

    Remember, our advice if you do not yet have a finace is that you should plan to meet 3-5 ladies in person as friends first in your first week in the Philippines. Once you have met them in person, you will know whether one of those will blossom into something very special.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — October 21, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  3. American have to pay around two hundred for civil marriage, then another four hundred for a passport then another two hundred twenty for medical exam then another two hundred twenty for interview ,not to mention a party ,pictures, and other little small things , where as American can get married in the U.S for around one hundred dollars,then you have to buy a ticket for her to the U,S another 800. plus is why few American wont Philippine wives , nowdays most have kids , that more money

    Comment by marcus f ferguson — October 22, 2012 @ 2:21 am

  4. The article says that the marriage licence must be obtained from city hall “in the lady’s hometown”. QUESTION: How strictly is “hometown” interpreted? For example, if the lady lives in a town or city in Mindanao, could the marriage licence be obtained from city hall at the City of Cebu? If the lady lived in Cebu for a week or two, would Cebu become her “hometown” for the purpose of obtaining a marriage licence

    Many parts of Mindanao are dangerous, and no foreigner should go there to get a marriage licence.

    Comment by Mike — October 22, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  5. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your important question. Legally the marriage license can be obtained from the local Philippine Civil Registrar where either the lady or the gentleman is residing (no matter whether one is a foreigner or not). And it is valid for 120 days anywhere in the Philippines, so you could even go to another place to have the actual civil marriage ceremony. If you are in Cebu when you want to get the marriage license together, then you could easily explain that you are residing in Cebu to the clerk or other authority issuing the marriage license. Since there is a small amount of interpretation in a situation like this, in general you can rest assured that if the first person you speak with at a local office is not willing to help you, the next person at the next counter, or another person the next day, or in the next town, will be happy to help. Unfortunately sometimes in the Philippines it’s ambiguous like this, but the good news is it works out eventually.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — October 22, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  6. The only problem I have with marrying a Filipina is as follows. I was stationed there in 1986/87 in the USA Navy. Many of the women I met assumed that Americans are rich-some are-and by certain standards they may seem so. However, I’ve seen many ladies come to the USA and by USA standards find out that the man is middle class and/or not rich by our Cost of Living Standards. Yes, Christians are suppose to look on the inside, but it takes money to live in this world nowdays. I do not want to disappoint some body if they come here and are shocked or as we call it “cultural shock”. Please tell me your thoughts…

    Comment by Raymond F — November 18, 2012 @ 2:27 am

  7. Hi Raymond,

    Sure, we are happy to share our thoughts about that. It’s important to consider, however it is not a major problem as long as you keep it in mind.

    The three ways in which you should act in order to avoid that kind of situation are: (1) be honest from the beginning when you first begin talking (or even earlier, by putting it in your profile description as well). Tell her if you have to work hard every day and as well if in order to make ends meet, even modestly, your prospective wife would also have to work; (2) Look for a compatibility of values and lifestyle. If being economical, working hard, cooking from scratch, or even growing your own food are important to you (like they are to us), then concentrate on meeting people who share those values – who say they share those values and who you can see share those values by the lifestyle they are already living; (3) Once she is coming to your country, whether it is the USA or Australia, Germany, New Zealand, etc, make a big effort to locate Filipinas who share your values for her to befriend. If she has another Filipina she sees happily living a similar lifestyle already then she will be inspired to continue even if there are rough stages. Related to this final point, we encourage you to maintain a long-term membership at our site even after you have met (our long-term Diamond level is only 9.99 a month) and we will help you locate other Filipinas who are living near you after having met on our site.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — November 18, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  8. On the requirement of the
    •Certificate of Legal Capacity -This is a document issued by their respective regional diplomatic officials or consular officials.
    •Certificate of No Marriage CENOMAR or Certificate of Singleness
    for foreigners , any idea on the time it takes to get those , to plan accordingly on length of stay to do the paperwork and get married in one visit? and would we get the CENOMAR also at the local NSO and how ahead of time can one get some of the paperwork filed to be ready as soon as possible on arrival?

    Comment by kat — November 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  9. Hi Kat,
    If all the ID cards, birth certificates, etc, are all correct and matching, then both of these can be finished within a few days. Generally the gentleman will have to go personally to his embassy, and assuming he is indeed single, the certificate will typically be issued immediately. The Philippine CENOMAR will be issued within a few days if the other related paperwork is all in order and can even be delivered in some cases. If anyone is legally married (not single) then these documents will not be easy to get until the outstanding marriage is annulled or has finalized divorce papers.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — November 20, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  10. Is it true that if both of you are above 26 years old, Certificate of family planning is no longer required in applying for a marriage license? Is this applicable to all cities? Thank you.

    Comment by Ann — November 24, 2012 @ 4:16 am

  11. i met a pinay girl on face book. and we like each other what do i have to do to get her here/ can i just send for her to come as a fiance visa/ is there ways to have her come with out me going there

    Comment by john pupparo — November 26, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  12. Hi John, You will have trouble with that approach as it is not possible. You might find your answers in another one of our articles, Steps For Brining your Filipina Wife to the USA.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — November 26, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  13. Thanks for your efforts to see it all goes well

    Comment by Mark — November 28, 2012 @ 7:23 pm


    Comment by rick COAKLEY — November 30, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  15. Hi Rick, She can, as long as you have first met her in person in her country and are engaged to her. In that case, you would still have to apply for a fiance visa after you are engaged, which is an immigrant visa and (in the US at least) takes a similar amount of time as the spousal visa.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — November 30, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  16. my fiance is in australia. Can i process his requirements like CENOMAR and Certificate of legal capacity even he is in australia? or he should go personally to the Australian Embassy here in the Philippines?thanks.

    Comment by kc lorica — December 18, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  17. my boyfriend is on michigan and we planned to get married here in mindanao on april 2013, can i process all of his requirements here in mindanao?he email his papers to me and i will process it…can i do that processing? please give me an advice

    Comment by jenee may — January 5, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

  18. Hi Jenee, We doubt it. You might be able to do some of it without him, but as we explained there are quite a few steps that require you both to be present.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 5, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

  19. Hi, I have a Bf from California, we concern about the marriage in philippines,do you have any idea how can we process all of that requirements,because my boyfriend cannot stay long in philippines,so is there any suggestions on how to do it?
    Thanks, God bless

    Comment by jean — January 6, 2013 @ 6:08 am

  20. Would Php 18,000 be too much for a marriage license?

    We were charged that amount by a Marriage Consultant and Law Office located a few blocks from my fiance’s local city hall (the guard referred us there, which kind of makes me confused).

    Comment by Pao — February 21, 2013 @ 3:26 am

  21. Hi Pao, One would assume that such a large amount must have included a fee to overcome some legal obstacle like the normally required waiting period. Our marriage license was maybe a few hundred pesos.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — February 25, 2013 @ 1:06 am

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