Getting Married in Jamaica: Jamaica Wedding Requirements

GETTING MARRIED IN JAMAICA:

Jamaica Wedding Requirements and

Other Tidbits That You might Not Know

Getting married in Jamaica - what you need to know

Getting married in Jamaica – what you need to know

How to Get a Marriage License in Jamaica

Getting married in Jamaica is easy! That’s one reason, every year, thousands of couples choose Jamaica for their destination wedding.

Can you apply for a Jamaica marriage license yourself?

You can apply for the license yourself; but, why give up a day of your vacation to go into the Office of the Minister of Justice in Kingston, then to the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) then back to the Office of the Minister of  Justice for an extra 3 hours wait to process the documents when all of this could be handled easily by your wedding planner or marriage officer?

We suggest that you let your wedding planner and marriage officer handle this for you. The fee that the marriage officer charges covers the application for the license, performing the ceremony and applying for the certificate of marriage. This option does cost more than the DIY approach but how much is your vacation time worth to you?

Who should you contact if you want to apply for a Jamaica marriage license yourself?

If you do want to obtain the license yourself, here is the contact information for the Ministry of Justice. Fair warning, in my experience, they took about 2-3 weeks to answer a question that I asked by email.

Ministry of Justice

NCB Towers, 10th Floor, South Tower

2 Oxford Road/ 2 Kensington Crescent, Kingston 5

Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 5pm, Friday from 9:00am – 4pm

Phone: 876-906-4923-31

Fax: 876-906-1712

customerservice@moj.gov.jm  

What are the steps necessary to apply for a marriage license?

Click here for the Jamaica Ministry of Justice’s website for an outline of the steps that are necessary to get the license

Is the application for a marriage license online?

Yes. Click here for a copy of the application form.

Do you recommend that tourists apply for the marriage license themselves?

If you are in Jamaica and decide to get married and have all the required documents with you, then you could go and apply for the license yourself. Short of that, leave the application to the pros.

Jamaican wedding planners and marriage officer know the process and will make all the arrangements for you once you have submitted the documents to them ahead of time. That is one less thing for you to worry about.

Free email series to help you plan your Jamaica wedding

Free email series to help you plan your Jamaica wedding

Planning on Getting Married in Jamaica? What Information Do You Need to Provide to Get the Marriage License?

It is simple to get married in Jamaica!

1.   Information to complete the application form for the marriage license

The form asks for the name, marital status (single, divorced or widowed), age, occupation, and address (for mailing the certified marriage certificate) of the bride and groom. Click here for the application form.

2.   Required documents to get married in Jamaica

  • Proof of citizenship:  Original or certified copy of birth certificate which bears the father’s name
  • Adoption papers if applicable, especially if there was a name change as a result of the adoption
  • For Divorced Persons: certificate of divorce or annulment (Decree Absolute) regardless of the current marital status of the former spouse. If the former spouse is deceased, it is useful, but not mandatory, to show both the Decree Absolute and Death Certificate.
  • Widowed Persons:  death certificate of the former spouse
  • Parents’ or legal guardian’s written consent is required if either party is under age 18. This is usually a letter signed by one or both parents or guardian and certified by a Notary Public or Justice of Peace. Proof of identity of the parent(s) is also required.

Just so you know …

* The list of required documents applies to both the bride and the groom.

* You will be required to show originals or properly notarized/certified copies of all necessary documents to get married in Jamaica. Photocopies are not accepted. Be sure to bring your original documents to Jamaica with you. Absolutely do not mail your originals to Jamaica.

* All documents must be in English. All translations must be done either by your Consulate or recognized translation agency and notarized. If you use a translation agency, their certification of authenticity must be attached.

* The names on all documents must match. This is especially critical for women who, for example, may have reverted to their maiden name after a divorce. Be sure to have the original documents or certified copies confirming the change.

 

Getting Married in Jamaica: Legal Requirements

So You Have Applied for or Have Your Marriage License, What Else Do You Need to Know?

Know the legal requirements for weddings in Jamaica.

Know the legal requirements for weddings in Jamaica.

  • For tourists, there is no residency requirement. Individuals may marry 24 hours after arrival provided that they have already applied for the marriage license. We recommend that our couples arrive 2-3 days before the wedding to have time to meet with the marriage officer and wedding planner to sort out any last minute details.
  • Blood tests are not required.
  • The marriage license is only valid for 3 months; so, don’t apply too early.
  • Two witnesses are required
  • Same-sex marriages are not legal in Jamaica.
  • Marriages held in Jamaica are recognized in the US, Canada, and worldwide. Nevertheless, you must check your country’s requirements for getting married in a foreign country in case there are any requirements that must be fulfilled for the marriage to be considered legal. This is especially important when documents have to be translated. Citizens of Germany, for example, are required to have the German Embassy in Kingston legalize the certificate issued by the Jamaican authorities at a cost determined by the German Embassy. This is also true for Italian citizens. French Canadians need to have translated and notarized copies of all required documents as well as a photocopy of the original French documents.
  • Marriages may be performed on any day of the week between 06:00 and 20:00. 
  • Anyone can officiate at the wedding ceremony; however, only a Jamaican marriage officer can legally marry a couple. Additionally, that person must be present to sign the required paperwork. Most, but not all, members of the clergy are marriage officers. Marriage officers may be found through your wedding planner or from the Registrar General’s Department. Telephone: 876-749-0550 or 876-619-1260. Email: information:rgd.gov.jm. Website: www.rgd.gov.jm

 

Now That You are Married, How Do You Obtain Your Marriage Certificate

After the ceremony, the marriage officer will provide the couple with a signed marriage register – signed by the marriage officer, the couple and both witnesses. This only shows proof of marriage and is not a legal document.

The official marriage certificate, the legal document, must be obtained from the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) online service or in person. Most marriage officers provide this service for their couples. 

IMPORTANT: The certified copy of the marriage certificate takes between 7 working days and 1 month to be processed by the RGD. Even if you use their expedited service, you probably won’t leave the island with your certified copies of your marriage certificate in hand, unless you are on the island for an extended period of time after your wedding. Expect that it will take several weeks for you to receive the certificate.

Can you apply for a copy of the marriage certificate yourself?

Yes, you can. Click here for the website where you may apply for a copy yourself.

Is there anything else that must be done to ensure that the union is legal? 

For the US and the UK, nothing else is required. For countries where the official language is not English, there is an extra step. Your documents must be legalized by your Embassy/High Commission which represents your Government in Jamaica for your marriage to be recognized as a legal union.

Check with your country’s embassy or high commission in Jamaica or the Ministry of Foreign or External Affairs in your home country BEFOREHAND to avoid unpleasant surprises.

 

Potentially Useful Websites for More Information

Consulate General of Jamaica Miami: http://www.jamaicacgmiami.org/page/getting-married-in-jamaica

Jamaica High Commission United Kingdom: http://www.jhcuk.org/visitors/getting-married-in-jamaica

Jamaica Ministry of Justice:  http;//moj.gov.jm/services-and-information/marriage-licence

 

DISCLAIMER

While a properly executed marriage in Jamaica is recognized as legal in the US, Canada, UK, and the rest of the world, neither this document nor the contents of this website, should not be considered legal advice. The information is intended to be used as a guide only. Please confirm all requirements with your wedding planner and or your local marriage officer and or the Ministry of Justice of Jamaica. Foreign nationals are also advised to check with their respective embassies prior to coming to Jamaica.

 

Free email series to help you plan your Jamaica wedding

Free email series to help you plan your Jamaica wedding

 

We tried to answer the most commonly asked questions about getting married in Jamaica. If you have any questions on this topic that we did not address, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes with your Jamaica destination wedding plans.

‘Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell & Darrian

Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families, groups, and intimate destination weddings.

Visit our website: http://www.MakeItJamaica.com

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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