Documentation for Getting Married in Brazil

There are three main steps before a marriage can go ahead:

    Registration of the intent to marry and presentation of the documents
    Publication of the banns
    Issue of marriage licence

1. Registration of the intent to marry: This is made at the Civil Registry Office (Cartório de Regístro Civil) responsible for the district or municipality where either one of the couple is resident. Every region, district or municipality in Brazil has a registry office which is responsible for the registration and documentation of the general public’s civil affairs.

Presentation of the documents: It is recommended that a couple intending to marry should register their intent to do so at least 30 days prior to the intended date of the marriage ceremony. The registration process can take a minimum of 20 days and a maximum of 60 days.

Foreigners must fill in an application form and present the following documents at the registry office to begin the marriage process:

    Original copies of passport or Foreigner's identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro - CIE which contains the Registro National De Estrangeiro - RNE the identity number for non-nationals)
    Original birth certificate - certified by a Brazilian Consulate in the issuing country
    Declaration of Civil Status issued by the local Consulate or Embassy (the declaration of civil status is valid for ninety days)

Brazilian nationals provide:

    Original identity document
    Individual taxpayer's card (Cadastro de Pessoa Física, CPF)
    Birth certificate
    Proof of address
    Proof of the date and location of the births of their parents

If either party has previously been married they must provide a copy of the final divorce decree (or death certificate of the former spouse if widowed).

The names and identification numbers of the intended witnesses to the marriage should also be registered, although the witnesses themselves do not have to be present at this registration.

All documents that are not in Portuguese must be translated by a certified translator and authenticated by a local public notary (Tabelião). A local home country Consulate can provide contact details for these official translators.

There is a small fee to register the intent to marry; it varies from state to state.

2. Publication of the banns: The registry office displays the statement of the intention of marriage on its walls for a period of 15 days and publishes banns in the local press. Following a 15 day waiting period the couple are free to marry.

3. Issue of marriage licence: Once all the documents have been presented to the registry office, approved by the notary officials and no valid objections have been received from members of the public, the registry official issues a marriage license (Certidao de Habilitação de Casamento) which is a permit to marry, valid for 90 days.

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