Spanish Marriage Certificates

Learn how to get Spanish Marriage Certificates; this document reflecting officially the act of marriage can be issued in many languages.
Article Last Updated: 10 Dec, 2023 under Birth or Marriage Certificate Applications

The Spanish Marriage Certificate is a document issued by the Civil Registry manager, which certifies the act of marriage and the date, time and locality it took place. Digital marriage certificates can also be issued with a digital stamp from the Department of Registries and Notaries reflecting the data in the central database of people registered in the Civil Registers.

1. Types of Spanish Marriage Certificates

Positive Certificate: Extract: This is a summary of the information registered in the Civil Register regarding the celebration of the marriage and the identity of the individuals who were married. There are different versions:

  • Ordinary: It is issued in Spanish in the autonomous communities in which the only official language is Spanish.
  • International or multilingual: This version is valid in the countries that have ratified the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976. This certificate is issued in the official language of each of the signatory countries of that convention (Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Poland, Montenegro, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria).
  • Bilingual: Whenever an extract certificate is requested in an autonomous community that has its own official language, the certificate will be issued in Spanish and in the official language of the autonomous community in which it is issued.
  • Literal: This is a literal copy of the marriage registration, containing all of the data related to the wedding, the identity of the individuals who were married and any notes added to the margins (prenuptial agreement, separation, annulment or divorce, etc).

Negative Certificate: These certify that the marriage has not been registered at that Civil Register. Certification with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries: This serves as proof of the data contained in the computerised and digitised register entries made since 1950 in the Municipal Civil Registers or in the Central Civil Register. Certificates cannot be issued via this procedure for entries made before 1950 or which were made in a delegated Civil Register (Justice of the Peace) or in a Consular Civil Register.

2. Application Process: Normal

A certificate may be requested by any citizen who requires it or has interest in it, except where the law prohibits publication without special authorisation of information regarding:

  • Adoption, extramarital or unknown relationships or details that unveil such circumstances; the date of marriage indicated on the page of birth, if the former were later than the latter or it occurred within the 180 days prior to the birth; the change of a Foundling surname or other similar or inconvenient ones.
  • Sex change.
  • Causes for annulment, separation or divorce, or the loss or suspension of parental authority.
  • Filed documents relating to the details in the items above or to dishonourable circumstances or those of a reserved nature included in the file.
  • Abortion files.

3. Digital Spanish Marriage Certificates application Process

Authorisation in these cases is granted by the Judge responsible, and only to those who certify legitimate interest and a well-founded reason for requesting it. 

The certificate indicates the name of the individual making the request, the reasons for issuing it and the express authorisation of the Registrar or Acting Registrar, who will personally issue the certificate from the Register directly under his or her control. Anyone wanting to apply for marriage licences may do so if you have a digital certificate to uniquely identify yourself. 

Certificates with a digital stamp from the Department of Registries and Notaries can only be requested by owners of the data identified using an electronic National Identification Card or another form of advanced electronic signature accepted by the Public Administrations. 

This registry data refers to the digitised or computerised marriage records entered since 1950. Under no circumstances can the registry data relating to other people be obtained via this procedure

4. Processing Time

How long you have to wait to receive the certificate depends on how you have chosen to receive it. If you have chosen to receive the certificate by post, the period between the request and reception of the certificate is approximately 15 days. 

When applicants choose to retrieve the certifications in person, the Civil Registry Office will notify the date from which they may do so. This period will be interrupted when the Civil Registry requires additional or clarification of information relating to the application, until such time as the requested information is provided by the applicant, and likewise, when technical difficulties make it impossible to receive the requests properly. 

In the case of certificate requests with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries, the digital marriage certificate will be issued immediately.  

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