Civil Marriage in Panama
Information on the legal requirements in order to have a civil wedding ceremony in Panama...
Once a couple has all the necessary documents for a civil marriage, they go to the Marriage Court (Juzgado en Turno en Matrimonios) Marriage Court to be married. It is preferable to hand these documents in at least three days prior to the service; however, this is not a strict requirement.
The following documents are needed for a civil marriage:
- Health certificate for both parties. The certificate must be issued by a registered physician within 15 days prior to the marriage service. The examination consists of two parts:
- General medical examination
- Laboratory tests for the following:
- VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test)
- Complete blood count (Biometría hemática)
- Hemoglobin Electrophoresis (Electroforesis de hemoglobin),
- Birth certificates, which must be issued in the country of origin. They must then be authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Panama (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores). The authentication is done by the department of Legalizaciones y Autenticaciones which is located inside the Ministry
- Birth certificate(s) of any child(ren) of either party
- An apostilled certificate of single status (Certificado de Solteria), which must be issued by the couple's country of residence during the previous two years. This certificate is also called a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI). Foreigners should check with their home country consulate for specific information relating to the CNI and getting married in Panama. In Panama this requirement can be fulfilled by signing a sworn statement attesting to single status in front of a Panamanian notary. Two witnesses (who cannot be related to the person making the sworn statement) must also make sworn statements to the person's single status in front of the same notary. Panamanian citizens can get a Certificado de Solteria from a Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil)
- Divorce certificate or death certificate, if either party is divorced or widowed
- Panamanian ID card (cedula), or passport with corresponding visa
- Signed declaration by both parties (on a form provided by the court) expressing their intention to marry, and which gives the following information:
- Full name
- Marital status
- Domicile or residence of the future spouses
- Domicile or residence of their parents
- Names of witnesses
In addition, the couple must have two witnesses of legal age (18 years old) who are not related to either party.
Once a couple has all the required documents, they go to the Marriage Court with their witnesses and get married. The judge on duty marries the couple, officiates the documents and issues a marriage certificate. It is possible to book a specific day and time.
- For further information in Spanish, see the PanamaTramita website and type in "contraer matrimonio" into the search function
In Panama City, the Municipal Civil Courts are located on Via Espana, adjacent to the Alhambra Cinemas in the former offices of the Port Authority.
- To find marriage courts throughout Panama: Click here (in Spanish)