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Marrying a Peruvian in Peru

As a foreigner, marrying a Peruvian in Peru is a fairly straightforward task although at times it can seem daunting.   There are two times of wedding ceremonies in Peru – the civil ceremony and the religious ceremony.  A religious ceremony is not required by law; the civil ceremony is the one that makes you married in the eyes of Peru.  While the paperwork isn’t too complicated, it does take time and it helps to make sure you have everything possible arranged ahead of time.   And remember: rules in Peru change from day to day and place to place. While these steps have been all that’s necessary for most people, you should always double check and confirm with the municipality where you’re getting married.
First of all, the following 4 items are necessary:

  • An original birth certificate.
  • A Certificado de soltería
  • Identification – You can use your passport or your carnet, if you’re already a resident.
  • A medical exam.

The birth certificate must be an original – it can not be a photocopy.
The certificado de soltería is a certified document that states you are not currently married.  There are several ways to do this, depending on where you’re from.  In the US, your county records should be able to do a search and print out a form saying that no record of marriage has been found.  It’s also possible to type up a sworn affidavit affirming that you are not married, and have it notarized.  Alternatively, you can go to your embassy here in Peru and request a certificate.
Both of these forms must be legalized at the Peruvian consulate that has jurisdiction over the place from which the birth certificate was issued.   If you’re in Peru already, it may be possible to get it legalized at your home country’s embassy here, but again, check with your municipality to see if this is acceptable.   It will also be necessary to have both the birth certificate and the certificado de soltería translated by an official translator here in Peru.
The medical exam is very straightforward – basically, it’s nothing more than drawing blood and testing for AIDS.  You pay for this at the municipality, and they will tell you a clinic to go to and both partners will get blood drawn.  You may or may not be seen by a doctor, who may give you a quick exam, or may only ask you if you have any health problems.  The thoroughness of the exam seems to vary from district to district. Most people report that they receive the results of the blood test the next day, although some may have to wait a day or two longer.
Once you have all this paperwork together, you’ll take everything back to the municipal building, pick the date, and pay for the ceremony.  In some cases, you may be required to post a marriage announcement that runs for 7 days, and gives anyone with due cause fair warning and a chance to speak out against your upcoming nuptials. 
Once that requirement has been met, you’re ready to say ‘I do!’  Don’t forget, you’ll need 2-4 witnesses depending on the requirements of your district, and the witnesses must have legal identification with them – a passport, carnet, or DNI.

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