Information Regarding Marriage in Brazil
The marriage process in Brazil can be complicated and time consuming. All individuals, regardless of nationality, who desire to be married in Brazil must comply with Brazilian law. There are no provisions for American Diplomatic or Consular Officers to perform marriages in Brazil. In addition, marriages may not be performed at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates.
In Brazil, a civil process is required in order to legalize the marriage. Religious ceremonies may also be performed, but they are not legally recognized. Religious ceremonies alone are not considered legally binding. Civil ceremonies may be performed at Civil Registry Offices (Registros Civis). Marriages are normally performed at the Civil Registry Office that has jurisdiction over the resident or the registration of the party. In addition to performing marriages, this office also contains all the required forms and pertinent procedural information necessary to be married in Brazil.
U.S. citizens intending to marry in Brazil should visit the Civil Registry Office where they live to obtain a list of the documents required for the marriage to be legally registered. If neither the groom nor the bride lives in Brazil, you may visit the Civil Registry Office closest to where you would like to get married.
The following information and document requirements will help guide you in the marriage process. Please make sure to obtain the most up to date information from the Civil Registry Office since requirements, procedures, and costs are subject to change.
- The minimum age for marriage is 18 years for men and 16 years for women.
- Parental authorization, or that of a guardian, is required if the bride or groom is a minor (under 21 years old.)
Registering Intention to Marry
In order to register your intention to marry, you and your fiancè(e) should go in person to the Civil Registry Office accompanied by 2 witnesses. The witnesses should be at least 21 years old have their Brazilian I.D. card and C.P.F. (cadastro de pessoa fisica). All signatures must be certified by the “Registro de Notas”. The following forms will also be necessary for registration as well as a fee of approximately R$72.
Please note that registering your intent to marry is different from registering the actual marriage. You will be required to submit all original documents as well as another copy when registering your intent to marry. If the documents are in English, you should provide a translation by a sworn public translator. Please check with the appropriate Civil Registry Office for current fee information.
Forms Involving the Brazilian Consulate
- Birth Certificate: The U.S. Embassy and Consulates do not provide translation services.
- Evidence of termination of prior marriage (if applicable): If you are divorced or widowed, you may be required to present previous marriage, divorce or death certificates as applicable. Divorce decrees from countries other than Brazil must also be legalized by the Supreme Tribunal Federal in Brasilia. This procedure generally requires the assistance of a Brazilian attorney. A list of attorneys is available at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Forms Involving the U.S. Consulate
- Evidence of single marital status: Generally the Civil Registry Office will accept evidence in the form of an affidavit sworn at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in which you declare your marital status as “single.” The service fee is US$ 50.00 payable in cash and you must present your U.S. passport.
Forms Involving the Civil Registry Office
- Application form: To register intention to marry
- U.S. Passport: Copy of your U.S. passport, including the biographical data page and any other pages containing information, certified by a Registry Office (Cartório).
- Brazilian identity card: (if applicable) Photocopy of your Brazilian identity card if you are a temporary or permanent resident of Brazil, authenticated by a local notary public.
Note: If you are in Brazil on a permanent resident visa (Carteira de Residente Permanente) or as a temporary worker (Carteira de Temporario), some of the above documents may be waived.
Registering the Marriage
A second fee is required to register the marriage at the Civil Registry Office (Registro de Títulos e documentos). This registration also takes place before you can get married. The fee is about R$18 for each page of the documents listed above. Please check with the appropriate Civil Registry Office for current fee information.
Once the required documents have been filed and the fee paid, there is a waiting period of about 30 days before the marriage license is approved. At this point, the marriage license is valid for three months during which time you may legally get married.
The Hague Apostille Convention entered into force in Brazil as of August 14, 2016. The United States joined the Convention on October 15, 1981. Under the Convention, public documents bearing an Apostille are recognized in all Convention countries.
Apostilles for Brazilian public documents can be obtained at any public notary office (cartório) located in one of the 27 state capitals and the Federal District of Brazil. These Apostilles do not require further certification by the U.S. Embassy or consulates to be recognized in the United States. The U.S. Embassy and consulates are not authorized to provide Apostilles or assist in obtaining them. If you have a Brazilian public document that needs an Apostille to be recognized in the United States, please contact a public notary office in one of the Brazilian capital cities.
In the United States the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State of the individual U.S. states provide Apostilles. If you are seeking an Apostille for a United States public document to be used in Brazil, please click here for contact details in your state.