LEGALITIES OF GETTING MARRIED

MAKE IT OFFICIAL

If you are considering a wedding in paradise, here are a few handy facts about the legal requirements for getting a marriage licence here in Antigua and you can simplify the process with a wedding planner.

NEW: Due COVID-19, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour has introduced the following protocols that will apply to the process of acquiring a marriage licence.

Group 1: For locals and other visitors who have been on the island for fourteen (14) days or longer: Please contact the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour at tel. no. 462-0017/9 or email: legalaffairs@ab.gov.ag to schedule an appointment for an interview with our Marriage Coordinator.

Group 2: For residents and visitors who are on the island for a period of fourteen (14) days or less and who desire to obtain a Marriage Licence within that period: Please contact the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour, at tel. no. 462-0017/9 or email: legalaffairs@ab.gov.ag, to schedule a Zoom meeting for an interview with our Marriage Coordinator.

For couples, where one or both parties fall within Group 2, you will be given instructions to fax or scan and email the required documents to the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour, prior to the Zoom Meeting.

We encourage all couples to contact the office at least two (2) days prior to the date of their intended nuptials.

CHANGE OF NAME

If a change of name has taken place in the case of any applicant, then the Deed Poll under which this was done must be produced.

CEREMONY

  1. The day selected for the ceremony depends upon the parties.
  2. There is a registration fee of EC$ 100.00 or US$ 37.00 to be paid at the Registrar’s Office.
  3. If the wedding ceremony is to be performed outside of the Courthouse, please note that there is a marriage officer fee of $270EC or US$ 100.00.
  4. Ceremonies can be performed between the hours of 6:00 am and 8:00 PM.
  5. Every marriage must be solemnized or celebrated in the presence of two or more credible witnesses
     

ORDINARY LICENCE

  1. The wedding is performed by the Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar or any of the marriage Officers
  2. Valid passport OR birth certificate and valid ID picture: e.g driver’s licence or state-issued ID (UK / European residents, beware, the latter refers to U.S citizens; lose your passport and you cannot marry!)
  3. Proof of Status – Single – a declaration is signed within Antigua and Barbuda or letter stating status by some person well known in the community - Divorced – Original Decree Absolute which includes the seal of the court where the Decree is issued or certified copy of Decree which includes the seal of the court where the Decree is issued – Widow / Widower – Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate of husband/wife.
  4. The application form is filled out and signed at the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs in St. John’s.
  5. All applicants must be over the age of 18 years old. If under, then written parental consent must be obtained.
  6. One of the parties must be resident in Antigua and Barbuda for a period of 15 days immediately preceding the date of the application for a licence.
  7. The petition for an Ordinary Licence shall be accompanied by a fee of EC$ 100.00 or $37US
  8. Both parties must be present at the time of application
     

SPECIAL LICENCE

  1. Valid passport OR birth certificate and valid ID picture: e.g. driver’s licence or state-issued ID (UK / European residents, beware, the latter refers to US citizens; lose your passport and you cannot marry!)
  2. Proof of Status: Single – a declaration is signed within Antigua and Barbuda - Divorced – Original Decree Absolute which includes the seal of the court where the Decree is issued – Widow / Widower – Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate of husband/wife.
  3. The application form is filled out and signed at the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs in St. John’s.
  4. All applicants must be over the age of 18 years old. If under, then written parental consent must be obtained.
  5. There is NO waiting time in the country in order to obtain a Special Licence.
  6. The petition for a Special Licence shall be accompanied by a fee of $405EC or US$ 150.00
  7. Both parties must be present at the time of the application.
     

USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS

Marriage Registrar
Registrar's Division,
Queen Elizabeth Highway,
St John's.
Tel: (268) 462-3744
Tel from Overseas: 1 (268) 462-3929

Copies of your Marriage Certificate are available at a cost of EC$25.

If you are overseas and need a marriage licence - you will need to call the office directly and they will give you instructions for how to apply. You will need to provide the Groom's name, the Bride's maiden name, place of marriage (Hotel etc), and date of marriage.

Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs,
Queen Elizabeth Highway
St John's
Tel: (268) 562-0381/462-0017/19
 
Ask for the Marriage Co-ordinator - she organizes submission of all relevant paperwork

 


 
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