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Marriage Requirements in Matamoros

The following are the requirements for marriage in Matamoros, Mexico.  However, marriage requirements prevailing in the thirty-one states of Mexico are in general very similar to those of the State of Tamaulipas.


U.S. citizens or other foreigners wishing to be married in Mexico with a Mexican citizen must present to the appropriate Mexican government agency certain documents.  All documents from the U.S. except for the valid U.S. passport should have the apostille from the State Secretary of the State where they originated and should be translated by a Mexican official translator.

In Mexico, only civil marriage is recognized as legal.  Persons wishing to do so may also have a religious ceremony, but this is without legal effect, and in no way replaces the obligatory civil marriage.  A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes in the U.S., but a religious ceremony without the civil ceremony is not, as U.S. law only recognizes marriages which are valid in the country in which they take place.  This point is an especially important one for couples planning on applying for an immigrant visa for a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen.  An application for an immigrant visa on the basis of the marriage will not be accepted without the civil ceremony.

Civil marriages are performed by the Registro Civil (Civil Registry).  The addresses of the three offices of the Civil Registry in Matamoros are:

OFICILIA PRIMERA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Morelos 8 y Altos 2do. Piso
Zona Centro
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 13 52 74
(868) 8 12 14 54
(868) 8 12 11 60

OFICILIA SEGUNDA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Sexta entre Rayon y Zaragoza s/n
Zona Centro
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 13 33 78

OFICILIA CUARTA DEL REGISTRO CIVIL
Calle Ocampo entre Guillermo Martínez D.
y Roberto F. García #500, Col. Modelo
Matamoros, Tamps.
Tel. (868) 8 12 34 31

The Civil Registry charges approximately $520.00 pesos to perform a marriage at the Office of the Civil Registry.  Marriages may be performed elsewhere, but the fee for the civil ceremony should be ascertained from the Civil Registry; these fees are approximately $1,299.00 pesos.  American consular officers are not empowered to perform marriages, nor is permission given for marriages to be held on the premises of the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros.

Persons desiring to marry must fill out a written application at an office of the Civil Registry, which will include a statement as to whether they wish to marry under the system of joint or separate property.  This application must be accompanied by a certificate from a doctor in Mexico 15 days prior to the marriage, stating both are free of those diseases, which are impediments to marriage.  A blood test and X-rays taken in Mexico are required. 

U.S. citizens and other foreigners are not subject to a residence requirement, but will have to identify themselves by presentation of their tourist cards.

Persons previously married must present proof of the termination of that marriage in the form of a divorce decree or death certificate.  If the divorce or death took place outside of Mexico, it must be authenticated and translated in accordance with the information given in the second paragraph.  Divorced persons cannot marry in Mexico until one year after the finalization of the divorce.

Persons under the age of eighteen cannot be married without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.  If the parents or guardians cannot be present at the marriage, they must send a written authorization, apostilled by the state where it originated.  This written authorization must be translated in accordance with the instructions given in the second paragraph.  Under no circumstances can males under the age of sixteen, or females under the age of fourteen, be married in Mexico.

U.S. citizens or other foreigners wishing to marry a Mexican citizen must first obtain permission to do so from the Mexican Immigration Office located at División del Norte and Acción Cívica, Colonia Doctores, Building “B”, tel. (868) 8-14-48-94; they should present their tourist cards, along with their applications.  Persons who are going to be in Mexico for a short time should remember that obtaining permission to marry a Mexican may require several days.  The application should be made in person at the information booth or by writing in Spanish.  The application must include a valid U.S. passport (U.S. passport cards are not accepted) and a copy, proof of legal status in Mexico; the Mexican citizen must prove his/her own nationality, and a statement needs to be made to the Mexican Immigration officer (Local Immigration Delegate).  Look at the following example:

“I________________a U.S. citizen and ___________________a Mexican citizen declare that we do not have any legal impediment to marry in Mexico on the date__________before the presence of the Civil Registry officer______________.”
                                                             (Name)

The cost is approximately $2,658.00 pesos and you can pay it at any bank with the payment format “DPA”, (which is available at the website www.inami.gob.mx, here you need to go to the link “e5cinco”) you should keep a copy for the Civil Registry officer.

Men wishing to marry Mexican women must also present proof of their ability to support their wives.  This proof of economic solvency should be a letter from the employer stating position, salary, seniority, etc., or equivalent proof in the case of self-employed persons.  It should be apostilled as well and translated by an official translator in Mexico.  The foreigner should bear in mind that the Mexican authorities at “Gobernación” will decide whether or not his proof of solvency is sufficient, and it is his responsibility to meet their requirements.  The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros cannot in any way certify the individual’s economic solvency, either by examining documents presented to a consular officer or by contacting banks, employers, etc., even at the citizen’s expense.

A certified copy of the marriage certificate (acta de matrimonio) prepared by the Civil Registry should be obtained after the marriage has been performed.  It is encouraged to have the document apostilled by the “State Government of Tamaulipas”, at calles 16 e Hidalgo s/n frente al Palacio de Gobierno del Estado with the head of the Department of Management and Control in charge of the area of authentications for the State Government of Tamaulipas (Jefe del Departamento de Gestión y Control, encargado del área de legalizaciones de la Subsecretaria General de Gobierno), tels. (834) 315-0977 o 318-8817/19.  This process will make the document valid in the U.S.   The service is performed for a nominal fee, it gives validity to the marriage, and is proof for officials in the U.S. of the genuineness and official character of the document.