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How to get married in Jamaica

With a choice of luxurious resorts and idyllic white-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palm trees, Jamaica is the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding!

From historic churches to lush tropical gardens and picture perfect white-sand beaches, Jamaica offers a wide range of exotic and traditional choices for your wedding venue.

Jamaica Marriage Requirements

The legal requirements for getting married in Jamaica are relatively straightforward. Marriages performed in Jamaica are internationally recognised and legally binding.

Residency Requirement

Visitors can be married 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica, providing prior application has been made for a Marriage License to the Ministry of Justice.

Marriage Licence

To apply for a Marriage License, it's necessary to submit an application to the Ministry of Justice, which gives authority to a Marriage Officer to perform the marriage ceremony. It is valid for three months.

• Couples are required to have a Declaration Form completed by a person (Declarant) who has knowledge of the impending marriage and signed by the Declarant in the presence of a Justice of the Peace in Jamaica.

The Declarant can be a friend or family member. (If either of the couple is residing abroad, 24 hours residence in the Island is required – a local address can be used.)

• Collect a blank Minister’s Marriage Licence form, available from the Customer Service Desk, Ministry of Justice, Commerce Gate, 61 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica. (This form is not available online, nor is it mailed out.)

• Pay a stamp duty fee of JA $4,000 at the Stamp Duty Office located at 111 Harbour Street, Kingston, Jamaica. The blank Marriage Licence Form will be stamped after payment. ​

• Return both the stamped Minister’s Marriage Licence form and the completed Declaration Form to the Ministry of Justice along with the following original or certified supporting documents for both parties.

Required Documents

Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name. Originals of all documentation are preferred. If you’re unable to obtain an original Decree Absolute / Death Certificate you may provide a certified true copy.

All documents must be issued in English, otherwise they must be translated by an Official Translator and subsequently certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of residence and by the nearest Jamaican Mission or Honorary consulate.

Documents required for a legal wedding in Jamaica, include…

  • Valid Passport or Driver's Licence
  • Birth Certificates (that include father's name)
  • Statutory Declaration certifying that both parties are unmarried (or) Certificate of No Legal Impediment (available at your local embassy or consulate)
  • Decree Absolute bearing a seal of the Court of Divorce, if either party is divorced
  • Death Certificate of deceased spouse, if either party is widowed
  • Parental consent if either party is under 18 years of age.

Allow three hours for the same-day process of obtaining the licence. Once granted a licence remains valid for three months.

Blood Test

No Blood test is required.

Church Service

Some faiths may require additional documents for a church service. You may want to check this with your wedding co-ordinator or local minister.

For instance, couples of the Roman Catholic faith should allow at least three months before the planned wedding date in order to process all the necessary paperwork (certificates of baptism, dispensations, statements of freedom to marry, etc.). The wedding ceremony of a Roman Catholic must take place in a church rather than in a resort or on a beach.

Marriage Certificate

Immediately following the ceremony, you will be given a copy of the Marriage Register which shows proof of marriage. This is signed by the Marriage Officer, yourselves and your witnesses. Please note that the copy of the Marriage Register is not a legal document.

You must obtain a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate, which is issued after the marriage by the Registrar General’s Department.

You may apply for the Marriage Certificate yourself: an express service is available. Or your Marriage Officer can apply on your behalf. Allow between seven working days to one month for it to be processed by the Registrar General's Department. Two certified copies of the Minister’s Certificate will be forwarded to you via mail.

Apostille of Marriage Certificate

European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Registered Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated).

This does not apply to citizens of United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer as to whether an Apostille is required for your country.

Your wedding planner or Marriage Officer can assist you in obtaining the Apostille, which is typically available within 30 days of the request.

Fees

Marriage Licence – USD$50 (JA$4,000)

Island Wedding Planners

It's a good idea to use a recommended Marriage Officer to plan your wedding. The Marriage Officer will fill out the required forms and arrange all documents for you.

Marriage Officers are available throughout Jamaica and may be requested through the Registrar General's Department (Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, Jamaica. Tel: (876) 984-3041–5, Fax: (876) 749-6457, Email: information@rgd.gov.jm, Website: https://www.rgd.gov.jm/index.php/products-and-service/cert-of-vital-events/marriage).

The Registrar General's Department (RGD) also offers private weddings at an affordable cost, with a choice of venue.

Most hotels in Jamaica also provide wedding coordinators who can assist you plan your destination wedding in Jamaica. The process is the same as when using a Marriage Officer.

For more information visit the wedding portal at Visit Jamaica to learn more about top wedding venues, recommended wedding consultants and service providers. Alternatively, visit your nearest Jamaican embassy or consulate for more information.

Further information: Declaration forms are available at the Customer Service Desk, Ministry of Justice, Commerce Gate, 61 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica; obtaining a Marriage Licence from the Ministry of Justice at NCB Towers, 2 Kensington Crescent, Kingston 5, Jamaica; and on how to obtain your Marriage Certificate, visit the Registrar General’s Department (Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, Jamaica. Tel: (876) 984-3041–5, Fax: (876) 749-6457, Email: information@rgd.gov.jm, Website: www.rgd.gov.jm).


Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.

Latest update: How to get married in Jamaica: 6 March, 2019


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