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Fact Check: Legal Requirements to Get Married in Puerto Rico

November 10, 2022

Joanna Perez

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Updated 17 April 2024

As background, before November 2020, there was a different set of marriage requirements for residents of Puerto Rico vs. destination wedding couples. The government changed the rules in November 2020 and now all couples must follow the same requirements, regardless of residency.


Four years later, most websites, including the official government websites, have not been updated with the new requirements. Here is some of the incorrect information you will see, and here are the facts that you need to know:

1. What You Hear

 

Destination wedding couples don’t need STD tests if their state or country doesn’t require it.

1. Fact Check

As of November 2020, every couple getting legally married in Puerto Rico must have STD tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV dated within two weeks of their wedding. No exceptions.

2. What You Hear

Destination wedding couples can waive the STD test required to be legally married in Puerto Rico if they bring a letter from their doctor saying that they meet the medical requirements in their home state or country.

2. Fact Check

Again, as of November 2020, every couple getting legally married in Puerto Rico must have STD tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV dated within two weeks of their wedding. No exceptions.

3. What You Hear

An affidavit or sworn statement or letter from a lawyer is required to be married in Puerto Rico.

3. Fact Check

Before November 2020, this was required for destination wedding couples. After November 2020 it is not needed.

4. What You Hear

The fee to the government offices for destination wedding couples is $150.

4. Fact Check

Before November 2020, residents paid $30 and destination wedding couples paid $150. After November 2020, requirements are the same regardless of residency. The fee for ALL wedding couples is $30 (which is included in our “Let Us Take Care of Everything’ marriage certificate support).

5. What You Hear

Couples must go to the Demographic Registrars’ office once in Puerto Rico to obtain their marriage license before their wedding.

5. Fact Check

Since November 2020, all marriage licenses are issued online on www.renovacionesonline.com. Even if a couple goes to the government offices they will refer them online. Our couples never step foot in a government office when they’re in Puerto Rico.

6. What You Hear

Couples must provide original versions of birth certificates and ID’s.

6. Fact Check

Before November 2020, this was true. Since then, no original versions of anything are needed as everything is submitted digitally.

7. What You Hear

There is a Demographic Registrars’ office at Plaza Las Americas (the largest mall in the Caribbean).

7. Fact Check

This might be our favorite incorrect info, as we too fell for this years ago when we were just starting out! The office closed in September 2013, but you wouldn’t know it from all the online references to it. (Another fact check: There is also no longer an office in the Ochoa Building in Old San Juan)

If you want the peace-of-mind that you are working with current facts and information, find an expert and trust them with your wedding day. We offer a “Let Us Take Care of Everything” legal and documentation support package to our couples; you can see more here


Our couples know not to read or trust anything online, as we provide checklists, updates with everything that they need to know, and any changes to the process, from the time they book their wedding with us to the time they have their official marriage certificate in hand after their wedding. 


More information about marriage requirements for Puerto Rico:

Absolute Dream

Absolute Dream

“To say that this experience was anything less than a dream would be an understatement. Once you get to the island you can relax, there are no buildings you need to go to, you don’t need to apply for your marriage certificate, they do it all for you. If you are contemplating using this company, just do it. You will not regret it. Every single thing went perfect and that is all thanks to Ashley and her team.”

Jade & Stephanie

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