Photo by Annie Eischen
Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage License in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas
- Both parties must be in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas on the day of the application.
- Persons wishing to be married in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas may do so after one day. For example, if a person arrives in The Bahamas on Wednesday, they may come into the Registrar General’s Office (Island Administrator for Exuma) on Thursday to apply for a Marriage License and be married on the same day. Persons desiring to marry on Friday, Saturday or Sunday must arrive in The Bahamas on Thursday before 2 PM.
- If either party has been divorced, the original final decree, decree absolute or court certified copy of the divorce (indicated by a raised seal, color seal or color stamp) must be produced in the native language along with a translated certified or notarized copy in English.
- If either party is widowed, the original death certificate or court certified copy of the death certificate (indicated by a raised seal, color seal or color stamp) must be produced in the native language along with a translated certified or notarized copy in English.
- If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn to a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths and must accompany the application for the marriage license. The Administrator can prepare the declaration and the cost is $20.00 for each party’s affidavit.
- The parties must produce some form of identification which contains a photograph. The identification document must have been issued by a Government Office in the country where the parties reside. Accepted forms of identification include:a. Current Passportb. Driver’s License plus original or certified copy of birth certificate.c. Military Identification
- The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival to The Bahamas. Accepted forms of evidence are as follows:a. Immigration Card with Entry stampb. Airline Ticket or Travel Itinerary
- Persons desirous of being married on Great Exuma and The Exuma Cays or another Family Island (any island outside of Nassau/New Providence Island) can obtain a Marriage License at the Administrators Office on that island and need not go to Nassau. Marriage Licenses are issued at the Administrator’s Office. This office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The office is closed on all Bahamian holidays.
- Any minor desirous of being married in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas must have an affidavit completed by the parent (s) giving consent for the minor to marry.
- No blood test is necessary.
- The fee for the Marriage License is $100.00 CASH Bahamian or U.S. dollars.
- Legal Marriages in The Bahamas can be performed during the daylight hours only. During the winter, this is most often between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. During the summer, it is a little later due more twilight time before sunset.
- Marriages must be performed by a Marriage Officer* licensed to perform marriages in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Only Bahamian Marriage Officer* can legally perform a wedding. A visiting minister can assist; however, the Bahamian Marriage Officer must pronounce the marriage. If it is essential that your minister pronounce the marriage, an application to obtain a Work Permit will be required for the visiting minister. Additional information will be provided upon request.
- This is the end of the “official list” of Bahamas Marriage License Requirements. With A Wedding Breeze, we continue on with the 14th and MOST ESSENTIAL STEP that is very much a part of the entire process: “HOW TO GET YOUR MARRIAGE DOCUMENTS AFTER YOUR BAHAMAS DESTINATION WEDDING CEREMONY?!!” If you are A Wedding Breeze client, you will not have to worry at all about about calling back to Nassau, trying to reach someone to send your legal documents because we take care of this for you completely! Please read on to see how…
About the Arrangement of a Certified Marriage Certificate and Apostille
Photo by Reno Curling
When processing your documents through the regular inter-island mail system, the Certified Marriage Certificate can take up to 12-16 weeks to be issued. YIKES!! I know you are excited to receive your legal documents right away! That’s why we have created a special level of document delivery services that we include for ALL of our clients. We guarantee your documents will be hand-delivered to the Registrar General’s office in Nassau, New Providence Island, and processed within 4 weeks of your wedding. (The Fantasy Island Package includes our RUSH service and is delivered to your home within fourteen days.) That Certified Marriage Certificate will then be hand-delivered to the Department of Foreign Affairs to obtain the Apostille. While the Certified Marriage Certificate bears the official stamp of The Bahamas Registrar of Marriages and is accepted as proof of marriage in most countries, The Apostille is an international certification established by the 1961 Treaty of Hague. You can view the Wikipedia information here or check for a list of countries that participate here. We will explain to you our “Expedited Document Services” in full detail in your complimentary “FIRST DATE” consultation.
*Please note that not all ministers are Marriage Officers.