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Frequently Asked Questions

Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage

2006-12-18

Tommy and Fortunata want to get married in Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Tommy is Canadian while Fortunata is Filipina and a native of Batac.

Question: Before the local civil registrar in Batac may issue a marriage license in favor of Tommy and Fortunata, what condition must be first met?

Answer: Tommy must submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, which he shall obtain from the Canadian Embassy in Makati City, Metro Manila. This certificate is required under Article 21 of the Philippine Family Code, which reads:

“When either or both contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.

“Stateless persons or refugees from other countries shall, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity herein required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing such capacity to contract marriage.”

Without a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, there is no way that a marriage license can be issued to Tommy and Fortunata.

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