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Q: US citizens married in Mexico. ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: US citizens married in Mexico.
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: mhewy-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 02 May 2005 13:03 PDT
Expires: 01 Jun 2005 13:03 PDT
Question ID: 516895
My wife and I were married in Riviera Maya (Cancun), Mexico in Feb
2005. We are US citizens.  I have a legal marriage license from the
Mexico marriage. I would like to know if our marriage is recognized in
the United States or do we have to contact a mexican embassy in the US
to legalize the marriage in the US? I have heard two different stories
on this.  One story that it is legal and binding in the US as is and
another that we have to contact the Mexican Embassy in the US and file
a document to make it legal in the US.
Subject: Re: US citizens married in Mexico.
Answered By: hummer-ga on 02 May 2005 15:06 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi mhewy,

"I have a legal marriage license from the Mexico marriage. I would
like to know if our marriage is recognized in the United States or do
we have to contact a mexican embassy in the US to legalize the
marriage in the US?"

Not to worry, all is well. An original marriage certificate
(preferably authenticated), issued by the appropriate local
authorities where the marriage took place is a legal document in the
U.S.  Obtaining a legal marriage license abroad is always determined
by where the marriage takes place.

"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."
"A certified copy of the marriage certificate (Acta de Matrimonio)
prepared by the Registro Civil should be obtained from that office
after the marriage has been performed. It is desirable to have the
document authenticated by the Oficina de Legalizacion de Documentos,
Palacio de Gobierno, Planta Baja, Guadalajara, Jalisco,Mexico. This
service is performed for a nominal fee. While this does not of itself
give validity to the marriage, it is proof for officials in the U.S.
that the document is genuine (through the signature and seal of the
Mexican official who signed it, and his authority to do so)."

A Consular Report of the marriage can be obtained from the U.S.
Department of State.
Office of Authentications
For information about American citizens who were born, married, or
deceased abroad, contact the Passport Office, U.S. Department of
State, 1111 19th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20520, Tel.
202-955-0307. Copies of consular reports of birth, marriage, and
deaths may be obtained from this office.

How to Apply for a Certified Copy of One of These Reports:
For the following documents, the fee is $30.00 for the first copy and
$20.00 for each additional copy:
Certificate of Witness to Marriage

Additional Link of Interest:

Validity Outside of Mexico: 
"Your Marriage Certificate will be valid world-wide, BUT you should
get your certificate 'legalised' in Mexico to ensure it is legally
accepted when you get back home. The process is the reverse of getting
your Native documentation legalised by the necessary authorities (e.g.
Foreign Office) for marriage in Mexico (see below); The registry
office in Mexico will tell you where this can be done locally."

I was glad to find this for you. If you have any questions, please
post a clarification request *before* closing/rating my answer and
I'll be happy to reply.

Thank you,

I searched at the U.S. Department of State website.

Google Search Terms Used:
mexican marriage licence legal u.s.
mhewy-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Great research!  I appreciate your help.

Subject: Re: US citizens married in Mexico.
From: hummer-ga on 03 May 2005 17:51 PDT
Thank you, mhewy, and best regards to your bride! Sincerely, hummer

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