By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
August 25, 2015

So you have found your love in Brazil and wants to get married, but between you and your (hopefully) happy marriage, there stands a bureaucratic process for you to conquer. Do not be afraid, for we have written this article to guide you through the process. First, you need to gather the documents that you will be presenting at the cartorio (registry office). You should have a notarized copy of your spouse’s ID, an original and up to date copy of their birth certificate, your original birth certificate (certified by the Brazilian Consulate in the issuing country), receipt showing that the birth certificate has been legalized (GRU receipt), a translated copy of your birth certificate and passport, a declaration of non-impediment and a notarized ID copy of two Brazilian witnesses. You might also need to register your passport and birth certificate at the Cartorio de registros and bring a proof of address in Brazil.

In order for your spouse to get a notarized copy of an ID, they need to request a photocopy of an ID, which can be done in any cartorio at the cost of roughly R$5. They also need to apply for an up to date birth certificate from the state that they were born. As for your birth certificate, it needs to be recognized in Brazil, which can be done by sending it to the Brazilian consulate with a cover letter asking them to legalize it. Once you get your birth certificate back, you need to pay a fee at a branch of Banco do Brazil through a GRU form.

After you have gathered all the documents that are necessary, you need to go to the Cartrio de Registro Civil e Pessoas Naturais (Civil Registry), and apply for permission to marry. They will then give you a date and a time for you to pay a fee of roughly R$300, sign some forms and present two witnesses that know you well. On this day, you should show the officer that you have a basic understanding of Portuguese if you don’t want to hire a public translator. After this process is finished they will send the documentation to another official office for approval. Once the documents are approved, you will be notified and asked to sign another form, in which you need to list two godparents as witnesses and attach a certified copy of their identification to the form. After this is finished, you are finally allowed to marry on a date of your choice.

One thing to remember is that whether or not you chose to have a wedding ceremony, it is required for all Brazilians to have the civil wedding as well, whether in the registry office or elsewhere (at additional cost). At the registry office both the bride and the groom are allowed to have 8 people present, or 16 in some cases. Once this process is finished, you are finally married, and free to enjoy your marriage.

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Previous articles by Pedro:

16 Funny Brazilian Expressions
The Best Festivals in Brazil for the EDM Lovers – Part 1
6 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make Trying to Speak Portuguese in Brazil
Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of São Paulo – Part 1

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