“Yes!” was my reply when my American boyfriend proposed. Although it didn’t come as a surprise as we’ve been talking about getting married for quite some time, it was still a life-changing decision. I finally agreed to start another chapter of my life of being a wife and eventually, a mother. Awww…
But wait! Before thinking of the blissful life ahead with the one I love, there’s still a lot of things that must be done.
I went through that. And mind you, it’s not easy if you want to process it on your own and you want to save money. So better be ready. Physically, mentally and emotionally! Seriously!
Well, to begin with, to get married, whether in civil or in church, you need to apply for a marriage license which is only valid for 120 days upon issuance.
If you and your spouse-to-be are both residents of the Philippines but from different hometown, you may choose to apply for a marriage license in either hometown.
I’m a resident of Talisay City, Cebu and since my fiance is a foreigner, we have no choice but to apply for a marriage license in Talisay City, Cebu.
The first thing you have to do is to go to the DSWD office in Talisay City Hall in Mohon, Talisay City to get a schedule for a Pre-marriage Counseling Seminar. It’s a pre-exquisite.
(See photo below for the slip I got.)
The DSWD In Charge will ask you for your preferred date for the Pre-marriage Counseling Seminar. The In charge will let you write your details (names, age, address, signature) on a log sheet. Then the In charge will give a slip of paper that you need to present on the day of the seminar.
Please note that in Talisay City Hall, the seminar is only held every Wednesday from 8am to 3pm. I suggest you set the schedule of the seminar weeks or months away as they accept more or less 10 couples per seminar to avoid congestion in the their lecture room.
This also allows you to have ample time to process your other requirements since you may process the marriage license immediately after you finish the seminar and get your Pre-marriage Counseling Seminar.
On the day of the seminar, we went to the DSWD office first to register. We showed them the slip of paper we got from them when we chose the schedule for the seminar. They let us write our names on a sheet of paper. Then we were directed to their lecture room. There were two lecturers in the morning and one in the afternoon. We finished the seminar around 2:30pm. According to the lecturers at the seminar, they really do this on purpose so that the couple can process their marriage license afterwards.
In our experience, we didn’t have complete requirements yet so we just came back after we completed them. (Saves time, money and effort if you already have all requirements on the day of the seminar 😊)
Below is the list of requirements you must have in order to process your marriage license. You must submit 3 photocopies of each page along with the original copies to the In Charge in the Civil Registrar’s Office in Talisay City Hall.
- Valid ID of couple (we only submitted our passports but other valid IDs are accepted) (For foreigners, they need to submit 3 photocopies of the profile page and the page stamped with his/her arrival date)
- Original birth certificate AND original baptismal certificate of couple (preferably new ones and with receipts) (if your partner is a foreigner, birth certificate is fine)
- Recent community tax certificate (cedula) of couple (if your partner is a foreigner, no need for him/her to submit this)
- NSO Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of couple (if your partner is a foreigner, he/she still needs to submit this)
- If the applicant is below 25 years old, both parents must sign a Parent’s consent or advice before the Civil Registrar.
- Certificate of Pre-marriage Counseling (the one you got from DSWD in charge/lecturer after your seminar)
- If one of the applicants is a foreigner, he/she needs to get a Certificate of Legal Capacity (it should be in English, in the letterhead of the consular office in the Philippines and with dry or wet seal) Note: My husband is an American. The US consular office at Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Salinas Drive, Lahug in Cebu City does not issue a Certificate of Legal Capacity. Instead, they provide an Affidavit in Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity for $25 per copy.
- Barangay Certification of any ONE of the parties that he/she is a resident of a barangay in Talisay City, Cebu.
- Accomplished Application form for Marriage License – this requires the PERSONAL appearance of BOTH applicants in the Local Civil Registrar’s Office.
Once you have all original and 3 photocopies of your documents, you can approach the In Charge at the Civil Registrar in Talisay City Hall.
Steps in Marriage license application:
- Submit the documents to the In Charge. (They will check your documents multiple times)
- Fill up the Application form for Marriage license. One copy first then they will check the information you have written on it and once satisfied, they will let you fill up 3 more copies.
- Submit all the completed forms to the In Charge.
- Pay the fees (please see the photo above for the fees for both local and foreigner applicants)
- Come back on the stated date and time on your receipt (please don’t lose it) to claim your Marriage license. (Usually on the 11th calendar day after submission of your application). We applied on Dec 16th and we got our Marriage license on Dec 27th.
There you have it. It’s not easy but it’s worth all the patience and hardwork.
Hope this post helps and if you have any questions feel free to comment below. I’ll try to respond as soon as I can.