The registration of the marriage in Colombia is not an element of existence or validity, but it is an important step due to the effects of opposability that it produces and additionally constitutes the ideal means to prove it. In this sense, regardless of the official through whom the marriage was celebrated, it must be registered.
All marriages in Colombia can be registered at any time and by any person as long as it is done in the office corresponding to the place where the marriage took place.
- Catholic Marriage: For the registration of a Catholic marriage, the authentic ecclesiastical certificate must be provided together with the certificate of competence of the person celebrating the rite.
- Marriage celebrated by religions other than Catholic: a reliable copy of the religious act issued by the Church or congregation is required, accompanied by the authentic certification of the competence of the religious minister who officiated the marriage.
- Civil marriage celebrated before a notary: the antecedent document to advance the registration will be the public deed of notarization.
- Civil marriage celebrated before a Judge: For marriages celebrated before a Municipal Civil Judge, the antecedent document will be the judicial decision, which must be notarized.
- Registration of marriage celebrated abroad: the antecedent document for the registration of the marriage celebrated abroad will be the foreign civil registry duly apostilled or legalized and translated into Spanish if it is in another language if the marriage was celebrated by civil law. If the marriage was celebrated as Catholic, it is advisable to do the whole process of civil registration of marriage in the country where the marriage was celebrated and then use this registration in Colombia.
- Marriage celebrated before the ship’s captain: the ship’s captain has a file and minutes which must be notarized in the corresponding notary’s office depending on whether the marriage was celebrated in national or international waters. In the first case, it is registered at the first port where the vessel arrives. In the second case, the rules for the registration of marriages celebrated abroad apply.
The registration of the marriage in Colombia is a very important step after the celebration of the marriage because it generates effects of opposability and is the means to prove its existence. This process requires different documents depending on the official before whom it was executed.