Registration of Panamanian marriages abroad

When the marriage is celebrated by the consular agents, in accordance with the provisions of Article 37 of the Family Code

In these cases, the contracting parties come to the Consular office in person, to marry according to Panamanian law. It is the official celebrant of the legal act who makes the registration into the registry of marriages at the same time. To this end, the following steps must be followed:

To be able to celebrate the marriage, at least one of the parties must be a Panamanian national. He/She must present an appropriate document which accredits him as such (identity card or passport).

Contracting parties are required to present:

  • A declaration signed by both parties, expressing their intention to marry, and indicating the surnames, first names, civil status, nationality, age, profession and residence or domicile of future contractors and their parents.
  • For Panamanians:
    • A birth certificate for both
    • A certificate of "soltería" for both
    • A prenuptial health certificate or as it is known "medical certificate of good health". This certificate must be issued within fifteen days before the date of the marriage, by a doctor legally authorized for the free exercise of his profession in the country of origin.
    • Laboratory tests (V.D.R.L, Hematic Biometry, Urinalysis).
      In addition to these medical requirements, a medical certification must be submitted indicating that those interested have been tested for STI / HIV (AIDS).
    • Two (2) major witnesses.
      According to article 42 of the Family Code: "... In all cases, the act (celebration of marriage) will be verified in the presence of at least two major witnesses, who are not bound to any of the contracting parties by kinship within fourth degree of consanguinity or adoption and second degree of affinity".
    • A birth certificate of the children, if they come from the couple who will get married (copy).
  • For foreigners:
    • A birth certificate and "soltería", which must be authenticated by the Consul of Panama, in the country of origin of the documents.
    • A valid passport from your home country.
    • The same medical requirements as required for Panamanians.
      VERY IMPORTANT: the medical examinations of both parties must be duly authenticated by the Consul of Panama in the place where they were issued, in accordance with article 877 of the Judicial Code of Panama.


The National Directorate of Civil Status will deliver to the Consuls a marriage register which will record certificates of registration.

Once all the conditions required by the legal standard for marriage have been met, the Consul must establish a simple certificate of celebration on which the ceremony will be recorded. The acts are signed by the contracting parties, the witnesses, the Consul General as competent authority and his secretary.

The act of celebration will serve as a basis for completing the information of the registration certificate of the Civil Registry of Panama, which must contain the same information and the signature of all parties involved in a ceremonial act.

The certificate of celebration and registration and other documents required for the celebration of the marriage must be sent to the National Directorate of Civil Status, Department of Laws and Acts abroad, in accordance with Article 56 of Law 31 of July 25, 2006. Upon return of mail, a response will be sent regarding the procedure and proof of registration of the marriage declaration, so that it can be given to interested parties.

When the marriage has already been celebrated before an authority of the country where the Consul performs his duties and the person concerned only appears at the Consulate for the registration of the matrimonial bond.

Panama Register of MarriagesIn this case where the marriage has already been celebrated by a competent authority of the country of origin, the contracting parties shall appear before the Consular officer to register the marital relationship in order to have effect in Panama. The following instructions must be observed:

  • The Panamanian Contracting Party must present to the Consul the original marriage certificate as well as his identity card or his personal passport.
  • The consular officer will review the document and authenticate the last signature on it. Then, you will complete the marriage registration certificate information based on the information that appears on the certificate presented. The act will be signed by the parties as well as by the Consul.
  • If the marriage certificate is in a language other than Spanish, a translation made by an authorized public translator of the country where the marriage was celebrated must be submitted and this must be authenticated by the accredited Panamanian diplomatic or consular agent in this country.
  • The act, the original marriage certificate, the translation in the necessary case and photocopies of the identity documents of the contracting parties will be sent with an official note to the National Directorate of the Civil Registry.

If the interested party has to go to Panama, they can register directly at the "Departamento de Hechos Vitales y Actos Jurídicos Ocurridos en el Exterior de la Dirección Nacional del Registro Civil", for which the Consul must authenticate the original certificate that will be used to make the recording. The Spanish translation must be done in Panama by an authorized public translator.

In the case where the basic document or the marriage certificate is attached to the translation, by means of a wire, remaining in the form of a booklet, the stamp of authentication will be placed on the back of the basic document (certificate of marriage) and not on the last page of the book.

Registration of the marriage celebrated abroad, carried out personally at the "Dirección Nacional del Registro Civil"

Requirements to apply for registration of Panamanian marriages abroad:

  • An original marriage certificate, issued by the registry office or the entity of the place where it took place. This certificate must:
    • Be duly authenticated by the Consulate of Panama in the country where it was concluded or by the Apostille Agreement.
    • In the absence of a Panamanian Consulate in the country of origin and non-subscription of the country to the Apostille Convention, the document must be authenticated by a diplomatic or consular representative of a friendly nation in that country, then must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this nation and, subsequently, by the Consulate of Panama in the friendly nation and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama. If the Apostille is made in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by an authorized public interpreter of the Republic of Panama.
    • This duly authenticated certificate must be endorsed or validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama. This request is managed by the Authentication and Legalization office, located in Via Ricardo J. Alfaro, Square Sun Tower, 1st floor, premises 49 and 50. If the document is authenticated by the Apostille, this request will not be necessary.
    • If the certificate is written in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by an authorized public interpreter of the Republic of Panama.
    • In the absence of an official translator in the Republic of Panama in the language of the document, you must submit a certificate issued by the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Education of Panama, certifying the absence of a translator for the language. In this case, the translation of the foreigner authenticated by the accredited diplomatic or consular officer of Panama into the place will be accepted.
  • A simple photocopy of the identity card or passport of the spouse of Panamanian nationality and a photocopy of the passport of the foreign spouse.


The procedure can be carried out by one of the spouses or their parents without permission. However, registration may be requested by a person other than those mentioned above, provided that a duly notarized authorization is granted by either of the contracting parties or their parents.

In the same way, the procedure can be carried out through a legal representative, who must present:

  • a duly notarized power.
  • a Memorial (application).

The marriage registration can also be done in the country where it was celebrated, if there is a Consulate of the Republic of Panama.

The duration of the process is approximately ten (10) working days from the submission of the complete application.
The presentation of the above requirements, is done in the "Departamento de Hechos Vitales y Actos Jurídicos Ocurridos en el Exterior of the Dirección Nacional de Registro Civil", located in the main building of the Electoral Tribunal, Avenida Omar Torrijos Herrera, Ancon, fourth floor of the west wing left.

Applications can also be submitted to the Electoral Tribunal regional offices in each province. If this option is exercised, the anticipated duration of the procedure is greater because of the sending of the documents to the Central Office of the Electoral Tribunal for the respective processing.


Legal Basis
  • Law 31 of 25 July 2006.



Ana Carolina Rivera - Mail:
Raj Zamorano - Mail:

Phone: (507) 504-6253 /504-6208