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Getting Married in Bolivia
4 MINUTE READ
April 8, 2021

In order to get married in Bolivia the following documents must be presented:

  1. Certified copy of the U.S. birth certificate apostilled by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office.
  2. Spanish translation of the U.S. birth certificate apostilled in the United States or notarized at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz and/or the Consular Agency in Santa Cruz.
  3. Valid United States passport.
  4. Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry: Bolivia requires an affidavit by the parties as proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract. No such government-issued document exists in the United States. The U.S. embassy or consulate cannot attest to your marital status. However, Bolivia will accept a statement from you regarding your ability to marry if your signature on the affidavit has been notarized by a U.S. consular officer. We provide this service at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz and the Consular Agency in Santa Cruz. To sign the Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry please make an appointment for a Notarial Service.  The fee is Us$50 or 350 Bs.  The Affidavit will be provided at your appointment. Please make sure to bring your valid U.S. Passport to your appointment.
  5. Proof of three months continuous residence in Bolivia. This can be waived at the discretion of the local official.

Note: U.S. Consular Officers are authorized by law to perform limited notarial services abroad in connection with certain documents to be presented in the United States. U.S. Consular officers may not perform notarial services in connection with documents for presentation in the host country.

Bolivian Marriage Laws

Only civil marriages are recognized as legal in Bolivia. Civil marriages are performed  by a civil registry official, either before or after a religious ceremony.  Although the age of majority in Bolivia is 21, men can marry at 16 and women at 14 with permission from parents or guardians.  Exceptions can be made for pregnant minors whose parents refuse permission and for orphans (orphans must have permission to marry from the Tribunal Tutelar del Menor and from the Juez de Familia).  As in the United States, marriage is not permitted between close blood relatives, and bigamy is against the law.  Marriage is forbidden in some circumstances, including the mentally ill.  Widows, divorcees and women who have had marriages annulled cannot remarry sooner than 300 days after the death of a husband, the date of the final decree of divorce or the notice of annulment.

Marriages performed outside the United States are generally recognized in the United States. In order for a Bolivian Marriage Certificate to have legal validity in the United States, it should be apostilled by the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.