Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage Licence in Barbados
Application for a marriage licence must be made by both (male and female) persons at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Marriage Licence is valid for three (3) months only.
• Nationals must submit their valid birth certificates and passports (if available). All non-nationals must present their valid passports and valid birth certificates.
• In the case of a widow or widower, the original death certificate and original marriage certificate must be submitted.
• If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute or Final Judgement or a certified copy of either documents by a Notary Public* must be presented. The Decree Nisi is not acceptable; and
• A signed letter from the Marriage Officer or official note from the Magistrate that states his/her intention to perform the wedding ceremony must be presented when applying for marriage licence.
Persons who have been granted Barbadian citizenship either by descent or registration, immigration status or permanent residence, are required to produce the original documents issued by the Immigration Department of Barbados or passports in which the relevant information has been stamped.
Non-nationals who have been granted work permits must produce the passport showing that a work permit was issued to them, or the relevant document issued by the Immigration Department, not the application form or receipt.
Please note that a work permit does not confer permanent status and should be valid at the time of application.
Note also that a marriage licence will not be issued for a date which is beyond the expiry date of any visitor’s stay in Barbados.
N.B. All documents not in English must be accompanied by a translation that is certified by an authorized Notary Public (NOT a Justice of the Peace).
Marriage of Minors
Persons under the age of sixteen (16) years cannot be legally married in Barbados. Regarding consent required for marriage of a minor between sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) years, the following stipulations should be noted:
• If the parents are living together, either parent can give consent;
• If the parents are divorced or living apart, the parent having legal or actual custody, or where legal custody is given to each parent for part of the year, either parent can give consent;
• If both parents have been deprived of custody by order of a court, the person to whose custody the minor is committed by order of the court can give consent;
• Where one parent is dead and no other guardian exists, the surviving parent can give consent;
• If a guardian has been appointed by the deceased parent, the surviving parent or the appointed guardian can give consent for marriage of minor; and ? Where both parents are dead or are non compos mentis (mentally incapable of managing their affairs/ unsound mind) a lawfully appointed guardian or acknowledged guardian who has raised up the minor or who for at least three years immediately preceding the intended marriage has supported the minor can give consent for marriage of minor.
• If none of the foregoing options are possible, a Judge in Barbados, on application being made to him, may exercise his discretion to dispense with consent.
Persons eighteen (18) years of age and older do not require parental consent.
• Non-Nationals - Bds $200.00 cash and a $25.00 stamp (this does not apply to persons who have residence or citizenship in Barbados)
• Nationals - Bds $45.00 cash and a $10.00 stamp (This applies if either party is a citizen or resident of Barbados).
The $10.00 stamp is obtained from this Ministry.
Arrangements should be made with a Marriage Officer (a Minister of Religion or a Magistrate who is authorized to perform wedding ceremonies in Barbados) prior to applying for a Marriage Licence. As was previously mentioned under ‘Requirements’ the couple must submit correspondence from the Marriage Officer who has consented to perform the wedding ceremony. One of the ways in which persons from abroad can obtain the services of a Marriage Officer resident on this island (a Minister of Religion) is to call the number of any of the churches operating in Barbados or the Supreme Court (for a Magistrate). Please see contact information related to acquiring the services of a Magistrate, below.
This Ministry is not authorized to arrange or execute weddings. However, many hotels in Barbados have their own Wedding Planners/Co-ordinators. It is therefore advisable to contact the hotel (if staying at one) to obtain the services of its Wedding Planner/Coordinator. If staying elsewhere, please contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at (246) 467-3600 or (246)427-2623, for the relevant assistance.
A non-resident Minister of Religion (who must also be a registered Marriage Officer), who is requested to solemnize a marriage in Barbados, may, after satisfactorily fulfilling the necessary criteria be appointed as a temporary Marriage Officer in Barbados. Information outlining this procedure can be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Home Affairs. A marriage may be solemnized shortly after the issue of the licence.
Ministry of Home Affairs Office Hours
Applications for marriage licences must be made between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. The offices are closed on weekends and public holidays.
A copy of the marriage certificate can be obtained from the Registration Department. The Registration Department is located at the following address:
The Registrar of the Supreme Court
White Park Road
Telephone No.: (246) 434-9970
Fax No.: (246) 426-2405
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Registration Department Office Hours: Mondays to Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.