Frequently Asked Questions about getting married in The Bahamas
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about getting married in the Bahamas. If you have a query that is not addressed here, let me know what it is by using my contact page.
I want to get married in The Bahamas, what are the requirements?
- Anyone wishing to be married in the Bahamas must first request a license from the Registry. A marriage license is valid for three months. After a marriage has taken place, a Marriage Duplicate Register (Form No. 9) is sent to the Registry by the Marriage Officer as quickly as possible. From this document certified copies of marriage certificates are issued.
- The legal age of marriage in the Bahamas is eighteen (18).
- Both parties must be in The Bahamas at the time of the application.
- The Bahamas Law states that the couple must be resident in The Bahamas for 24 hours prior to the date of the application. A Bahamian-issued marriage license is valid for 90 days for those seeking early application. You can write the Registrar General prior to your arrival at: P.O. Box H-5553, Nassau, Bahamas, or fax to 242-322-5553.
- If either party is a minor (a person under 18 years of age), an affidavit of parental consent is required. Forms of consent may be obtained from the Registrar General's office.
- If either party has been divorced, the original final decree or a certified copy (with a raised or colored seal) must be produced. For European residents, the original decree or a certified copy (with a raised or colored seal) must be produced in the native language along with a translated certified or notarized copy in English.
- If either party is widowed, the death certificate of the deceased spouse must be produced.
- If either party is unmarried, for a citizen or resident of the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a U.S. Consul at the American Embassy, Nassau, Bahamas, for a fee of $55 (effective February 1st, 1998), or a Bahamian Notary Public. (Please note, the U.S. Embassy is closed on American and Bahamian holidays.)
- If either party is unmarried and is a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths in that country and must accompany the application for the marriage license. The said declaration may also be obtained at a Notary Public in Nassau.
- The parties must produce either a Valid passport (stamped by The Bahamas Immigration to show date of entry into country) or a valid driver's license (with photo) plus a certified copy of your birth certificate plus a stamped immigration card from Bahamas Immigration (you receive this when you enter The Bahamas). A passport is required for persons who are residents of a Commonwealth country.
- The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Islands Of The Bahamas (i.e., airline ticket, immigration card).
- Persons desirous of being married in a Family Island (any island outside of New Providence or Grand Bahama) can obtain the Marriage License at the Commissioner's Office on that Island and need not come to New Providence or Grand Bahama. Initial inquiries can be made at this office.
- No blood test is necessary.
- The fee for a marriage license is $100.00.
NOTE: Marriage licenses are issued at the Office of the Registrar General located in the Rodney Bain Building on Parliament and Shirley Street in Nassau, which is open to the public Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Closed on weekends and Bahamian Public Holidays.)
P. O. Box N- 532
Nassau, The Bahamas
What is the process for securing my marriage license?
You have to be on the island for 24 hours before going to the registry's office. They are not going to check what time you arrived, only that it's the following day.
It's a standard two-day process for most couples. On your first trip, you go to the registrar's office to submit your application and present all corresponding documentation. They make photocopies of your passport & immigration cards and send you next door to the cashier to pay for your marriage license (and your certified copy if you want to pre-pay). You then bring your pink cashier receipt (for the marriage license) back to the person who collected your passports. Generally, they ask you to come back the next day to pick up your license.
If you need an affidavit (which is mandatory for anyone who has never been married), I can provide these for you. Otherwise, there is a Notary and JP office a few doors down from the registry and they usually expedite the affidavits within 25 minutes. Your affidavit(s) must accompany your marriage license application.
If you want me to complete your affidavits, please fill out this form and email/fax back to me: Info for Affidavit
How do I locate the Registrar General’s Office?
The Registrar General’s office is located at #1 Bay Street. Yet the most familiar landmark on the property is the Sheraton British Colonial Hotel. Any taxi driver will know where to take you.
If you are dropped off in front of the Hotel, go through their lobby and exit on the North side (which is the exit that takes you toward the beach/pool area). Once you are outside, follow the sidewalk all the way to the right. The first building on your left has a few businesses side by side, yet you will be entering the first door you come to. You can only enter on the South-eastern side of this building. If you get lost, just ask anyone for the Registrar General’s office.
If the taxi drops you off on the side of the property facing the Straw Market, to the entrance of the Scotia Bank. Then, take the glass doors immediately to the right of the bank (this will lead you into a hall area with access to various businesses). Take the second set of glass doors on the right, which are immediately after the entrance to a liquor store. Once inside this area, you will walk past the security desk (on the right) until you reach the last glass door on the left. You are now outside, on the other side of the facility. Follow the sidewalk straight ahead until you come to the first building on your right. The entrance to the Registrar General’s office will be the first door you come to in that building.
If all else fails, their phone number is (242) 323-0594-6
What if I arrive via cruise ship?
Typically, you need to be in the Bahamas for 24 hours before being eligible to apply for a marriage license.
Yet they are known to make exceptions for cruise ship passengers, if you obtain a letter from the ship's purser, stating when the ship came into Bahamian waters, and you bring your ship ID
If you have the time, it would also be helpful if: -you write a letter, addressed to The Registrar General's Office, stating your intention to get married in the Bahamas and when you will arrive -you fill out the application ahead of time.
If you want to go ahead and pre-register your application, please fill out this form and email/fax back to me: Pre-register Wedding Info
Is it true that you have to get married before sunset in The Bahamas?
Yes this is true. For your marriage to be valid, it must take place before sunset. If you would like to find out what time the sun will set on your day, check here.
Would I be able to use my marriage license from my country?
No, only a Bahamian marriage license is legally recognized when getting married in the Bahamas.
Will a Bahamian marriage license be legal in my country?
Yes, the Bahamas marriage license is a legal document issued by the Bahamas government. Just make sure you apply for a certified copy.
What if I hire a coordinator?
We have many reputable wedding coordinators on the island and I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
All coordinators offer their own wedding packages, which include a wedding minister. I can work with a coordinator of your choosing but if I work within their price ratio, this only applies to me showing up on the day of your ceremony. It does not entail any collaboration on my part in planning your ceremony.
If you want to hire me in addition to your wedding coordinator, please let them know you have secured my services and that you will be paying me directly.
Can my pastor, priest, or rabbi perform the wedding ceremony?
They may assist in the ceremony but a local wedding minister will have to handle the signing of the legal documents at the ceremony and will have to declare the couple as husband and wife.
Can I get married on the weekend?
Yes, you can get married on Saturday or Sunday, provided you make application during the working days of Thursday or Friday.
What do Bahamians need to know when getting married?
Bahamians making application for a license must present valid government issued picture identification (passport or voter’s card). The application contains information for both applicants and must be signed by the marriage officer who is to perform the marriage.