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Getting married in Spain
Making arrangements for a wedding in Spain, including obtaining the required documentation, can be a time consuming and costly process. We recommend that you commence planning early and allow plenty of time.
Generally a marriage solemnised in a non-polygamous country in accordance with the laws of that country will be deemed valid in New Zealand.
The documents required for marriage in Spain may be different from one part of the country to another. It is your responsibility to find out what is required from the church or civil registry (Registro Civil) where the wedding will take place.
- Usually the documents must be authenticated with the Apostille seal(external link) (Apostilla de la Haya) and translated.
- Most Spanish authorities require that documents have a date of issue no greater than three months.
- Usually, once you have submitted documents to the authorities, they will not be returned to you.
We recommend that you ask that documents be translated by the Translation Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs(external link) in Wellington. In Spain, we recommend that you use a Sworn Translator (traductor jurado).
To marry in Spain, a New Zealand citizen will probably be asked to provide the following documents:
Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
This certificate is issued by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office(external link) of the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs once they have checked that you are not recorded on the New Zealand marriage register as being married. It is the equivalent of the Spanish "Certificado de Solteria".
If you are legally divorced, and your divorce has been registered in New Zealand, you may still obtain this certificate although you may also have to present a copy of your divorce decree (authenticated and translated).
Under New Zealand law, 14 days must elapse from the date your application is received until a certificate can be issued. You should allow one month, which includes post or courier delivery time. Ask for this certificate to be authenticated and translated in New Zealand.
You can check on how to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage and download a form from the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages office website.
Certificado de Solteria
If you are required to present this certificate, you should first obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (authenticated) and then contact the embassy.
New Zealand Birth Certificate
The Spanish authorities usually require an original (authenticated) copy of your birth certificate, translated into Spanish. You can check on how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate and download a form from the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages office website.
If you were born in another country and your birth has not been registered in New Zealand, then you should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of that country to find out how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate and have it authenticated and translated.
Certificate on the Publication of "Edicts"
The Spanish authorities may request a certificate stating whether, under New Zealand law, an "edict" must be published when marrying in a civil registry in Spain. Please contact the embassy for a certificate in Spanish, confirming that this is not required by New Zealand law.
Driving in Spain
New Zealanders over the age of 18 years who are in Spain as legal visitors may drive on their valid New Zealand driving licence for up to six months. According to the information on the Dirección General de Tráfico(external link) (Spanish equivalent of New Zealand Transport Agency) website, it is possible to drive in Spain with a valid New Zealand licence if you also have an international permit or an official translation in Spanish. DGT advise that both documents must be carried along with passport when driving. The Embassy reccomends that if carrying your passport, it always be stored securely. New Zealanders in Spain in any other circumstances should contact their local Dirección General de Tráfico(external link).
Within six months of having obtained residency, New Zealand citizens must comply with the requirements for obtaining a Spanish driving licence. As of 2 June 2023, the New Zealand-Spain Driver Licence Exchange Agreement entered into force which allows New Zealanders to exchange their current, valid New Zealand licence for a Spanish equivalent. A list of FAQs on the steps to take can be found on our social media pages (Facebook(external link) and Instagram(external link)). As the Dirección General de Tráfico(external link) is the competent authority for this process, we recommend contacting your nearest office directly should you have any further questions on this matter.
If you have lost or had your valid New Zealand Photo Drivers Licence stolen, you can apply to have it reissued by the New Zealand Transport Agency in New Zealand. To obtain an application form, contact the New Zealand Transport Agency(external link).
You will need to enclose certified copies of your ID when you post the forms back to New Zealand for processing.
If your photo licence has expired you will not be able to renew it until you are back in New Zealand. You will not be able to hire a car or drive with an expired licence. For any queries about this process please contact the NZ Transport Agency directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Certificate of Particulars
If you need to prove you are a licenced New Zealand driver, you can request a Certificate of Particulars(external link). This certificate sets out all details relevant to your NZ licence. To apply, fax or email the New Zealand Transport Registry Centre with details of your name, date of birth and address and how you want to receive the certificate. Fax: +64 6 953 6267 or email: email@example.com