In Mexico, a civil marriage registered in one state is not recognized in another. As a Canadian wishing to marry in Mexico, this is an important piece of information. Why? Because each state may have their own documentation and legal requirements for processing a marriage, and the last thing you would want is to show up under-prepared. Here’s a quick overview of all the documents you should pack with you, just in case.
Your Important Documents
Asides from your passport and a visa, marriage plans in Mexico mean your document preparation list has a few more items to check off. At the very least, both you and your to-be spouse should bring your birth certificate as an identifying document. We know that while for many places or purposes the short form certificate is sufficient, we always recommend the long form for legal and international purposes. If either of you doesn’t have one on hand, start preparing for it a month before your planned departure from Canada. It can take some time to process and receive these documents once you request for them.
In addition to your other IDs, passports, and birth certificates, divorce certificates should also be accompanied if applicable. If either you or your to-be spouse have divorced from a previous marriage, remember to request a divorce certificate from your province or municipal office. When it comes to marriage, you want to get things done right which means laying down the records right from the beginning.
Should you take originals?
In most instances, we highly recommend you take certified copies of documents instead of the actual, physical version. This is especially true during travel, when important documents can be lost in transit. To avoid this, you can make certified true copies which must then be notarized.
Regardless of whether you bring your actual document or a copy, all legal documents will need to be authenticated and legalized before they can be used in Mexico.
Authentication and Legalization
Authentication can be completed quickly via your local provincial document services office. The processing requires for the documents to be taken into the office where examiners review them for authenticity. Particularly, they are interested in seeing if the signing authorities belong to a professional body who may provide this service. Once the government office is satisfied with the authenticity of your document and the signatures within, they will place a red stamp and certificate to indicate that authentication has been completed.
Following this step, your legal documents will need to travel to the Consulate of Mexico in Toronto or Ottawa for legalization. Here, the Mexican consulate will review your document to ensure its fitness for use in Mexico. They will also review the document services seal for authentication to ensure its validity. If you’ve followed the steps that come before this, legalization is seldom held back. Typically, if anything were amiss with your documents, it would have been noticed earlier along the process. Once the consulate is satisfied, they too will place a certificate or stamp to indicate that your document has been legalized.
At the end of the day, document preparation is key in ensuring that your big day in Mexico goes as planned. At Legalization Service Centre, we process hundreds of records and legal documents for this purpose every day. Give us a call to help you prepare all of yours so that you can be on your way to a lifetime of celebrations.