Couples in Brazil wanting to get married may now do so online, thanks to advances in technology. This modern approach streamlines the marriage procedure and offers an appealing alternative to traditional ceremonies. 

Brazil's online marriage process includes essential procedures to ensure the legitimacy and legality of the virtual wedding. In this article, we will look at an in-depth guide for Brazilian online marriages, with special attention to the legal aspects and the role of authorized registrars in assisting couples in navigating this new face of marriage.

The Legality of Online Marriages in Brazil

Before the 2019 pandemic, certain regions imposed strict requirements, necessitating the physical presence of both the officiant and the couple for a marriage to be legally binding. Moreover, couples had to personally visit the county clerk's office to secure a marriage license.

Then in 2019, the Utah County marriage license office, in collaboration with information technology departments, introduced an innovative, entirely digital process for marriage license applications. This revolutionary system eradicated the need for couples to physically visit the office to both obtain and submit their marriage licenses.

One noteworthy aspect of Utah's online marriage procedure is its inclusivity, offering accessibility to individuals regardless of their place of residence. Generally, marriages legally solemnized in one state receive recognition throughout the United States, complying with state and federal regulations. Crucially, this implies that a couple legally marrying online through Utah's system will have their marriage acknowledged by other states.

It's essential to note that marriages conducted legally in one country are accepted in most other nations, showing the broader recognition and validity of such unions on an international scale.

Traditional marriage process in Brazil

Getting married in Brazil involves several legal steps, emphasizing the significance of civil and religious aspects. Here is an overview of the process:

Formalities

Legal Requirements

  • Both parties must comply with Brazilian law, and marriages cannot take place at foreign consulates or embassies.
  • A religious ceremony alone is not legally binding; a civil process is required, often leading to two ceremonies.

Age and Consent

The man must be at least 18 years old, and the woman must be at least 16 years old. If either party is a minor (under 21), parental or legal guardian consent is necessary.

Prohibitions

  • Marriage is not allowed between siblings or closely related individuals.
  • Previous marriages must be annulled or legally ended before remarrying.

Marriage in Brazil for Foreigners

For foreigners getting married in Brazil, the process involves both a ceremony and a legal component, which can be conducted in a cartório (notary office) or through a Juíz de Paz (Justice of the Peace) during the ceremony.

Choosing a Cartório

Brazil has numerous cartórios, and couples should visit the one closest to their residence. Each cartório has specific document requirements for legalizing the marriage.

Required Documents

  • Passport and Brazilian partner's ID.
  • Proof of residence for both parties.
  • Birth certificates for both parties.
  • Proof of divorce if either party has been previously married.
  • Documents may require apostilling in the home country and possible legalization by the Brazilian consulate.

Civil Marriages

Civil marriages can be conducted in the cartório, and financial considerations for the future should be discussed before the wedding.

Registering Intent to Marry

  1. Visit a Civil Registry Office (Cartório de Regístro Civil) with two witnesses, at least 21 years old.
  2. Pay a registration fee (currently R$72).
  3. The local newspaper publishes a notice of the intended marriage.

Registering Marriage

  • Pay a fee (approximately R$18 per page) to register the marriage.
  • A marriage license is issued, valid for three months.
  • Marriage registration may take up to 30 days.

Courtly: Simplifying the Online Marriage Process in Brazil

Courtly provides a user-friendly and efficient solution tailored for couples seeking a straightforward marriage process. This pioneering platform grants couples the flexibility to manage the entire procedure from a distance, alleviating the need for extensive documentation. Through Courtly's streamlined approach, couples can swiftly obtain a legitimate U.S. marriage certificate, contributing to an enhanced and hassle-free matrimonial experience.

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Married Online in Brazil with Courtly

1. Create an Account

Sign up with Courtly by clicking the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner. Follow the provided instructions to create your account, granting you access to the platform.

2. Select Ceremony Format, Setting, and Officiant

Take decisive action by choosing the ceremony format, setting, and officiant that align with your preferences. Depending on your selected time and day, Courtly will pair you with a legally qualified U.S. officiant.

3. Payment and Confirmation

Complete the payment for your selected wedding package and await the confirmation email from Courtly. Once confirmed, your online wedding journey begins. Explore comprehensive information on available packages and add-ons on the Pricing Page.

4. Virtual Celebration

Commemorate your marriage online with loved ones from the comfort of your home or any location with a reliable internet connection. The ceremony typically lasts around 15 minutes.

Upon concluding the online wedding, receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate immediately, with a printed copy delivered within 1 to 2 weeks. Additionally, download your digital marriage license shortly after the ceremony.

Registration of online marriages in Brazil

To register an online marriage, foreigners and Brazilian nationals must provide specific documents.

The good news is, there's no need to travel to Brazil to register your marriage. Marriages performed in the United States are recognized in Brazil and require registration. Couples have the flexibility to either directly submit their marriage registration at a Brazilian notary office or commence the process at the Brazilian Consulate, finalizing it at a local notary office.

To register, you'll need the original consulate-issued certificate and the Brazilian spouse's birth certificate. If the Brazilian spouse was previously married, provide the prior marriage certificate annotated with the divorce. Additional documentation is required if the marriage hasn't been filed with the consulate.

For non-residents, filing takes place at the First Notary Office in Brasília. Residents can file at their local notary office (1º Ofício do Registro Civil). Registering a foreign marriage should occur upon either spouse's first visit to Brazil or within 180 days of permanently returning.

General Requirements

For Foreigners

  • Original passport for Foreigner’s Identity Card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro).
  • Original birth certificate certified by a Brazilian Consulate.
  • Declaration of Civil Status issued by the local consulate or embassy.

For Brazilian Nationals

  • Birth certificate, original identity document, and taxpayer's card (CPF).
  • Proof of current address and date/location of parents' births.

Additional Documents for Previous Marriages

  • Copy of the final divorce decree or death certificate for widows.

Translation and Apostille

  • Documents not in Portuguese may need translation by a sworn professional.
  • Apostille is required for documents issued abroad before translation.

Certified Copies

  • Certified photocopies of documents are essential and can be obtained through a Notary public or Brazilian Consulate.

Note that failing to register may have consequences, such as when buying a house. A notary will demand a copy of the registered Brazilian marriage certificate to confirm the marital property regime.

Apostille certification for online marriage certificates

An apostille is an exclusive certificate issued by the Secretary of State or the Lieutenant Governor, facilitating the acknowledgment and acceptance of a legal document from one country to another. This certification ensures that your marriage certificate is affirmed as a legally binding and genuine document, adhering to the standards established by The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. Consequently, it gains recognition in countries that are parties to this convention.

Courtly provides the option to secure an apostille certification for your marriage certificate. It's crucial to be aware that the process of obtaining an apostille and dispatching it to Brazil after the online ceremony typically spans a duration of 15 to 30 business days. This certification serves to reinforce the legality and validity of your marriage certificate, making it acceptable not only in Brazil but also in any other country that acknowledges apostilled documents.

Being well-informed about the specific requirements and procedures for acquiring an apostille certification in your jurisdiction is advisable. Consulting with Courtly or relevant authorities ensures access to accurate and current information.

Conclusion

The landscape of marriage registration in Brazil has transformed, mirroring global trends that embrace online processes. Much like the UK, where legal marriage certificates are now issued online post-ceremony, couples in Brazil can explore the evolving registration methods. Navigating the legal intricacies is paramount for those considering online marriage in Brazil. The shift towards online platforms not only offers flexibility but also streamlines the marriage journey. 

Balancing traditional and modern options allows couples to personalize their matrimonial experience. Couples must communicate openly and stay informed about legal nuances, ensuring they embark on their marital journey in Brazil with confidence and adaptability within this evolving registration landscape.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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