The Marriage Registry was founded on the 12th August 1975, the year in which the Marriage Act was enacted. The Act regulates all marriages in the Maltese islands and also introduced civil marriages. The law was amended in 1981, 1983 and 1995.
The process as regards formalities in preparation for marriage is as follows:
Three months prior to the marriage date, the couple should make a request for the publication of marriage banns at the Public Registry. The couple should provide:
a. Birth certificates
b. Identity cards and copies thereof
c. A photocopy of the identity cards of the witnesses
The Marriage Registrar should be given the following information:
a. The church or place where the marriage will be held
b. The date of marriage
c. The name of the priest who will celebrate the marriage ceremony
d. The surname which the bride will be using after marriage (her maiden surname or her husband's)
Ten days prior to the marriage date the couple are to collect three documents prepared by the Marriage Registry and submit them to the Parish Priest of the place where the wedding ceremony will be held.
After the Wedding Mass, together with the witnesses and the priest who administered the Wedding Sacrament, the couple should sign their Marriage Certificate; the bride should sign using her maiden surname.
Maltese nationals who plan to marry foreigners should request more information from the Marriage Registry.
The couples who are getting married in Gozo should apply for their marriage banns at the Marriage Registry in Gozo.
The Marriage Registry provides also services for Civil Marriages. Those couples who opt for a Civil Marriage have to satisfy the same obligations and formalities requested for a religious marriage.
A Civil Marriage may take place at:
- The Marriage Registry
- Any other public place that is accepted by the Marriage Registrar
Other services offered by the Marriage Registry
Registration of all marriages which have taken place abroad where at least one of the married couple is a Maltese national;
Registration of divorces conceeded by competent Courts abroad, with the condition that one of the couple is a citizen or domiciled in that country where the divorce is granted;
As regards women who have completed procedures for Legal Separation, the Marriage Registry annotates the change to their maiden surname;
Legitimation of children born out of wedlock, when the parents marry each other.
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