Karencita de Perú

Getting Married in Lima – Casarse en Lima

Posted on: August 26, 2010

I’m going to take a break from writing about our trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu and write about the process of getting married in Lima.

Getting married in Peru is not easy.  There are way more requirements than getting married in Canada and each province or district has its own rules.  Before we decided on which district of Lima to get married in we looked at the requirements for practically all the districts.  There was always something slightly different for each one.  In the end, we decided to get married in the district of Miraflores where we live.

The requirements for a Peruvian to get married in Miraflores are as follows:

  • original birth certificate that has been issued within the last 3 months
  • Medical Exam
  • D.N.I (national identity card) – original and copy
  • Sworn affidavit of marital status and residence

The fact that I am a foreigner and divorced complicated matters even further.  My requirements as a foreigner are as follows:

  • Original birth certificate that has been legalized by the Peruvian consulate in the jurisdiction in which it was issued, then legalized here in Lima by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and then translated by an official translator
  • Passport – original and notarized copy
  • Medical Exam
  • Divorce order that has been legalized by the Peruvian consulate in the jurisdiction in which it was issued, then legalized here in Lima by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and then translated by an official translator
  • Sworn affidavit of marital status
  • Pregnancy test (because I have been divorced for less than 300 days)

So, what steps did we have to take to gather all these requirements?

  1. When I was in Canada I had to get a new birth certificate because my original one was too old.  I ordered it online from vital statistics in BC and they mailed it to my before I moved to Peru.
  2. I had to get my divorce order from the Court registry in Vancouver and have it notarized there.  Then I had to take it to Victoria to have it authenticate by the Ministry of the Attorney General of BC.
  3. I took both the birth certificate and divorce order to the Peruvian Consulate in Vancouver and had them legalized.  Luckily I was in Canada and could take the document to the Consulate personally.  I have read stories of people who want to get married here that have to courier their documents back to the Consulate in their home jurisdiction to get them legalized there and then have them shipped back to Lima.  That would even be a bigger hassle!
  4. Once in Lima we took my birth certificate and divorce order too an official translator.  This translator works with someone who took the documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for us to have them legalized.  You can do this yourself but it involves traveling there, waiting in line, leaving the documents and returning the next day to pick them up. It was much easier to have it down by someone on our behalf.  Once the document were legalized, the translator translated them and affixed his official seal.   At this point the documents look somewhat like a decorated Christmas tree as they have stamps and seals and official signature from a least three different places.
  5. Then we had to go to the Ministerio de Salud at Av. Enrique Palacios Nº 938 to get my pregnancy test.  Rather than being the usual urine test it was a blood test.  They took my blood one day and I had to return the next day to pick up the results.  Of course, the result was negative!
  6. Next, we had to take my passport and the two affidavits of marital status to the notary.  As with the pregnancy test, we dropped them off one day and picked them up the next day.
  7. Luis had to get a new birth certificate as the requirement says it has to have been issued within the past 3 months.  It took us a while to figure out where we had to go to get this as you have to get it from the district in which you are born.  Luis was born in La Victoria so we made a trip there to get the birth certificate.  Thankfully it was available right away and we didn’t have to return the next day.
  8. Finally, the last step was to get our medical exams.  We had to go to a specific  Centro Médico Municipal for this located at Mariano Melgar Nº 247 Santa Cruz Miraflores.  We went in the morning and got another blood test (this time for HIV) and a very brief medical consultation.  The medical exam was really something of a joke.  The doctor asked a few questions about if I have any illnesses, looked in my eyes, listened to my breathing and that was it.  They didn’t even take our blood pressure or anything.  Anyway, of course, we had to return the next day to pick up the results.

Once all this was completed we finally had everything ready to take to the Municipality to get our Expediente Matrimonial. This “Expediente Matrimonial” sounds pretty formal but to be honest its just a blue file folder.  They open a file, put your name on it, take all your documents, put them in the file and enter some data into the computer.  However, in order to get the Expediente Matrimonial you have to go with your documents and two witnesses.  We were delayed a little because Angel, Luis’ cousin who was supposed to be his witness, got sick with pneumonia and was  in the hospital so we had to find another witness.  My witness was Luis’ sister and his witness ended up being his brother-in-law.   The witnesses are not allowed to be family, but they don’t seem to check this very closely.

Finally, I thought we were going to be able to select the date… but oh no, not yet.  We had to take this document with all our information on it to a place to have the Editco Matrimonial published.  The Editco Matrimonial is the equivalent of banns in Canada and is usually a requirement of the church, not the state.  It was published in a newspaper called La Razón (The Reason) on Saturday and we had to make sure we bought a copy of the paper (we bought 2 just in case!) because on Monday we had to take the entire page with the announcement back to the Municipality to FINALLY be able to choose our date.

Our wedding will take place on Saturday October 30th at 6pm at the Concejillo in the Municipalidad de Miraflores.

So, how much did all this bureaucracy cost:

  • S/. 75 ($27) – new birth certificate for Karen
  • S/. 84 ($30) – authentication of divorce order
  • S/. 193 ($69) – $34.50 x 2 for legalization of birth cert and divorce order by Peruvian Consulate in Vancouver
  • S/. 83 ($30) – legalization by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peru
  • S/. 95 ($34) – translation of birth cert and divorce order
  • S/. 28 ($10)– notary fees
  • S/. 15 ($5.35)– new birth certificate for Luis
  • S/. 15 ($5.35) – pregnancy test
  • S/. 78 ($27.85) – S/. 39 x 2 for medical exams
  • S/. 48 ($17) – expediente matrimonial
  • S/. 35 ($12.50) – edicto matrimonial

For a grand total of S/. 749 ($267), just so we can could get to the point where we were able to choose a date and start planning the actual wedding.  The cost for the use of the Concejillo, where the ceremony will be, is another S/.570 ($204) and then there is the reception, dress, rings, flowers, photographer, decoration, etc.  Stay tuned for more details!


2 Responses to "Getting Married in Lima – Casarse en Lima"

Hi. My boyfriend and I live in CA, U.S. and are planning on getting married in the U.S. but having the Catholic church wedding in Miraflores, as well as the reception. My boyfriend was born in Lima but has been a U.S. citizen for some time. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated!!!!


Thanks for your great tips. We all appreciate your tips. Keep posting these kind of nice blogs.

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Miraflores in Lima Perú

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