Getting married overseas
If you are intending to marry overseas (ie, outside of Australia) the officials in that country may ask you for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. But what is it?
A Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage is a document issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to Australian citizens who want marry overseas indicating that there are no legal limitation on them marrying (ie, they are not already married etc). You do not need a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage to marry in Australia. The application forms are available from DFAT.
So why would you need a notary public to get married overseas?
Some overseas marriage officials will only accept Certificates of No Impediment issued by the local Australian Embassy or Consulate in their own country (being the country in which the marriage is to take place). If you live in Australia, this means you may need to have your application form notarised by a notary public in Australia before sending the application form to the local Australian Embassy or Consulate in that country.
You may also need a notary public to assist you in preparing some of the other required documents. In addition to a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage, overseas marriage officials may also require other documents such as:
- Proof of your identity. For example, you may need to provide a copy of your birth certificate, passport or other personal identification.
- Proof of your address. For example, you may need to provide a copy of your rates or utilities notices.
- Statutory declaration, affidavit or some sworn statement. For example, you may need to swear that you are single and free to marry, and that you choose to marry voluntarily.
- If relevant, evidence that you are ‘free to marry’. If you are living in Sydney, then you can obtain a certificate of that nature from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (in Sydney or Parramatta). This certificate will state that there is no record of you having been married in New South Wales.
- If relevant, evidence that you have been divorce, or that your previous spouse has passed away. For example, you may need to provide a copy of your divorce order or death certificates.
If your intended spouse is also an Australian citizen, they may also have to provide the same kind of documentation.
If you are sending copies (and sometimes if you are sending originals) you should also check with the overseas marriage officials whether those documents need to be notarised by a notary public, and whether those documents then need to be stamped with an authentication or an apostille by DFAT.
This article is only an overview of the issues faced by Australian citizens when they wish to marry overseas. The requirements vary between different countries and you need to check the specific requirements of the country in which you intend to marry. As a notary public, we assist many clients by witnessing statements and notarising documents required to satisfy overseas marriage officials.