Vital Records

You may request a birth, death or marriage certificate by mail, but you must provide the following information:

  1. Complete and sign the corresponding application form: (Birth Certificate, Death Certificate or Marriage Certificate).
  2. Photocopy of a valid photo ID. Acceptable forms of identification include: drivers license, state ID, passport, or an identification card from a welfare program such as food stamps, from the Veterans Administration, from a state or federal agency, or from an accredited university. All forms of identification are subject to approval.
  3. Postal money order or a Internal Revenue Seal for the amount of $5.00 made payable to: "Secretario de Hacienda de Puerto Rico." For each additional copy of the same certificate add $4.00. Personal checks or other methods of payments are not accepted.
  4. Send a self addressed stamped envelope (with address clearly printed) along with the money order/seal and application to the following address:
    Department of Health Demographic Registry
    P.O. Box 11854
    San Juan, Puerto Rico 00917

If you need more information or need to verify current fees, the telephone number is (787) 767-9120. Requests usually take six weeks.

Getting Married

Marriage license papers may be requested in writing from the Dept. of Health, Demographic Registry Office, Box 11854, Fernandez Juncos Station, Santurce, PR 00910 (allow 2 months) or call (787) 728-7980.

  1. Both parties must appear at the City Court office to purchase a marriage license. Persons 16-17 years of age must have the consent of their parents or legal guardians to marry. Blood tests are required.

  2. If either party is a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S, a declaration certifying that he or she is not married must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer paths in that country. This declaration must accompany the application.

  3. If applicable, divorce must be finalized in the state or country where it was granted. A divorced person must provide a 'certified' copy of his or her final divorce decree, and a person whose former spouse has died must provide a certified copy of death certificate with a raised seal prior to a marriage license being granted.

With the above hand you need to obtain a medical certificate from a physician in Puerto Rico (VDRL blood test required), such document will expire in 14 days. Lastly you visit the Marriage License Bureau to have all the documents authenticated. Once your documents are in order you may be married at the free weekly Judicial Center ceremony or at a $150-200 private ceremony (your hotel may set this up).

Getting Divorced

A petition for divorce (or "dissolution") in Puerto Rico must be filed and decided in court. The court will also deal with such matters as alimony, custody, child support, property settlement, attorney's fees and court costs.

A couple applying for a divorce must have resided in the island for at least a year immediately before filing the divorce petition, regardless of the location where they were married. For more information call (787) 641-6600 or send your questions via e-mail to

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Did You Know?

Medalla Light, Puerto Rico's top-selling light beer, won first prize in 2005 for light beer in Brussels awarded by Monde Selection. Produced by Cervecera de Puerto Rico, a family-owned business founded in 1937. Medalla Light has a thin, white head and a clear, fairly bubbly, straw appearance.