Contraction of marriage

How to enter into a contract of marriage?

Pärnu mnt 67 (parking instructions)
Information +372 645 7483, +372 645 7480

 

How to file an application for the contraction of marriage?

An application for the contraction of marriage needs to be written in Estonian. Applications can be submitted in Tallinn at Pärnu mnt 67 regardless of where the prospective spouses live.

In order to file an application for the contraction of marriage the prospective spouses need to visit room 103 of the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department located at Pärnu mnt 67 together. The application form can be filled at the Vital Statistics Department. The prospective spouses need to have their identity documents with them. In case the birth of a prospective spouse has not been registered in Estonia, the person concerned needs to also present their birth certificate. A person who has been previously married needs to also submit a document certifying the termination or annulling of their marriage (a death certificate or a divorce certificate).

Issuing certificates pursuant to the convention on the issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records drafted by the CIEC (International Commission on Civil Status Conventions) signed in Vienna in 1976 (took effect in Estonia on 24 December 2011)

 

Besides Estonia, the members of the convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Spain, Holland, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, France, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey.

 

Pursuant to the convention, multilingual extracts of certificates of birth, marriage or death are issued without  translation or formalities such as an apostille, and recognized by the member countries of the convention.

 

The extracts are produced on two sides with explanations of the meaning of the symbols in both languages involved. On the reverse of the extract there should always be a reference to the title of the convention.

 

NB! InEstonia, it is legally allowed to use documents of birth, marriage or death issued by other foreign country for internal use provided the documents are verified with an apostille.

 


Agreement on abolishing the requirement of legalization documents issued by Estonian and Finnish population registers

The Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Finland on abolishing the requirement of legalization for population register documents became effective on 1 July 2012. In compliance with the said agreement, extracts from civil status records issued in English by the authorities stated in the agreement do not need to be legalized or verified with any other formalities, incl with an apostille, on the territory of the other country of the agreement.

 

Documents issued by the Republic of Finland:

Extracts from population register, certificates from the member register of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland or the Finnish Orthodox Church, and certificates on the capacity under Finnish law to contract marriage before a foreign authority.

 

The above-mentioned extracts must be drawn up in English, validated with a seal or an official stamp, signed by an authorized officer, and include the job title of the person who signed the paper.

 

If an alien wishes to conclude a marriage contract in Estonia, he or she has to prove that they have legal grounds to reside in Estonia under the Aliens Act .

The court of law under whose jurisdiction the marriage contract is to be concluded, may allow to conclude the marriage without a certificate. The permit can be given only to a person without citizenship and to a person whose country of residence does not issue this certificate. For convincing reasons the permit can also be provided to citizens of some other countries. The permit is valid for six months.

An alien whose registered place of residence is Estonia, does need to produce a certificate of no impediment.

If the place of residence of an Estonian citizen/resident is registered abroad, he or she needs to produce a certificate of no impediment.

A divorce document issued in a foreign country needs to include the information of the former spouses, the location where and the time when the marriage that ended with a divorce was originally contracted, the information regarding the body that made the decision to register a divorce, the date when such a decision was made and the date when the divorce became effective. NB! After reaching the verdict to register a divorce, the courts of foreign countries generally issue such extracts of the verdict, which contain only minimal information and which are meant for domestic use only and do not include all the required information listed above. A corresponding court needs to be asked to issue an extract that would include all the abovementioned relevant information.

In case the document in question is a divorce verdict of a court of a EU Member State, which has been reached after 01.03.2005, it is necessary to add a reference document specified in the European Council Regulation No 2201/2003 (Annex I). Click here to read the regulation in English. Adding this reference document will show that all the information concerning the divorce has been included and ensures that the verdict has officially entered into force.

The divorce verdict of a court of a EU Member State reached before 01.03.2005 needs to be certified by an apostil, the verdict of a non-Member State needs to be either certified by an apostil or legalized.

Documents formalized in a foreign language need to be submitted together with an Estonian translation certified by of a notary, a consular official or a sworn translator.

 

How soon will it be possible to get married?

According to clause 1 of § 41 of the Marital Status Operations Act (“Perekonnsaseisutoimingute seadus”) a marriage will not be contracted earlier than one month before and no later than three months after the prospective spouses have filed an application for the contraction of marriage to the Vital Statistics Department.

 

How much does getting married cost?

The state fee for the contraction of marriage is 30 € ;

The state fee can be paid to the following bank accounts of the Ministry of Finance:

the Swedbank bank account no

IBAN: EE932200221023778606

the SEB bank account no

IBAN: EE891010220034796011

Reference number

2900082728

Explanation

Marriage SF

Receiver

Ministry of Finance


The additional fees for a festive ceremony are the following (incl VAT 20%):

Ceremony on a Wednesday

 35.00 €

Ceremony on a Thursday

 35.00 €

Ceremony on a Friday

 90.00 €

Ceremony on a Saturday

 90.00 €

It is also possible to organize a festive marriage registration ceremony outside the premises of the Vital Statistics Department at a location of your choice.

The fees for this service are the following (incl VAT 20%):

Registration in Tallinn

290.00 €

Registration outside Tallinn but in the Harju County

395.00 €

Registration outside the Harju County

650.00 €

 

How to pay the fees required?

The festive ceremony fees can be paid to the bank account of the Financial Service of the Tallinn City Office:

in SEB, bank account no

IBAN: EE311010220061053015

 in Swedbank bank account no

 IBAN: EE532200221035708677

Receiver                

Financial Service of the Tallinn City Office

Reference number

5239050050050224

Explanation           

Registration fee

 

The state fee and all other fees can also be paid at the Vital Statistics Department by using debit cards issued by Estonian banks (bank transfer fees will apply).

 A glass of wine or champagne…

 

The closest and most convenient possibility to thank your guests for participating at the marriage ceremony is at the banquet hall of the Vital Statistics Department that could be rented for 150 €  (for 2 hours including  preparation and cleanup).

Our banquet rooms offer you an excellent opportunity to thank your guests by inviting them to a glass of champagne immediately after the ceremony when the emotions are the highest and there seems to be no end to the warm congratulations.

You have a choice between two banquet rooms of different size and capacity, the larger one is suitable for up to 70 guests and the smaller one for up to 30 guests.

In summer, the festively decorated courtyard of the Vital Statistics Department can be used as an alternative to the banquet rooms. We recommend this option for those lovely summer days when it tends to be too hot to stay indoors. The courtyard is hidden from the curious looks of passers-by and a perfect place for a private gathering with your guests.

The price includes the rental of the banquet room and drinking glasses!

 

Post-marital surname

When entering into a contract of marriage, the spouses can

  • choose a new surname or keep their current surname;
  • the new surname may be a joint surname with the spouse, which is the last surname borne by one of the spouses before marriage or consist of the surname last borne before marriage and the surname of the spouse following it;
  • the new surname may not consist of more than two names and a surname assigned in such a way may be borne by only one of the spouses

The surname of the other spouse will be linked to the existing surname with a hyphen (e.g. Anderson-Kask) (see: The Names Act).

At what age is it possible to get married?

Marriage can be contracted by a person who is at least 18 years old. A person who is at least 15 years old is obliged to submit a court order on the broadening of their legal capacity to enable the performance of the operations needed for the contraction of marriage and the exercising of the rights and the performance of the obligations connected to marriage.

Marrying a foreign citizen in the Republic of Estonia

In case one of the prospective spouses is the citizen of a foreign country who has not been granted a residence permit in Estonia, marriage cannot be contracted before this prospective spouse has submitted a certificate issued by the corresponding competent state authority of their country of residence or country of nationality  which certifies that, according to the law of the country of residence or country of nationality, there are no inhibiting factors to the contraction of marriage. The certificate will expire if the marriage is not contracted within six months after the certificate has been issued. In case a shorter validity period has been noted on the certificate, this date will be relied on. The certificate needs to be valid during the time of the contraction of marriage. The certificate in question needs to be either legalized or certified by an apostil. The certificate needs to be presented together with an Estonian translation certified by a notary, a consular officer or a sworn translator.

Pursuant to §39 ( 5) of Vital Statistics Registration Acta citizen of a foreign state whose residence is in a foreign state or who has resided in Estonia less than six months immediately before the submission of an application for marriage and who is unable to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage with good reason may be granted permission for contraction of marriage without the certificate by the court in whose territorial jurisdiction the marriage is intended to be contracted. Permission is valid for six months.

A person who has been previously married needs to also submit a document certifying the termination or annulling of their marriage (a death certificate or a divorce certificate).

A divorce document issued in a foreign country needs to include the information of the former spouses, the location where and the time when the marriage that ended with a divorce was originally contracted, the information regarding the body that made the decision to register a divorce, the date when such a decision was made and the date when the divorce became effective. NB! After reaching the verdict to register a divorce, the courts of foreign countries generally issue such extracts of the verdict, which contain only minimal information and which are meant for domestic use only and do not include all the required information listed above. A corresponding court needs to be asked to issue an extract that would include all the abovementioned relevant information.

In case the document in question is a divorce verdict of a court of a EU Member State, which has been reached after 01.03.2005, it is necessary to add a reference document specified in the European Council Regulation No 2201/2003 (Annex I). Click here to read the regulation in English. Adding this reference document will show that all the information concerning the divorce has been included and ensures that the verdict has officially entered into force.

The divorce verdict of a court of a EU Member State reached before 01.03.2005 needs to be certified by an apostil, the verdict of a non-Member State needs to be either certified by an apostil or legalized.

Documents formalized in a foreign language need to be submitted together with an Estonian translation certified by of a notary, a consular official or a sworn translator.

Marrying a foreign citizen outside the Republic of Estonia

In order to enable a person to marry a foreign citizen outside the Republic of Estonia, the Vital Statistics Department will issue a certificate confirming the person’s ability to get married. In order to receive this certificate, the person concerned needs to go to the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department and take their identification document with them. The state fee for the issuing of this certificate is 10 €.

 

How to legalize a marriage contracted abroad in Estonia?

In order to legalize a marriage contracted abroad in Estonia, the marriage certificate issued needs to be either legalized or certified by an apostil at the corresponding state office of the country where the certificate was issued. In Estonia, the certificate needs to be translated into Estonian, notarised and registered in the population register of Estonia.

 

Which option to choose: legalizing or certifying by an apostil? 

In order to make a document issued abroad valid in Estonia, the document needs to be legalized.

However, if the country that has issued the document has joined the HagueConvention Abolishing the Requirement forLegalization for Foreign Public Documents, the documents needs be certified by an apostil. For more information about the convention and the countries that have joined it visit the website of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In case a legal assistance agreement has been concluded between Estonia and the foreign country in question, additional certification of the document is unnecessary. Estonia has entered into a legal assistance agreement with the following countries:

  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Poland

NB! All documents formalized in a foreign language need to be translated into Estonian and notarised.

Last updated: 24.05.2016