Under the Family Code of the Philippines, there are four instances when a marriage can be allowed despite the absence of a marriage license:
a. When either or both of the parties are on the verge of dying (marriage in articulo mortis).
In this case, the couple is no longer required to secure a marriage license and the wedding ceremony can push through wherever they are.
If the marriage occurs inside the plane or ship, the pilot or captain can solemnize the wedding whether they’re in the middle of a flight/voyage or stopovers/ports of call.
The marriage can be between passengers or crew members.
The military commander of a unit can also serve as a solemnizing officer in marriages of articulo mortis between civilians or members of the armed forces within the zone of military operation.
The marriage of articulo mortis will remain valid even if the dying party subsequently survives.
It is the responsibility of the solemnizing officer to state in an affidavit executed before the local civil registrar (or any legal authority that administers oaths) the nature of the marriage.
He/she should also state that the couple is at the legal age and there’s no legal impediment to the said marriage.
The officer should then send the original copies of both the affidavit and the marriage contract to the local civil registrar not later than 30 days after the marriage took place.
b. When there’s no means of transportation which prevents the couple from personally appearing before the local civil registrar.
Examples are Filipinos who live in poor and remote villages in the provinces.
Solemnizing officers are likewise obliged to state in an affidavit executed before the local civil registrar that the couple’ residence is located in a barrio or barangay with no means of transportation, hence preventing them from securing the marriage license.
The affidavit should also emphasize that the solemnizing officer ascertain that there’s no legal impediment to marriage and both parties are of marrying age.
Both the affidavit and the marriage contract must be forwarded by the solemnizing officer to the local civil registrar within 30 days after the marriage rites were performed.
c. When the marriage is between Muslims or members of ethnic cultural communities.
A marriage license is not necessary as long as the marriage is solemnized according to their rites, customs, or practices.
d. When the couple (man and woman) has lived together as husband and wife for at least five years.
Instead of getting a marriage license, the couple can write in an affidavit the circumstances surrounding their relationship.
The solemnizing officer, on the other hand, shall also state under oath that the parties are old enough to get married and there’s no legal impediment to the marriage.
Go back to the main page: How to Get Married in the Philippines – An Ultimate Guide