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Do I Have to Register My Marriage in Ecuador?

Posted in: Ecuador Facts, Living in Ecuador

This post, with updated legal requirements for Ecuadorian visas for permanent residency, has been contributed by Nelson Idrovo, Attorney at Law. Along with his wife Grace Velastegui, Nelson runs Idrovo & Velastegui – a Cuenca Law Office.

register my marriage in ecuador

Do I Have to Register My Marriage in Ecuador?

We have had many inquiries from clients and friends regarding the necessity to register your marriage in Ecuador due to rumors and some written information circulating in the expat community and would like to publicly answer this question.

The statement that it is the law and obligation to register your marriage is simply for promotional purposes and is not only false, but misleading.

It is not a law nor is it obligatory to register your marriage in Ecuador.

Not having a marriage registered does not affect your residency or property rights. Ecuadorian law recognizes your civil status even if you present a foreign Marriage Certificate and it does not need to be registered in Ecuador to obtain this recognition. A clear example is if you already have Ecuadorian residency, you can look at your cedulas and note your civil status is stated and, if married, your mate’s name is listed.

Should I Register My Marriage in Ecuador?

grace-nelson-cuenca-law-officeWe suggest to our clients to register their marriage in Ecuador as a convenience in the event that in the future they need to obtain a copy of their marriage certificate, having it registered would facilitate getting a copy instead of trying to obtain one from their home country, but again, it is not a law to do so.

Have a specific question? Ask it in the comments below or contact Grace and Nelson directly.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

6 comments… add one
  • John Jul 28, 2019, 8:53 pm

    How do I register my USA divorce in Ecuador?
    I was married in the USA, I am now a resident of Ecuador, my cédula says I am married, and I recently got divorced in the USA. I have a certified, apostilled, translated certificate of divorce from the USA. Now what?

  • Victor Oct 16, 2016, 10:50 pm

    Hi there,
    Nice article. I am a UK citizen and my wife is from Ecuador – we met in New Zealand 3 yrs ago and recently got married here in New Zealand. She wants to add my surname to her last name – but is under the impression that we need to register our marriage in Ecuador and go through the laborious process of changing ALL her former documents (primary school high school, passport documents to include my surname – which she heard takes ‘years’ !)
    Is this correct or what is the process?



  • Lourdes Nov 23, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Hello Bryan,

    Thank you for your information. I’ll be reaching out to Grace and Nelson via e-mail, to get some information on travelling to Ecuador to teach English as a second language. I will like to stay for 3 months and would like some clarification on what type of visa I will need.

    Thanks again,

  • Jakob Nov 20, 2015, 10:43 am

    On your escrituras (property deed) you will figure as “esposos y “, so the property deed states that the property is held by a married couple. You do not have to present any proof of marriage for real estate transactions, just say you are married and want it inscribed that way on the escritura.

    Our situation is inverse, our marriage is inscribed in Ecuador, but we have lived in Germany and Canada where we did not register the marriage. Nevertheless, we file all paperwork (taxes etc) as a married couple without any problems. International consensus is that no matter where you get married, you are married no matter where you go.

    Greetings from Guayaquil.

    • Bryan Haines Nov 20, 2015, 10:51 am

      Hey Jakob – thanks for adding value, as usual.

      Great to hear from you!

  • Dr. Jacqueline Mackenzie Nov 20, 2015, 10:20 am

    For the last 29 years I have been responsible for the legal aspects of running one or more USA nonprofits. As I minored in tax law in business college, I firmly believe in having as much information as possible regarding legal issues. At the ladies meeting Wednesday, several ladies had heard of this “new” rule. My husband and I are renters; this does not apply to us. As I am also a teacher, a minister, and a business woman, passed along some thing I thought might be helpful. I am not a lawyer, but I totally trusted Maite Duran based on the work she did for our complicated visas. Had I not, I would not have passed this along. Both property owners who replied to me seemed to want to “Shoot the Messenger.” Yet, after 10 years as a volunteer teacher in Mexico, I know that the administration can make almost “instant changes” that may seem to lack the logic we had grown up with. Now I better understand why so many people do not pass on what they read or hear. Thank you for getting the right information.

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