Marriage by U.S. Citizens in Croatia
Married in Croatia
For the most up-to-date and complete information on marriage requirements, contact the government of Croatia, specifically the records registry (Maticni Ured) in the locality where the marriage will take place.
The following is an unofficial summary of the requirements, for which the U.S. Embassy in Croatia assumes no legal liability for accuracy.
For a U.S. citizen to marry in Croatia, Croatian authorities require the following:
Valid U.S. passport
U.S. birth certificate translated into Croatian by a sworn court interpreter (PDF 851 KB); the U.S. birth certificate must bear theapostille of the competent authority of the issuing U.S. state and must be a new copy issued within the past 90 days. Obtaining theapostille and/or new birth certificate may require several days or weeks, depending on the state. For addresses of relevant state apostille authorities, click here.
A sworn statement, made by the American citizen before a U.S. Consular Officer, statingthat the person in question is an American citizen, that he/she is free to marry, and that the marriage contracted in Croatia will be regarded as valid by U.S. authorities. This document is available at the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb upon presentation of an American passport. The fee is $50 payable in cash (dollars or kuna equivalent) or by major credit card.
The document supplied by the U. S. Embassy also must be authenticated Consular Section of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, located at Petreticev trg 2, 10000 Zagreb. The contact number at the Ministry is +385-1-4599-410. The government fee (biljeg) is 60 kunas (approximately $10).
If an American citizen does not speak Croatian, he/she will have to obtain the services of a court appointed translator for the marriage ceremony. A list of Croatian court interpreters is available (PDF 851 KB).
If one of the marriage partners is divorced or widowed, proof of the dissolution of previous marriage (i.e., divorce decree or death certificate) is required; similarly, an apostille is required on those documents.
Marriages in Croatia are performed before an appropriate local official (Maticar) associated with each municipality. That is the only ceremony recognized as valid by Croatian authorities and, in turn, by U.S. authorities. A church or other religious ceremony can be performed later, if desired.
U.S. citizens entering Croatia to get married, who do not intend to stay more than 90 days, do not require any special visas. However, if U.S. citizens intend to reside in Croatia longer than 90 days in a six-month period, they must abide by Croatian entry and residence requirements for foreigners, information available at www.mup.hr
Editors note: Morgana and I are getting married in Croatia in just a few days. We have arrived in Dubrovnik and look forward to our third wedding!