Please find below the information that we obtained in 2012 concerning legal weddings in Cape Verde. We have since been provided with information on LEGAL MARRIAGE - CIVIL WEDDINGS - 2023 that you may want to read about in conjunction with the information below, as this page includes some other information.
Enquiries in writing or by phone to the Notary are best done in Portuguese!
You can contact the Notory Office or Registration Office for an update at any time.
Initial enquiries can be made in person (Natalina) at the Notory/Conservatorio office in Santa Maria.
Notory - Espargos, Sal Island, contact: :
DRA. FATIMA MONTEIRO.
EMAIL: (FATIMA. A. MONTEIRO @ RNI . GOV . CV) email in lower case:
TEL: (+238) 241 3725 (Notory Office - Espargos)
TEL: (+238) 241 1156 (Registration Office - Espargos)
The following information was obtained from a legal source at the Notory in 2012. It is meant as a guide only, as laws change and it is not easy to obtain information of changes.
Legally, Cape Verde Law only recognises a Notarised (Civil) marriage that is officially recorded and performed by the Notary (Civil Registry) in Cape Verde. Cape Verde law only recognises the Catholic Church as being able to marry people but the marriage must also be legally notarised by the Notary. The Notary (Registrar) is the only person legally authorised to oversee and approve Catholic Priest marriages, to provide information on what is required and/or, perform the civil ceremony herself.
We at 'Cape Verde Weddings', work with the Pastor of the Evangelical Church to provide couples with a religious symbolic marriage blessing on Sal Island.
The marriage performed by the Pastor of the Evangelical Church is a Christian Religious 'blessing'. This 'blessing' is not a legal marriage, as the Church is not recognised by Cape Verde Law for providing legal marriages. This 'blessing' therefor cannot be Notarised. You would have to have a separate legal ceremony performed by and at the Notary for a legal civil marriage.
2012: Tourists and foreigners mostly visit Cape Verde for 7-14 days. To legally marry here you will need to have been in Cape Verde for at least 30 days. We cannot say when the legal ceremony can then be performed after the 30 days. All relevant documentation and translations in Portugueses need submitting to the Notory for acceptance. If one or both are nationals of Cape Verde the requirements may be different. You would need to try and contact the Notory in Espargos on Sal, or on other islands if you wanted to enquire about the legal process. Enquiries are best done in Portuguese!
If you have a Residents ID card you can present your official documents to the Notary and that of your partners whether your partner is also a Resident of Cape Verde or a Non-Resident (Foreigner). Please make your own enquiries at the Notory for up to date changes and information to the marriage requirements.
If you are a non-Cape Verdean National (a foreigner) who wants to legally marry your Cape Verdean partner, he/she can make enquiries at the Notary as to the documents you both need to provide. The Notary will explain the procedure, you then (the foreigner), will not be required to be on the island or for 30 days before you can legally marry a Cape Verdean, however, this is only if all the documents have been received by the Notary are correct.
If one or both of the partners has lived outside their country for 12months or more, you may be required to provided 4 witnesses (in addition to a Certificate of No Impedement) to vouch for your identity and your good good character. A Cape Verdean citizen may choose to have a Christian Religious Blessing performed by a Pastor of the Evangelical Church, however the wedding should also be Notarised at the Conservatoria do Registo Civil (Civil Registry) in order for the marriage to be legal in Cape Verde.
For Non-Residents (tourists/foreigners) to marry legally in Cape Verde, the Notary requires:
- Passport copies
- at least 30 days of residence
- Non-impedement of marriage
- Payment fee (different rates)
- Posting of announcement of marriage for 8 days at the Notary
Re above documents (original and translated) have to be recognised and processed by the Embassy or Consulate of the Country of origin.
- A Certificate of non-impedement may only be valid for a few months!
All Civil marriages must be performed within 3 months from the start of proceedings with the Notary.
If you are sending your documents to be officially authenticated or translated to your Embassy or FCO, please allow enough time for this.
Please check the period of validity of all original and translated documents as they may only be valid for a few months, they need to be in date when they are presented to the Notary.
Cape Verdean citizens can legally get married by also marrying in a Catholic Church with a Priest performing the marriage ceremony. This marriage will also need to be registered with the Notary and will be accepted as legal as long as all the necessary formalities of a Notarised wedding are followed by the Priest of the Catholic Church.
Non-Residents of Cape Verde (Foreigners) will need to have their wedding Notarised in a civil ceremony here if they want it to be recognised by Cape Verdean Law.