The marriage procedurePrint

The first step to getting married at the Civil Registry Office (USC) or at a place of worship authorized to carry out concordat marriage rites is the submission of the set of documents required by law to the Director of the Civil Registry Office Head, followed signing of the certificate of no impediment to the marriage, as well as declarations on the names of the spouses and their children after the wedding.

A marriage can not be concluded at the USC before one month passes from the date of submission of the documents. In appropriate cases, the couple intending to marry may apply to the Director of the USC to shorten the waiting period before marriage.

On the wedding day, the newlyweds must make their wedding vows in the presene of two adult witnesses. Anyone who has full legal capacity can act as a witness and confirm that the marriage has been concluded. A person who does not have Polish citizenship may also act as witness, but as a general rule, he should know Polish (if he does not speak Polish, he will need to be accompanied by a sworn  interpreter). A person acting as a witness will be required to present a valid identity document on the day of the ceremony.

As a general rule, a foreigner who does not speak Polish needs to complete all the formalities (including the ceremony itself) accompanied by a sworn interpreter of a language they speak fluently.

The civil ceremony takes place in the Civil Registry Office. In appropriate cases, the Director of the USC may agree to conclude a marriage outside the Civil Registry Office premises. Concordat marriages take place in a selected place of worship.

A marriage certificate for marriages concluded before the Director of the Civil Registry Office is drawn up immediately after the ceremony. The basis of preparation of the marriage certificate for ceremonies concluded before a religious celebrant is presentation by the celebrant to the Director of the USC competent for the location where the ceremony was held of the document (certificate) stating that no circumstances constituting an impediment to the marriage exist, signed by the celebrant, spouses and witnesses. This certificate (document) needs to be delivered to the USC within five days of the day of the marriage. The marriage certificate is drawn up promptly, not later than on the next business day after the day on which the USC received the aforementioned document.

For both civil marriages and concordat marriages a stamp duty in the amount of 84 PLN is charged for the preparation of the marriage certificate. After the ceremony and completion of the certificate at the USC, the spouses receive a copy of the marriage certificate.

Note: The marriage certificate is an important document confirming the marriage and it is necessary for different types of formalities, for example relating to the legalization of the stay of a foreigner - spouse of a Polish citizen - in Poland.