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Marriages and co-habitation

Marriage is primarily a civil institution. The Marriage Act defines this recognised form of joint habitation, stating who may marry and what conditions are to be set for marrying. Marriage also has specific legal effects. There is no comprehensive legislation on co-habiting partners in Iceland and the legal effects of co-habiting are not the same as for marriage. Persons who share the same domicile and are not married or do not have an unknown marital status can register as co-habiting partners with Registers Iceland.

The principal tasks of the Ministry of Justice in this area are formulating policy and drafting legislation and regulations; resolving appeals against rulings by District Commissioners; granting exemptions from the age requirements of the Marriage Act; issuing statements regarding proposed marriages of Icelanders abroad; international co-operation and providing general guidance.

Marriage in Iceland

According to the Icelandic Laws in Respect of Marriage No. 31 of April 14th, 1993 examination of impediments to marriage shall be performed by persons empowered to perform marriage ceremonies. District commissioners and their law-trained deputies shall, however, perform the marriage eligibility inquiry if one or both of the marriage applicants are not domiciled in Iceland. The marriage eligibility inquiry shall take pace in the administrative district of the home of either person to be married. In case neither person to be married has legal residence in Iceland, the examination shall be performed in the administrative district where either is staying. No fee shall be charged for issuing a marriage license.

Marriages abroad

A statement can be requested from the Ministry of Justice by Icelanders proposing to marry in other countries. A certificate of marital status from Registers Iceland must accompany an application. If the applicant has been married previously the request must be accompanied by documentation on his/her divorce (a divorce certificate/divorce decree) or, as the case may be, the spouse's death certificate.

The electronic form of the application can be found here, minarsidur.stjr.is (in Icelandic). The form can also be filled out here, pdf-skjal (in Icelandic) printed and sent to the Ministry of Justice.


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