Understanding The Difference: Report of Marriage vs. Marriage Certificate – A Comprehensive Guide

Published on August 16, 2023

What is Report of Marriage

A Report of Marriage and a Certificate of Marriage are both documents related to recording and acknowledging a marriage, but they serve different purposes and are issued by different government offices or departments. While a Report of Marriage ensures proper recognition of an international marriage by the home country, a Marriage Certificate serves as tangible proof of marital status within the jurisdiction of where the ceremony took place.

What is a Report of Marriage?

A Report of Marriage documents the details of a marriage that took place outside the home country (Philippines) of one or both spouses. It is a report or declaration submitted by the married couple to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General which has jurisdiction over the locality where the wedding took place. For instance, consider a scenario where a Filipina marries a US national in California. Following their wedding, it becomes necessary for them to file a Report of Marriage at the Philippine Embassy in that US state. This step ensures that their marriage is duly reported to the Philippines and officially registered, facilitating proper recognition and documentation of their union.

The report provides essential details about the marriage such as the date, location, and the identities of the spouses. The purpose of the Report of Marriage is to ensure that the marriage is properly recognized and registered in the home country of the couple. It serves as an official record of the marriage for legal and administrative purposes.

The filing of a Report of Marriage is mandatory whether only one of the spouses is a citizen of the Philippines, or both are.

What is a Certificate of Marriage?

A Certificate of Marriage, on the other hand, is a legal document issued by the Local Civil Registry Office in the city or municipality where the marriage ceremony occurred. It confirms the marriage, whether it is between two Filipino individuals or a Filipino and a foreign national.

After the Certificate of Marriage is submitted to the LCRO, the details of the marriage are then entered into the register of marriages. The LCRO then endorses the certificate of marriage to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for certification and printing on the PSA Security Paper (SECPA).

Once the designated processing time has elapsed, the married couple may obtain a PSA-certified copy of their marriage certificate from the PSA. This can be requested either at the closest PSA CRS outlet or conveniently ordered online for delivery to their home.

Basic Requirements When Filing a Report of Marriage Abroad

How to get a Report of Marriage

The documentary requirements for filing a Report of Marriage may vary depending on the country or state where the marriage occurred. However, certain basic documents must be provided by the couple to ensure that their marriage details are accurately reported to the Philippine Embassy.

  • Notarized Report of Marriage Form

    • The wife must write her maiden last name as her last name.
    • Both the husband and wife are required to complete and sign four copies of the Report of Marriage, which should then be appropriately notarized by a United States notary public.
  • Marriage Contract or Certificate issued by US vital records.

  • Proof of Filipino Citizenship of Applicant/s at the time of marriage

    • US Permanent Resident Card
    • Valid visa or work permit
    • Dual Citizenship documents
  • Birth Certificates of Husband and Wife

    • PSA birth certificate of the Filipino spouse
  • Valid Passports of IDs of both parties

  • Affidavit of Delayed Registration - this is only needed if the application is being filed after more than one year from the date of the marriage.

As previously stated, the country or state in which the Report of Marriage is being filed may ask for additional requirements and identification documents. The process and duration of waiting may also vary; thus, it is strongly recommended to communicate with the Philippine Embassy responsible for handling the marriage registration.

The Report of Marriage shall then be registered with the PSA through the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General in the area where the marriage was solemnized. This way, a PSA-certified marriage certificate may be facilitated for the couple, and they can then request a copy of their PSA marriage certificate. This also means that their marriage abroad is recognized and honored by Philippine laws.

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