by Vlad Cuc
One of the most frequent problems encountered by Romanian citizens that live abroad is the registration of the marriage in Romania, if concluded in their new state of residence. It is necessary to conclude the marriage registration procedure in Romania as per the applicable law, but also to prevent the marriage of persons who are already married.
If you are a foreigner who is getting married in Romania, you can always obtain information concerning this procedure from our team of Romanian lawyers.
Table of Contents
What is the Romanian marriage law?
First of all, it is important to know that the single type of marriage that is recognized under the Romanian marriage law is the one concluded in front of the City Hall or any other competent institution (such as the Civil Office).
Many couples choose to conclude a religious ceremony, and this can also be an option for marriage in Romania for foreigners, depending on their religious denomination. However, this has no formal legal recognition.
The religious ceremony can only be done after the civil ceremony took place, which means that the marriage is already recognized from a formal point of view.
Please mind that foreigners can get married in Romania, as long as they meet all the requirements imposed by the Romanian authorities.
Romanian marriage legislation establishes certain steps that need to be taken in order to register a marriage concluded in a foreign state.
In order for the registration of the marriage in Romania to take place, the Romanian citizen needs to submit an application to the mayor of city in which the Romanian citizen resided before leaving the country.
If the Romanian citizen never resided in Romania then the application will be submitted to the mayor of Bucharest’s Sector 1.
The application can be submitted personally or by a representative in powered by a special power of attorney. This special power of attorney needs to meet certain conditions:
- if the power of attorney is issued by authorities of a country that signed The Hague Convention, the power of attorney needs an apostille;
- if the power of attorney is issued by authorities of a country with which Romania signed treaties/conventions/agreements for mutual legal assistance the power of attorney does not need any legalization;
- if the power of attorney is issued by authorities of a country that does not fall in the categories listed in point 1 and 2, then the power of attorney needs to be legalized.
This means that the original document will bear 3 stamps, one applied by the authority issuing the power of attorney, the stamp of Romanian diplomatic mission in the respective country, and finally a stamp of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The application is standardized and is provided by City Hall in Romania. The application needs to be accompanied by a set of documents.
The certificate of marriage issued by foreign authorities in original, a photocopy, and a certified translation of the document. Just like the power of attorney the certificate needs to meet the following conditions:
- if the certificate of marriage is issued by authorities of a country that signed The Hague Convention, the certificate of marriage needs an apostille;
- if the certificate of marriage is issued by authorities of a country with which Romania signed treaties/conventions/agreements for mutual legal assistance, the certificate does not need any legalization;
- if the certificate of marriage is issued by authorities of a country that does not fall in the categories listed in point 1 and 2, then the certificate needs to be legalized.
One should also prepare:
- photocopies of the birth certificate, identity document of passport of the Romanian citizen;
- a notarized statement from the Romanian citizen regarding the name he/she was given after the conclusion of the marriage in case the certificate of marriage or its equivalent does not bare this mention;
- a declaration that the certificate of marriage was not transcribed before – this is a standardized declaration provided by the city hall;
- extrajudicial fee of 2 lei consisting of a fiscal stamp.
After receiving the application and all the needed documentation the mayor will order The Service for Population Records to make enquiries regarding the applicant.
After the verification held by the Service for Population Records if the applicant provided the correct documentation and if he/she did not request for his marriage to be registered before the marriage concluded in a foreign country, it will be registered in Romanian Civil Registries.
Getting married in Romania – current statistics
Getting married in Romania is still a popular choice for many people, even if the divorce rate is rather high in this country, following the European trends.
Although the divorce proceedings are quite common amongst those who were married, the marriage procedure is still a common event for many Romanians, due to the fact that the Romanian society is caught between the traditional and the modern approach to partnership.
When it comes to statistics on marriage, you should know the following:
- according to Eurostat, in 2013, in Romania there were concluded 107,507 marriages;
- in 2015, the number of marriages increased to 125,000;
- compared to 2 or 3 decades ago, the number of marriages per 1,000 inhabitants declined (in 1990, the marriage rate per 1,000 persons was of 8.3, while in 2019, it decreased to 5,8, rapidly declining to 3.7 in 2020, when the Covid pandemic began);
- the marriages concluded in 2020 had the highest demand for the age group of 20 to 34;
- in 2020, the largest group of persons to get married was those with an age of 25-29 years old.
In 2020, only 81,343 marriages were concluded in Romania, this being the lowest number ever registered since the 40s. Of course, one can correlate this value with the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many people could not perform or participate in most of the basic, regular events.
Even if the number of marriages has dropped, one must know that getting married in Romania is still a popular choice, as revealed by a recent study, where the respondents declared that they have a better view on marriage than cohabitation.
Some of the reasons for which people in Romania avoid getting married relate to the lack of financial possibilities (55% of them), but also the fear of not making a good choice, which will end up in a failure of the said marriage (44%).
Please mind that there isn’t any legal procedure to get married online in Romania. The most one can do is to send various documents online to certain institutions, but the procedure to get married involves addressing directly to the competent authorities.
Thus, the procedure on marriage in Romania for foreigners as well as for Romanians will require the couples to present in person to the most suitable marriage institution and initiate there various legal procedures.
The law for marriage in Romanian for foreigners and Romanians stipulates that the parties interested have to first submit various papers, to verify that the 2 can enter a marriage as per the Romanian law, and then conclude the actual marriage.
Getting married in Romania in a civil ceremony implies that the 2 future spouses will also have 2 witnesses, who will sign in the official registries when the marriage is concluded; this is why both foreigners and Romanians can’t get married online in Romania.
If you need further information regarding this procedure, as well as on the rights and the obligations deriving from being married as per the Romanian law, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm in Romania, where you can get all the necessary information.
Our lawyers can help foreign individuals in many other legal matters. You can rely on us for assistance on immigration, inheritance, child alimony, employment law, etc.
We are also qualified to assist foreigners who want to open a business in Romania. Any matter concerning the commercial legislation can be handled through our lawyers. We can also provide tax advice.
We can offer tax advice regarding the personal taxation of individuals, residents or foreigners, but we can also provide corporate tax advice, which will be necessary if you set up a company in Romania.
The tax law has suffered many modifications throughout the years, and we recommend you to address to persons who are specialized in tax/financial legislation for up-to-date information.
You can also contact us if you are interested in the procedure applicable to foreigners who want to buy land in Romania.
Although purchasing a property in general is a simple procedure, the law on buying land has recently been modified, by introducing more complicated regulations that limit the possibility of purchasing land for most of the foreigners, especially for those from non-EU countries.