Marriage license may be used anywhere in the country within 120-day period


Dear PAO,
I’d like to ask if my marriage to my wife is legally binding considering that we were married in Marikina even though we got our marriage license from Mandaluyong. My wife insists that our marriage license and our actual marriage are not legal because of this. I hope you can give me an advice. More power to your office!

Dear Tony,
A valid marriage license is one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage. (Article 2, Family Code of the Philippines). Because of this, a valid marriage requires that the marriage license used be valid and remained valid at the time of the marriage.

In connection to this, our law specifically provides for the extent of effectivity of a valid marriage license, to which it states that:

“Art. 20. The license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines for a period of one hundred twenty days from the date of issue, and shall be deemed automatically cancelled at the expiration of the said period if the contracting parties have not made use of it. The expiry date shall be stamped in bold characters on the face of every license issued (65a)” (Family Code of the Philippines).

According to this cited law, a marriage license is effective within one hundred twenty days (120) days from the date of its issuance, and may be used anywhere in the Philippines within this period. Thus, although a marriage license is valid only for a limited period, it may be presented and used in a place different from the original place of its issuance. However, the place of its issuance must be in the local civil registrar where one of the marrying parties resides (Article 9, Family Code of the Philippines).

Applying this law to your situation, your marriage license which was obtained in Mandaluyong can be used in Marikina or elsewhere in the Philippines as long as it was used within the period of one hundred twenty (120) days from its issuance. On the other hand, the use of the marriage license beyond this period will render the marriage license invalid which will affect the validity of your marriage. Thus, as long as your marriage license was validly obtained and used within the period of its validity, then your marriage is valid.

Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.


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