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Getting married in the Cook Islands - Government regulations

The requirements:
  1. Section 23 of the Marriage Act 1973 provides as follows: "Notice of Marriage"
    (1) Where two persons intend to marry in the Cook Islands, one of them shall give notice on the prescribed form to the Registrar of Marriages.
    (2) The person giving notice shall appear personally before the Registrar and shall make a statutory declaration on the prescribed form that the several particulars set forth in the notice are true, that he/she believes that the marriage is not prohibited by section 15 of this Act, and that there is no other lawful impediment to the intended marriage."
  2. Section 15 prohibits marriage within specified degrees of relationship.
  3. Applicants 20 years and over can get married without consents. Any person under the age of 16 is not permitted to marry.
  4. Documentation required is current and valid: Passports; Full Birth Certificate; Decree Absolute in Divorce (if previously married); Death Certificate (if widow/widower).
  5. Documents must be in English, or translated to English by another person other than the applicants, if the documents are in a foreign language.
  6. Applicants must provide details of the place of marriage, date of marriage and names of officiating minister or marriage celebrant before a Marriage Notice application is completed
  7. Applicants must attend the Marriage Registration Office on the island where the marriage is to take place where the marriage Notice is prepared by the registration clerk.
  8. Fees for issuing a Marriage Licence are as follows:
    • Marriage Licence $50.00
    • Waiver Fee NZ$45.00
    • Amendment Fee NZ$20.00
  9. The Waiver Fee of NZ$45.00 only applies when the applicants want to get married less than three (3) days after the completion of the Marriage Notice and must apply in writing to the Registrar stating their date of marriage and reasons they want to be married in less than three (3) days and the waiver must be approved by the Registrar before the licence is issued.
  10. The Amendment Fee of NZ$20.00 applies where there are changes to be made to the place of marriage, or date of marriage or officiating minister or marriage celebrant, after the marriage licence is issued. The office of the Registrar must be informed of and complete any changes first before the marriage ceremony is to begin.

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