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What is the difference between a marriage extract and a marriage certificate?

Marriage is the celebration of love, it is fun, joy, conviviality, but it is also bureaucracy. Behind this ritual, there is a series of paperwork to be done. To avoid confusion, let us understand the difference between an abstract and a marriage certificate.

Marriage is for all intents and purposes a legal act and, as such, needs to be put in order with all the appropriate documentation. Many people are unaware of the difference between marriage certificate and marriage extract. That is why we will highlight the characteristics of one and the other, of these documents that officially attest to the union between spouses and provide specific information regarding the personal data of the subjects, the date and place of the celebration of the act.

What is the marriage extract

Marriage extract means a document that is used primarily for informational or nonlegal purposes. For example, it can be requested to obtain tax benefits or to be presented to private entities or companies requesting confirmation of marriage without necessarily needing all the complete details found in the marriage certificate. It contains essential information such as:

  • Full names of the bride and groom;
  • Wedding date;
  • Wedding venue;
  • The name of the minister of religion or registrar who performed the couple’s marriage.

The certificate, once issued by the competent body, the municipality, is valid for 6 months. If you are wondering how to get a marriage extract, the answer is much simpler than you might expect. Although the marriage extract presents the same information as on the marriage certificate, it also contains other notations, such as the marital status chosen by the spouses, whether the marriage has been separated or annulled. You can apply for release at your local municipality, but also online. The release is free, and you can receive it immediately, or within 15 days at most.

What is the marriage certificate

The marriage certificate is the official document that attests to the fact that two people have been legally married. It is a complete and detailed marriage record, containing essential information such as:

  • Full names of the bride and groom;
  • Wedding date;
  • Wedding venue (usually the municipality or city);
  • Names of witnesses, if any;
  • Names of the parents of the bride and groom.

The marriage certificate is issued by the registrar or parish priest (in the case of a religious ceremony) of the place where the marriage took place. This document is usually required for legal, administrative and marital status change purposes (such as updating ID card, driver’s license, etc.).

The main differences between the two documents

The marriage certificate, in summary, has all the information related only to the event, that is, the place and date of the rite as well as the bride and groom’s personal information. The marriage extract, on the other hand, also includes general information about the event, plus any changes that occur over time. Only the marriage certificate, unlike the summary extract of the marriage record, is self-certifiable and can therefore be replaced by a substitute certification statement. In addition, the marriage extract is often used for informational purposes, such as obtaining basic information about the marriage without the need to disclose all personal information. The marriage certificate, on the other hand, has legal and official value and is required for many administrative and legal procedures, such as visa applications, insurance, inheritance, changes in marital status, etc.

The marriage certificate has legal value and is required for various purposes, such as visa applications, insurance applications, inheritance procedures, and changes in marital status. It can also be used as proof of marriage for administrative, legal and personal purposes. To obtain a marriage certificate, it is necessary to apply at the civil registry office or government agency responsible for registering marriage records in the place where the marriage was celebrated. Procedures for obtaining the certificate may vary depending on the country and local regulations. The extract, on the other hand, is often requested for informational or administrative purposes where it is not necessary to provide all the detailed information of the full marriage certificate. For example, it may be required for genealogical research purposes, to prove marital status in certain situations, or to obtain tax benefits. The agency responsible for issuing the marriage extract varies from country to country.

Usually, it can be obtained from the registrar’s office, registry office or other competent authorities in charge of registering marriage acts. Both are two valuable documents, each with its own purpose and content. When getting married, you are probably caught up in other things, the frenzy of preparations, the adrenaline of taking the plunge, but these bureaucratic factors should not be underestimated, and it is important to know the difference between an extract and a certificate so that you can distinguish between them if you need to.


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