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Responsible for the service Digital and Population Data Services Agency

Examination of impediments to marriage

  • Service
  • Nationwide
  • Public service

Before the marriage ceremony, an examination of impediments to marriage must be carried out. This ensures that no impediments referred to in the Finnish Marriage Act exist for the marriage. At the same time, you must notify the surname you have chosen.

You should submit your application for an examination of impediments in good time before the day on which you plan to marry. The examination of impediments to marriage takes at least seven days. If one of you is a foreigner, you should allow several weeks for the examination of impediments. The certificate is valid for four months after the date of issue.

The examination of impediments uses data from the Population Information System. If the Population Information System does not contain information on your or your spouse’s marital status, you must obtain and submit a marital status certificate issued by an authority of your home country. In some cases, the marital status certificate must be legalised.

  • A foreign partner

The marital status certificate is accepted in Finnish, Swedish and English. If necessary, it must be translated into one of these languages. A translation made by an authorised translator in Finland does not have to be legalised. A translation made abroad must be legalised, unless it has been made by a translator who is qualified for the task under legislation of an EU Member State. A marital status certificate obtained from an EU Member State does not have to be translated, if a standard form pursuant to an EU regulation is attached to it.

  • Both fiancé(e)s foreigners

If neither of you is a Finnish citizen and neither of you has a place of domicile in Finland, you must submit both a marital status certificate and a certificate obtained from the authorities of your respective home countries that you may contract this marriage in Finland.

  • Marriage abroad

If you are getting married abroad, you can ask the local register office to give you a certificate that certifies that according to Finnish law there is no impediment to contract the marriage.

Do the following

  • For some more useful information, please study the Marriage Act and the Act on First and Last Names (in Finnish).
  • To request the examination of impediments to marriage, please log in to the online service or fill in a paper form (Request to examine impediments to marriage).
  • If you use the online service, you do not need witnesses. The online service cannot be used for requesting a certificate for a marriage ceremony that takes place abroad.
  • The paper form must be signed by two witnesses, unless you sign the form at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. If you visit the Agency, you must prove your identity with a valid personal ID document.
  • When the examination is complete, you will be given a certificate about it. The certificate may be kept at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency for the marriage ceremony. If the marriage ceremony takes place somewhere else than the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, you can pick up the certificate from the Agency or have it mailed to you.

To whom and on what terms

If you are

  • a foreigner, and your marital status has not been registered in the Population Information System, you must submit a marital status certificate issued by a competent authority of your home country in order to have the examination of impediments to marriage carried out.
  • a Finnish citizen and your marital status has not been registered in the Population Information System or your marital status there is incorrect, the information must be updated in the Population Information System before the examination of impediments to marriage. For this purpose, you must submit a marital status certificate from your last country of residence.
  • a Finnish citizen, but you have lived abroad all your life or adult life, you must submit a marital status certificate issued by your last country of residence in order to have the examination of impediments to marriage carried out.

The marital status certificate must be original and less than four months old, unless another period of validity is stated in the certificate. The certificate must also be legalised.

If you are a foreign citizen, you can also obtain the marital status certificate from the Embassy or Consulate of your country of citizenship. In this case, the certificate does not have to be legalised.

The marital status certificate is accepted in Finnish, Swedish and English. In other cases, you may need to have the certificate translated into one of these languages. The translation must be legalised as well. However, the translation does not need to be legalised, if

  • it is made by a translator authorised in Finland
  • it is made by a translator who is qualified for the task under legislation of an EU Member State.
  • the certificate is issued by an EU Member State and a standard form pursuant to an EU regulation is attached to it.

The original document and the translation shall be attached to each other.

The service is free of charge.

Basic information

The service is provided byDigital and Population Data Services Agency
Responsible for the serviceDigital and Population Data Services Agency
Area Whole Finland
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: Digital and Population Data Services Agency
Updated: 12/30/2019