A marriage license is issued by the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either contracting party habitually resides (Article 9, Family Code). A marriage license is a a formal requisite of marriage (see Essential and Formal Requites of Marriage), without which the marriage is considered void from the beginning (see Grounds for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage). However, a marriage license is not required in certain instances, as follows:
- In case either or both of the contracting parties are at the point of death, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license and shall remain valid even if the ailing party subsequently survives (Article 27, Family Code). This fact shall be stated in an affidavit executed by the solemnizing officer.
- If the residence of either party is so located that there is no means of transportation to enable such party to appear personally before the local civil registrar, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license (Article 28, Family Code). This fact shall be stated in an affidavit executed by the solemnizing officer.
- Marriages among Muslims or among members of the ethnic cultural communities may be performed validly without the necessity of marriage license, provided they are solemnized in accordance with their customs, rites or practices. (Article 33, Family Code)
- No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the marriage. (Article 34, Family Code)