Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The marriage procedure in France

Note: This information is gathered based on my personal experience. I'm not an expert in giving advise on this matter, but simply sharing my experience. You are advised to contact any relevant authorities for the up to date procedure.

How to get married in France

Once you decide to get married, you need to go to the Town Hall (Mairie) where you are going to have the wedding for a list of documents to prepare.

Each Town Hall might request a different set of documents. Here are documents required by the Town Hall in Queven:

1. Medical certificate within 2 months before you send in the application.

Note: Make sure the town hall give you also a booklet that have 2 forms for this certificate. Both of you need to go see a doctor and it's you who have to bring this form along. If you don't have it with you, you need to go to the Town Hall again and come back to the doctor for him to sign.

2. You will need to fill out the forms in the booklet which provide the Town Hall with the personal details of each spouse as well as a list of witnesses.

3. Extract of your birth certificate issued within 3 months to the day of the wedding (Original and translated copy).

Note: I didn't provide them a new birth certificate. Instead I told the Town Hall that unlike France, Malaysia only issue a life time birth certificate. The officer in the Town Hall called their judge, and the judge agreed that I only need to provide them with a translated copy which is made within 3 months, and a certified copy of my original birth certificate. All of these can be done with the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris.

4. Proof of the residency - electricity bill or other bill with your name on it.

5. Photocopy of your identity card (with photo).

6. Photocopy of the identity card of your witness.

7. Certificate of custom (A paper saying that the law of Malaysia allows you to get married).

8. Certificate of yous single status (A proof that you have never been married).

Note: Item 7 and 8 can be done together. Please call the Embassy of Malaysia in France to verify all the information.

Apply from France

You will need to go to the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris. Make sure you call them and make an appointment before going. You will fill in the form and swear in front of them that you have never married. They will issue you a "surat akuan" with some forms. You will need to send all these along with a photocopy of your IC and RM5 to:

Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia (Attention Puan Nor)

Bahagian Perkahwinan dan Perceraian

Aras 1, Lot 2G5 Presint 2

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

62100 Putrajaya


Once they receive your application, it will take them 7 days to issue you an English version of "Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan", where you should ask them to send it to:

Kementerian Luar Negeri

Bahagian Konsular

Wisma Putra

No.1, Jalan Wisma Putra

Parcel C, Precint 2

62602 Putrajaya


Kementerian Luar Negeri will certify and sign that this "Surat Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan" is actually signed by the right person. You need to pay RM10 for that. They will then send this letter to you in France.

You can then send this letter to the Embassy in Malaysia in Paris:

Ambassade de Malaisie (Consular Department)

2 bis, rue Benouville

75116, Paris France

Tel:(331) 4553 1185

Fax:(331) 4727 3460


Once the Embassy receive this, they will translate the "Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan" to the required certificate of single status (Item 8) and issue you a certificite of custom (Item 7). You will need to pay 5 euros for Item 7. This can usually be done within 2 weeks.

Apply from Malaysia

I did mine in Malaysia May 2006. My family got me the form from Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia. I then went to see a commissioner of oath, he signed and I paid RM4. Then, I went to Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia in Putrajaya to submit the application (RM5) with a photocopy of IC. Service was nice and fast. One week later, I went to collect the "Sijil Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan", then go to Kementerian Luar Negeri to get it sign (RM10). Service was nice but slow due to the crowd. I then sent it by poslaju to Embassy of Malaysia in Paris. They sent me Item 6 and 7 to my address in France within 2 weeks.

The Civil Marriage

Once the town hall receive all the necessary documents, they will make an announcement of the marriage. Your wedding day will have to be 2 weeks or one month after the application, depending on the city you live.

On the wedding day, the ceremony will last for around 10 minutes. The mayor will ask the bride first for the consent of marriage follow by the gloom. You will be given a "livret de famille" and several extract of the marriage for future administrative purposes.

The Carte de séjour

As soon as you are married, you can go to your prefecture to process your carte de séjour. In Nantes, I need my passport and the livret de famille to get an appointment to process the carte. The prefecture only open from 1.30pm to 4pm, so people were queueing to fight for the 20-25 numbers available for the day. My appointment was scheduled to 2 months after. That means I can only work when I get my temporarily carte de séjour on the appointment day.

On the appointment day, you need to provide these documents and your French spouse has to come with you:

1. Photocopy of your passport including pages that indicate your status in France (visa)

2. Extract of your birth certificate accompany by a translation in French

3. Livret de famille

4. Extract of your marriage provided by the town hall where you got married

5. Justification of your residential (electricity bill, phone bill...)

6. Identity card of your spouse

7. 4 photos, preferably in black and white, clearly showing your face

8. Your current carte de séjour

9. The appointment paper


  1. this post is reallly helpful ;) many thanks.

  2. Hello Bee Ean,
    I found this post really helpful!!
    I live in France now with my bf & he is a French;
    I wonder if we need to register marry in France city hall then only go back to Malaysia to apply the Carte de séjour....
    (We decided to register in France.)
    If we plan to get married in Aug or Sept, when shall we start to prepare & apply??

    1. Hi Pivoine,

      How about make a trip to the Town Hall you want to get married and ask them how much time it will take? I would say the earlier you start the better. It might take some time to gather some docs especially those from Malaysia or those need translation.

      After I got married I applied for my carte de séjour directly in France. Do you need to go back to Malaysia to apply now? The rules might have changed.

      Good luck!

    2. Hello Bee Ean,

      Great blog & very informative!

      Just a question for Item no. 4 (Proof of Residency)

      I don't live in France but my soon to be husband is. But then he works in Saudi Arabia. His hometown is in Nancy. We are still considering where we gonna get married, either in M'sia or France (which ever convenient).
      Basically after we are married, I will be with him in Saudi.

      So does this Item.4 applied to me?

      Thanks :)))

    3. Hello,

      Please go to (or ask your husband's parents) the Town Hall where you want to get married and ask for a list of documents to provide. Each Town Hall might apply different rules. For my case, I wasn't living in the city where I got married, they accepted it because my in laws lived there.

  3. hi Bee Ean,

    Nice blog and very helpful.
    I am Malaysian currently stay in Malaysia in relationship(more than 1 yrs long distance) with a french guy stay in Paris now. we decide to move forward by settle down in Paris. anyhow, i am wondering is that possible to get long stay visa in France without marriage document. We will not so fast get marriage first, we decide move together first and settle down in Paris.

    Do you have any idea on my case?

  4. Hi Bee Ean
    Is it possible to go to France on visa on arrival, get married and get the carte de sejour. Avoiding application for long stay visa? Merci d'avance

    1. Hi Liv, I don't have the latest info on the process. You might want to get someone in France to ask the Town Hall where you are going to get married. Good luck.

  5. Hi,

    Very helpful, thanks.
    My boyfriend (french) and I are planning to get married soon in Paris.
    All the documents needed can be done in Malaysia embassy in Paris?
    What kind of document I need to bring with me from Malaysia?
    I am thinking to apply for long term visa first before getting married in Paris.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi, you would need to go to the Town Hall where you are getting married. They will provide you a list of documents they need in order for you to get married there.