How to get marriage certificate approval from Bolivian Embassy?

by Mel
(Lewisburg,PA,USA)

My cousin and her husband are trying to move their residency to Bolivia. One of the requirements is that they have their marriage certificate (they were married in the US) translated to Spanish and approved by the Bolivian embassy. How do we start this process? We have tried to contact the Bolivian embassy but it seems difficult to get in touch with a live person. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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Jan 12, 2013
Marriage Certificate Legalization
by: Tara

Assuming that they are currently in the United States, this process will be much, much easier.

You can refer to the following website for the basic idea - http://www.boliviawdc.com/notarial-acts/legalization.

1. First, they will need to get an OFFICIAL copy of their marriage certificate from the appropriate office (typically something like the Office of Vital Records) in the state where they were married.

2. This document needs to be translated. I have translated my own documents in the past. (It is helpful to get the translation notarized and then authenticated by having the county clerk clerk. If you want more detailed information on this, let me know.)

3. The original certificate and the authenticated translation must be taken to the Secretary of State (in Michigan it is a special office called the SOS Office of the Great Seal). Here the document will receive an additional authentication. Please note: You do NOT want an apostille as Bolivia does not recognize this form of certification. You simply want the SOS to authenticate the legality and veracity of the document. (Want more info? Let me know. I can be very detailed when it comes to this process.)

4. The document will now need to travel to Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Department of State for yet another authentication. You MUST visit their website in order to fill out and print the order form that must accompany the document. Unless they live near D.C. (or know someone who does) prepare to wait a few weeks for this step.

5. Lastly, the document must head to the legalization office of the Bolivian Consulate in Washington, D.C.

After this process has been finished, it should be ready to be accepted by the immigration office in Bolivia.

Remember that both of them will have to do this because one official document will go in each of their immigration folders. Also, I would get a couple extra copies completely certified, just in case. Each step has its cost, so it is not cheap. But if you are a person who pays attention to detail, it is not a difficult process, merely time-consuming waiting for the papers to go back and forth between all of the offices and you:) FYI - you have to do the same thing with birth certificates.

Hope this helps. Seriously, let me know if you need additional information or have specific questions. I've gone through the process for myself and I've helped out a friend or two who had to do the same.

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