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Investigation of impediments to marriage

An investigation of the possible impediments to marriage is carried out for all couples planning to marry. This is done to ensure that there are no impediments to the marriage of the couple as specified in the Finnish Marriage Act. Such impediments include an already existing marriage or registered partnership, close family relationship, being under 18 years of age, or an adoptive relationship.

You can request the investigation of impediments to marriage at your local register office. When the impediments to marriage have been investigated, the local register office will provide a certificate of this (Marriage non-impediment certificate). The applicants can have the certificate mailed to them at home, pick it up from the local register office, or have the local register office retain the certificate for the marriage officiation. You will receive the certificate no earlier than on the seventh day after the request for investigation. The certificate is valid for four months. The certificate must be submitted to the officiator before the ceremony.

The investigation can also be conducted by a parish of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church to which both or one of the persons to be married belong.

Request for the investigation of impediments to marriage

You can initiate the investigation of the impediments to marriage using an online form. The use of e-services requires authentication with online banking codes, for example.  After submitting the e-form, the sender receives a delivery number by e-mail, which they should retain.

The parties can also initiate the investigation of impediments by visiting their local register office together and filling in the investigation request form there. The investigation can be conducted by any Finnish register office, regardless of the home municipalities of the couple.

You can also fill in the form at home and post it to the local register office where you will be married. You can order the investigation request form from the register office or print it out from our forms page. If you fill in the request form at home, the signatures of two witnesses are required.


When a name changes as the result of a marriage

When spouses chose to share a joint surname, one or the other's name changes. A person's name also changes if he or she decides to use a former name in a hyphenated name. A couple may notify the local register office of any possible change in surname prior to the marriage by filling out the following Notification of the Choice of Surname Form. Following the marriage, the name change is registered in the Population Information System. Both the state and municipal authorities will automatically be informed of the name change.

Once the Social Insurance Institution has received notification of the name change, it will automatically send you a new Kela-card (the photocard is available for a fee and requires an application). Most banks, insurance companies and store chains maintain their own customer registers with the help of the Population Information System.


Marriage of foreigners

Before the marriage ceremony an investigation is carried out concerning possible impediments to marriage. This investigation must be requested at the latest one week before the marriage ceremony. If one of the spouses is a foreigner, this investigation of possible impediments may last several weeks, so it is advisable to start the process in good time.

For the foreigner a statement of marital status from his/her home country is required, or alternatively a statement regarding the foreigner's marital status may be obtained from his/her home country's accredited embassy or consulate in Finland. The statement of marital status must be authenticated in accordance with the Marriage Decree. The only exceptions to this authentication requirement are those statements issued by officials of Nordic Countries, and those issued by accredited embassies and consulates in Finland. If required, the statement of marital status must be translated, and if the translation is carried out abroad then the translation must also be authenticated.

Impediments to marriage are investigated primarily by means of the information available in the population register. If the foreign citizen is living permanently in Finland and the required information for investigating impediments to marriage (marital status) is recorded in the Finnish population register, then no statement from a home country official is required. In this situation the impediments to marriage are therefore investigated using only the information from the population register.

If the Finnish fiancé is recorded as non-resident in Finland, he/she must obtain from the officials of his/her country of residence a statement of marital status.