Examination of impediments to marriage

Before the marriage ceremony, the couple must request an examination of impediments to marriage. This ensures that no impediments under Finnish law exist for the marriage. 

Impediments to marriage include 

  • minority 
  • a valid marriage or registered partnership
  • too close a family relationship
  • family relationship created by adoption. 

A couple can only be married if the impediments to marriage have been examined. 

Request an examination in good time.

You can request it at the earliest 4 months before the wedding date. 

If one of the spouses is a foreigner, you should allow several weeks for the processing the matter.

You should also decide which surname you use after the marriage ceremony. 

When requesting an examination of impediments, you must also indicate which surname you use after the marriage ceremony. Changing the surname in connection with the marriage ceremony is free of charge if you take the surname of one of you or compound surname as your surname. 

However, you must submit a separate application for a name change subject to a fee before or after the examination of the impediments if you wish to have a 

  • a newly coined surname, which is a surname that is currently not used by a living person. 
  • one of the old surnames in the family. 

You can read more about surname selection on our website. 

Do the following

First check if your marital status has been entered in the Population Information System. You can check it in the Check your personal data or by contacting us. 

Your marital status is in the Population Information System  

1. Ask us to examine the impediments to marriage. 

You can request it electronically if you both have a Finnish personal identity code and online banking codes or a mobile certificate. 

First, one of you (spouse A) will complete the online form below. The other spouse will then receive a link to their email to complete their form within a week.  If we have not received the forms from both of you within a week, we will automatically reject the request without a separate notification.

Please ensure that the details of both spouses are in both applications. If a spouse's details are missing, we will be unable to process the incomplete application, and it will be rejected without separate notification. 

Fill out the form electronically 

You can also fill in the form below and send it to us by post at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, P.O. Box 1003, 00531 Helsinki or by e-mail at [email protected]

Form for a request for the examination of impediments to marriage 

2. We will examine if there are any impediments to marriage. You will receive a certificate of the examination either by email or by post. 

Check that: 

  • the certificate contains the correct surnames after the marriage ceremony
  • the certificate is valid on the day of the marriage.

3. You do not need to bring the certificate to the marriage ceremony if the Digital and Population Data Services Agency's officiator marries you. If you are married by another officiator, please submit the certificate to them before the marriage ceremony.  

There is no marital status for one or both spouses in the Population Information System 

If you do not have your marital status in the Population Information System, you will need a certificate of your marital status.

In addition, if neither of you is a Finnish citizen and neither is resident in Finland, please send us a certificate from the authorities of your state of residence/citizenship indicating that you are allowed to enter into the marriage in question in Finland.

1. You should request a certificate of your civilian status from the embassy or consulate of your state of residence/citizenship. In such a case, the certificate does not have to be legalised. You can also request a certificate of marital status from the Population Register Authorities of your state of residence/citizenship.

2. Verify whether the certificate must be legalised or translated. Please note that there is no need to legalise an embassy or consulate certificate. 

Read our instructions for legalisation

3. Please complete and print the form below. 

Form for a request for the examination of impediments to marriage 

4. Send us a mail to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, P.O. Box 1003, 00531 Helsinki 

  • original certificate of your marital status 

  • its legalizations and translations, if needed  

  • the form above 

  • a copy or photo of the passport of the spouse whose data is not available in the Population Information System

  • a certificate that you can enter into the marriage in question in Finland, if neither of you is a Finnish citizen and neither of you has a place of residence in Finland. 

You can also visit any of our service locations. Make an appointment with our appointment service. You can also bring documents into a service location mailbox. In such a case, write your contact details in the envelope and that the documents are related to the examination of impediments to marriage. 

5. We will examine if there are any impediments to marriage. You will receive a certificate of the examination either by email or by post. 

Check that: 

  • the certificate contains the correct surnames after the marriage ceremony 
  • the certificate is valid on the day of the marriage.

6. You do not need to bring the certificate to the marriage ceremony if the Digital and Population Data Services Agency's officiator marries you. If you are married by another officiator, please submit the certificate to them before the marriage ceremony. 

Checklist

  • Please note that you must have a valid proof of identity that you must present at the marriage ceremony at the latest
  • If you have doubts that your marital status has not been entered in the Population Register System or that it is entered incorrectly, check your marital status from the check your data service (in Finnish and Swedish) or contact us.

  • 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 investigation 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 investigation of impediments to marriage. For this purpose, you must submit a marital status certificate from your last country of residence.
    • A Finnish citizen, but have lived abroad all your life or since you became of age, you must submit a marital status certificate issued by your last country of residence in order to have the investigation 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.
  • The marital status certificate does not have to be legalised, if it has been issued by
    • an embassy or a consulate of your country of citizenship.
    • an EU Member State.
  • The marital status certificate is accepted in the Finnish, Swedish and English language. In other cases, you might have to have the certificate translated into one of these languages. The translation too must be legalised.
  • However, the translation does not need to be legalised, if it is made by
    • a translator authorised in Finland
    • a translator who is qualified for the task under legislation of an EU Member State.
  • A translation is not required, if the certificate is issued by an EU Member State and a standard form pursuant to an EU regulation is attached to it.

This is how you get the document:

You will receive a certificate from us once your application has been processed.

 

We will send the certificate to Suomi.fi Messages. In this way, you can get notified of the decision as soon as possible. If you do not have access to the service, you will receive the certificate by letter. When submitting your application, you can also choose to receive the documents by encrypted e-mail.

 

Check that all your details have been entered correctly.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Key terms

Impediment to marriage 

  • Impediments include a currently valid marriage or registered partnership, close kinship, an age of under 18 years or one of the spouses is a child adopted by the other one 

Marital status certificate 

  • A certificate that proves your marital status, i.e. whether you are unmarried, divorced or a widow.  

Legalisation of a document 

  • A procedure associated with your legal protection to ensure that the document is valid in the country it was issued in and that the issuer of the certificate has the right to issue the certificate pursuant to the laws of the country of issue. 

Contact us

Email

Please use secure email if your message contains personal or otherwise confidential information. Choose [email protected] as the recipient. ​​​​​

Send secure email

Telephone

Telephone service number is +358 295 536 244

Service hours: Mon–Fri 9–15

Postal address 

Digital and Population Data Services Agency, P.O. Box 1003, FI-00531 Helsinki

Service locations

Service locations

 

Population of Finland 5 631 879