Getting Married in Puerto Rico? Don’t Forget Your Blood Tests!

Q: Hello, and please help, my fiancée and I are getting married in Puerto Rico next month. We just found out that one of the requirements for getting married is to get tested. We are worried we are going to run out of time, I think we need some kind of a doctor’s exam, and doesn’t it usually take a few weeks to get results?

Amber and Joe, Midtown, NYC

A: Meeting the requirements for getting married in Puerto Rico can seem like an unexpected step and an extra expense. There are a few specific requirements that you will have to meet, but it is easier than you think. If you have a travel agent or wedding planner at the hotel they should be able to help.

You can request the marriage application and get your blood tests ahead of time. You have most likely requested your marriage application from the Puerto Rico Department of Health. As far as getting STD Testing, you still have plenty of time to get tested and get the results back on time. A local clinic will take longer, but there are STD test locations that can test you quickly and also get your results to you quickly. Getting a more comprehensive STD test before you get married is a good idea, but marriage requirements in Puerto Rico usually consist of one simple blood test, the VDRL syphilis test. This test must be performed by a lab that is federally certified, and make sure not to get tested too early. You will have to make sure that the test was collected no more than 14 days prior to your actual wedding day. You will need to bring a copy of your lab results to a doctor in Puerto Rico so the doctor can confirm you are both negative and sign the application. Once this is done, you will have to get your documents authenticated and purchase two license stamps through the demographic registry. Again, your travel agent or hotel can most likely help you with this.

These requirements may be different if you or your partner is not a U.S. citizen. I understand they also require proof that you are not currently married.

Good luck and Congratulations!