Investigation of impediments to marriage and certificate of no impediment
An investigation into possible impediments to marriage is carried out for all couples planning to marry. This is done to ensure that there are none of the impediments specified in the Finnish Marriage Act and that the couple can marry. Couples can request the investigation online, at their local parish or by post.
The couple planning to marry must request an investigation into impediments to marriage together. The investigation can be conducted by the local register office or by a parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church to which one or both persons to be married belong. In the former case, the investigation does not include information about confirmation, which is required for a church wedding. Those planning a church wedding must therefore request such an investigation online or at their parish office.
To initiate the investigation, a couple must make the request together at least one week before the wedding day. If one party is not a Finnish citizen, the investigation may take several weeks.
Why is the investigation necessary?
The purpose of the investigation of impediments to marriage is to ensure that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage. Such obstacles include already being married or being underage. Marriage between close relatives is also illegal.
In some cases, a couple must have the Ministry of Justice’s approval to marry. This is the case, for example, if someone under 18 years of age wishes to be married.
When requesting the investigation of impediments to marriage, a couple must sign an affirmation attesting that there are no impediments to the intended marriage.
Certificate of no impediment to marriage
When the investigator has concluded that there are no impediments to the intended marriage, the couple planning to marry will receive a certificate of no impediment to marriage. If the couple are to be married in their home parish, the pastor receives the certificate from the parish office and brings it to the preliminary meeting. If the couple are to be married elsewhere, they must request the certificate from the office of their home parish and submit it to the officiant.
The certificate is valid for four months and the couple must be married during this time. If the four‑month term has lapsed, the investigation must be conducted again before the couple can be wed.