Note: American diplomatic and consular officers cannot perform marriages. In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are also valid in the United States. The Attorney General of your home state in the U.S. is the proper authority to respond to inquiries with respect to the validity of marriages abroad.
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a Family Law that regulates weddings. Under this law people are required to submit marriage applications at least 30 days prior to their wedding date. In exceptional cases, marriage registrars may approve a wedding date in a shorter time frame, but such action is at the discretion of local authorities.
The Republika Srpska uses a separate Family Law adopted in 2002. Couples who wish to marry in the Republika Srpska need to submit marriage applications at least one week prior to their planned wedding date. For additional information, please contact the Marriage Registrar in the relevant municipality.
Where To Go
The law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) recognizes only civil marriages. Application for marriage is made at a municipal registrar’s office in the city where you wish to marry. Because Sarajevo has multiple municipalities, you may go to any registry office, but if your fiancée(e) is local, the responsible office is determined based on his/her place of residence.
Documents the Embassy Will Issue to You
Each party to the marriage must provide one witness to be present at the ceremony. Unless the U.S. citizen is fluent in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, he or she will be asked to bring a certified court interpreter to the ceremony.
The marriage is recorded in the Civil Registry. A Bosnian marriage certificate will be issued. One version will be in Bosnian and the other in the so-called international form (which includes English).
Authentication of the Bosnian Marriage Certificate
In order to use a Bosnian public document in the U.S. it must be certified by an apostille under the terms of the Hague Convention. You can obtain the apostille at the court in the town (municipality) where the marriage certificate was issued.