Gov't to increase marriage licence fees
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has announced plans to increase the $4,000 fee charged for marriage licences, which are issued largely to foreigners, suggesting that it makes Jamaica look like a “banana republic.”
However, Chuck said the increase will not affect Jamaicans who opt to engage a Minister of Religion to conduct their nuptials.
The Justice Ministry says since the start of the year, close to 5,000 marriage licences have been issued mainly to tourists desirous of tying the knot in Jamaica.
“When a tourist comes here and is asked to pay US$35 for a marriage licence he really wonders what kind of banana republic...that you only charge US$35,” Chuck said during a press conference at his St Andrew ministry this morning.
He indicated that the government is looking at the rates charged in other countries as it explores the issue to determine the level of increase to impose.
“What we would like to do is to look how much they charge for a marriage licence in Canada, the US, and the UK and charge them a similar amount, which I’m sure is in excess of US$100,” Chuck said.
“We don’t want it to be a burden. We want people to get married. But it has to be a reasonable fee because it really costs us a fair amount to process these marriage licences,” the justice minister added.
The marriage licence fees were last increased in 2008, the ministry said.