You requested an opinion on whether Colorado would recognize the Bahamas marriage
at issue as valid and the basis for a legal name change.
Colorado would recognize the Antigua marriage at issue as valid and the basis for
a legal name change.
You provided us with a copy of an application for a replacement Social Security number
card in the name of Tanya M. F~ (nee N~). The application indicates that Ms. F~ is
a U.S. citizen. You also provided us with a copy of an Antigua marriage certificate,
which appears to be a custodian-issued certification of the record. The marriage certificate
states the surnames of the bride and groom, and the ages of the bride and groom.
Colorado statutory provisions provide that “all marriages contracted . . . outside
this state that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by
the laws of the place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the parties
are valid in this state.” Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14-2-112 (2006). Ms. F~ presented
what appears to be a custodian-issued marriage certificate, which under Agency policy
may serve as evidence of a valid foreign ceremonial marriage. See Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050. Furthermore, in Colorado, a, marriage certificate is recognized as
documentary proof of change of name. See, e.g., 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 716-1; 4 Colo. Code Regs. § 734-1 (2005). For example, the Colorado
Division of Motor Vehicles would accept a foreign issued certified marriage certificate
to substantiate a name change. See http://www.revenue.state.co.us/mv_dir/wrap.asp?incl=faqdrli/faqdrlil; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 42-2-107, 42-2-302 (2006).
Lastly, as you noted in your request, the marriage certificate reflects Ms. F~'s age,
and this entry agrees with the Numident data. Therefore, an identification document
in the new name is not required for a name change. See POMS RM 00203.210A.1.
Accordingly, we advise that:
(1) The State of Colorado recognizes foreign marriages; and
(2) The State of Colorado would recognize the foreign marriage at issue as valid.
Deana R. E~-L~
Regional Chief Counsel
Thomas H. K~
Assistant Regional Counsel