Abstract In this paper, a method is proposed to define the geometrical contact constraints. Within this treatment one has the possibility to define locally the contact parameters for an accurate treatment of contact constraints. Local values of the geometrical variables can be determined at the integration points, hence the method permits to integrate contact constitutive laws along contact segments. The weak form for this new formulation is developed. Furthermore, also the consistent linearization is carried out. Finally a technique is proposed to reduce the large number of terms involved. In this case, an almost consistent tangent stiffness is determined.