A marriage certificate is an official declaration to declare that two persons are married and can legally live together. It is proof of the registration of a marriage and the official record that two individuals have undertaken a wedding ceremony. This certification is essential to prove that the person trying to obtain a passport, change the maiden name, etc. is legally married to someone. To receive the marriage certificate, candidates must register their marriage.
It is the most important document of marriage. In 2006, the Supreme Court made it compulsory to register the marriage for the safety of women.
Indian Law for Marriage Registration
In 2013, the Indian Parliament amended the act making the registration of Indian marriages obligatory, regardless of religion, caste or place in India.
India has five marriage laws:
In the India, marriages can be recorded either under the Hindu Marriage Law, 1955 or the Special Marriage Law, 1954. Other marriage laws are the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889, Muslim Marriage Act, Parsi Marriage, and Divorce Act, 1936.
Until mid-2013, the marriage registration was compulsory only for weddings under the Hindu, Parsi and Special Marriage Laws.
“Registration of Births and Deaths Law, 1969 was revised to make the registration of marriage mandatory as birth and death certificates.
Except for marriages under the “Special Marriage Act, 1954”, marriage registration in India can be carried out after a religious wedding ceremony.
In the case of the Indian Special Marriage Act (1954), the registration of marriage is also the formalization of the marriage.
Regarding legislation in India, marriage and divorce are part of the “Concurrent List.” This means that although the consistency of laws for marriage and divorce is desirable throughout India, it is not necessary.
Thus, Indian states have separate laws for marriage and divorce. The marriage registration process varies from state to state.
Suitability: Eligibility age to marry in India is 21 for men and 18 for women.
List of Documents for Registration of Marriage in India
The documents (application forms and proofs) that are required for the marriage registration in India are as follows:
- Marriage Application Form (or Memorandum of Marriage)
- Oath by the Husband and the Wife
- Proof of the age of the Husband and Wife.
- Husband and Wife’s evidence of residence
- Individual photos of the Wife and Husband and their marriage photos
- Certificate of religious marriage by a Priest, Pandit, Maulvi, Kazi, Iman, etc. (This is in the case of a religious wedding)
- Photo and Proof of the identity of 2 witnesses
- Wedding card (if not present, then an affidavit on Stamp Paper with three witnesses)
- Divorce Decree Certificate (in event either or both spouses are divorcees)
- Death certificate (in case of widow’s or widower’s marriage)
Detailed information on the Documents required for the Registration of the Marriage in India:
The documents, the application forms and the procedure for the marriage registration in India differ from state to state, but these are small differences.
Most states need the following documents:
Marriage Registration Application Form (or Memorandum of Marriage): The following is the information that needs to be attached with the required documentation:
- Name and Age of the Husband: Copy of proof of identity of name and age (Aadhaar, Passport, Voter Id, PAN card, Certificate of Birth, Matriculation Certificate, Domicile Certificate, etc.)
- Name and Age of the Wife: Photocopy of the proof of identity of the name and age must be attached.
- Bride and groom: Individual photos of husband and wife and their wedding ceremony of both together.
- Date and Place of Wedding: Wedding card must be attached. In the event of a religious wedding, certificate of religious marriage issued by Priest, Pandit, Maulvi, Kazi, Iman, etc., presided over the wedding.
- Details of the bridegroom: Full name, Father’s name, Mother’s name, age, address, marital status at the time of marriage, signature. If the groom is divorced, a copy of the divorcing arrangement must be attached. If he is a widower, then a copy of his wife’s death certificate must be attached.
- Details of the bride: Full name, Father’s name, Mother’s name, age, address, marital status at the time of marriage, signature. If the bride is a divorcee, a copy of the divorcing arrangement must be attached. If she is a widow, the copy of her husband’s death certificate must be attached.
- Details of 2 Witnesses at the wedding: Full name of the witness, Blood Relation with the Groom or Bride (if any), Age, Place of Residence, Address, Signature.
- Address of the husband or wife: Address proof includes Ration Card, Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter Id, PAN Card, utility invoice, etc. The address should be in the jurisdiction of the registry office.
- Affidavit Declaration by the Husband and Wife: An affidavit (or application) should be submitted together with the Marriage Memorandum.
The affidavit formulation differs from state to state. But most affidavits have a statement by the husband and the wife, stating that a valid marriage happened between them and the information in the application form is correct.
Procedure to Apply For Marriage Certificate
- For the Marriage Registration under Hindu Act, candidates may apply to the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in whose authority the husband or wife resides on any working day.
- The second step is to properly fill the application form, which has been duly signed by husband and wife.
- After that, all documents will be reviewed and one day shall be set for the appointment and communicated to the parties for registration.
- On the said day, both sides, together with a Gazetted Officer who has visited their marriage must be present before the ADM. The marriage certificate will be issued on the same day.
Application form of the marriage certificate can also be filled online
There are the following steps for the online registration:
- The candidate must choose the district and continue.
- Fill out the details of the husband and select “Registration of Marriage Certificate.”
- Complete the marriage form and choose the date of the appointment.
- Click on “Submit Application.”
- The candidate will be allotted a temporary number, which will be printed on the letter of confirmation and the application form.
- Take a print out of acknowledgment slip as well.
In the case of a Hindu marriage Act, the applicant will be given an appointment within 15 days after the online registration, but in the case of a Special Marriage Act it may take up to 60 days.
Points to remember:
- The witness is described as any person who has attended the marriage of the couple, and he/she must have a PAN card plus address proof.
- ‘Tatkal’ Marriage Certificate: There is also a provision of Tatkal marriage certificate.
In April 2014, Revenue Department of Delhi announced a “Tatkal” service, which guarantees a one-day approval of the marriage, under which registration process is urgently carried out.
The service, launched on 22 April 2014, makes it easier for citizens to register their wedding and receive a certificate issued within 24 hours upon payment of Rs. 10,000 as a fee.
Advantages of the Marriage Certificate
A marriage certificate is the necessity of today for every citizen to live and avail various facilities from the government. It will be advantageous if the spouse
- has applied for a passport
- opened a bank account after the wedding
- wants to get visas
- wants to demand life insurance or bank deposits in the event of the loss of the insurer or the depositor without a nominee
Also, the certificate is obligatory in the cases where the couple is traveling abroad with a spouse’s visa, and the country does not recognize traditional marriages.
Be careful when registering the marriage certificate
The first precautions are to check the details filled in Form A. The names of the bride, and the groom must always be tallied with the names given in the Passport/SSC and other certificates. Otherwise, the applicant may encounter the problem at the time of issue of the visa and other certificates.
Candidates must verify the certificate issued by the Sub Registrar office and, if there are any deviations in the name or any other details, they shall immediately bring them to the notice of the Sub Registrar and get them rectified.
Restrictions on Registration of Marriages
There are many restrictions under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954:
- Bridegroom or bride who wants to marry should not have a married wife/husband
- Groom or bride, who cannot willingly give consent for marriage due to mental illness
- The marriage of those who can give consent but is incapable of acquiring the child because of the unfavorable spirit, cannot be solemnized nor be registered
- Those who suffer from insanity are not suitable for the solemnization of marriage
- Those who are close to the prohibited relationship are not entitled to marriage, provided that they can marry if permitted by the custom or tradition governing such persons.
- Bridegroom and bride who are offspring up to 5 generations from the mother’s side or father’s side cannot marry (They are called Sapindas).
Deadline for Registration
Wedding under Hindu or Parsi Marriage Act can be registered at any time after the marriage. There is no temporary time.
Now, in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the sub-registrar can register the Hindu marriage at any time, and there is no process of condonation delay by the District Registrar, which was there until recently.