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A Complete Guide To Register Your Marriage

By Richa

Still find wedding registration process confusing? Don’t know what to do? Where to go? Well, worry not! We are here to help you.

Everybody is well aware with all the hoo-haa’s of Indian weddings. And here, the wedding festivities can last as long as four or five days, irrespective of the size and style of the wedding. Hindu marriage ceremonies are vital, and each one has a distinct significance of its own. But, amidst all the preparations and rituals we sometimes forget about one important detail that is aimed at couple’s own protection - they forget about the paperwork formalising the union— the marriage certificate.

What is marriage certificate?

The date of your wedding is final and you two lovebirds are set to make people envy with constant lovey-dovey social media updates. But, is that enough to tell the world that you are hitched? How do you know for sure that your marriage is valid and legally recognized? More importantly, how do you prove it to others who might have questions? This is where your marriage certificate comes in and it is important. Really really important.

A marriage certificate is an official recorded document issued by a governmental authority that proves that the couple listed on the marriage certificate has a legal marriage. A marriage certificate usually contains who married who, when they were married, where they were married, who married them, and who was there.

Why do you need it?

There are all lots of reasons to have a certified copy of your marriage certificate on hand. For one thing, you will need the certified copy available when you start to take care of legal things like changing your name. An essential document establishing the marital status of a couple, it was made mandatory by the Supreme Court, in 2006, for every couple, irrespective of religion.

The idea behind the compulsory registration of marriage is to ensure that women are not left high and dry if their husbands desert them. The certificate means the man cannot deny being married and avoiding alimony and maintenance.


What will be the criteria used while deciding your case?

A marriage, which has already been solemnised, can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or where they have converted into any of these religions. Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.


What You Need to Do to Obtain a Marriage Certificate?

For Marriage Registration under Hindu Act:

  • You can apply at office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in whose jurisdiction the husband or wife resides on any working day during 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
  • Fill the Application form duly signed by both husband and wife.
  • Verification of all the documents is carried out on the date of application and a day is fixed for the appointment and communicated to the parties for registration.
  • On the said day, both parties, along with a Gazetted Officer who attended their marriage, need to be present before the SDM. The Certificate is issued on the same day.

For Online Registration:

  • Visit the website
  • Select your district and continue.
  • Fill in husband’s details and choose ‘Registration of Marriage Certificate.’
  • Fill in Marriage Certificate form and choose date of appointment.
  • Click ‘Submit Application.’
  • You will be allotted a temporary number that will be found printed on the acknowledgement slip and application form is done. Take a printout of acknowledgement slip as well.
  • Appointment In case of Hindu Marriage Act, you will get an appointment within 15 days of the online registration, but in case of Special Marriage Act, it may take up to 60 days.

Which papers/documents/fees, you need to take with you under Hindu Marriage Act?

  1. Application form duly field and signed by Husband and Wife
  2. Fee of Rs.100/- to be deposited. The receipt to be appended with the application form
  3. Copy of AADHAAR card of both the parties. In case AADHAAR No. has not been received, AADHAAR Enrolment No. and Identity proof like PAN/Passport/Driving License/EPIC card is to be provided.
  4. Self attested documentary evidence of date of birth of both parties.
  5. Self attested residential proof of both the parties (Voter I-Card/Ration Card/Driving License/Passport etc.
  6. Self attested Marriage Invitation card, if available.
  7. Separate Affidavits from husband and wife (to be prepared on Rs. 10/- stamp paper and duly attested by Notary Public Or Oath Commissioner) giving :-
  8. Date and Place of Marriage.
  9. Date of Birth.
  10. Martial Status at the time of Marriage.
  11. Affirmation that the parties are not related to each other within the prohibited degree of relationship as per Hindu Marriage Act.
  12. Citizenship
  13. I belong to _________________ (Religion).
  1. Passport size photograph of both parties (2 Copies each) as well their Ceremonial photographs pasted on a plain paper duly attested by any Officer/Official of Central or State Governments or Union Territory Administration of PSU/Autonomous bodies whose identity can be established or by any person having PAN of Income Tax and AADHAAR No.
  2. Attested copy of divorce decree/order in case of divorce and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower.
  3. Where marriage has been solemnized at a religious place, a certificate from the priest is required.
  4. In case one of a foreign national, certificate from the Embassy concerned regarding his or her present material status.
  5. In case one of the parties belongs to other than Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs religions, a conversion certificate from the priest who solemnized the marriage is required.
  6. For the purpose of identification, the proof may be in the form of a certificate containing the attested photographs of the husband and wife duly attested by any Officer/official of central or state governments or Union Territory Administration of PSU/Autonomous bodies whose identity can be established or by any person having PAN of Income Tax and Residential Proof. The said person/witness will have to report (along with original documents of his /her Identity/PAN Card & Residential Proof) in the office of Marriage Registrar along with marriage parties on the date & time given for the Registration of Marriage.

All documents, excluding receipt, should be attested by a Gazetted Officer.

For Marriage Registration under Special Marriage Act:

Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides for solemnisation of marriages in accordance with the provisions of the Act. SDMs/ADMs/Deputy Commissioners have been authorised as Marriage Officers for this purpose. For solemnisation of marriage, presence of both parties is required after submission of documents of issuance of notice of intended marriage. A copy of the notice is pasted on the office notice board by the SDM. Any person may within 30 days of issue of notice, file objection to the intended marriages. In such a case, the SDM shall not solemnise the marriage until he has decided the objection, within 30 days of its receipt. If the SDM refuses to solemnise the marriage, any of the parties may file an appeal within 30 days to the District Court. In case no objection is received, the SDM solemnises the marriage after 30 days of the notice. Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of solemnisation of marriage. It is advisable to submit names of witnesses at least one day in advance.


Which papers/documents/fees, you need to take with you under Special Marriage Act?

  • Application form duly filled and signed by the bride and the groom.
  • Fee of Rs.15/- is to be deposited with cashier of District and the receipt should be attached with the form.
  • Documentary evidence of date of birth of both parties (Matriculation Certificate/Passport/Birth Certificate). Minimum age of both parties is 21 years at the time of registration under the Special Marriage Act.
  • Documentary evidence regarding stay in Delhi of one of the parties for more than 30 days (ration card or report from the concerned SHO).
  • Separate affidavits from bride and groom giving:
  1. Date of birth
  2. Present marital status: unmarried/widower/ divorcee.
  3. Affirmation that the parties are not related to each other within the degree of prohibited relationship defined in the Special Marriage Act.
  • Passport size photographs of both parties (2 copies each) duly attested by a Gazetted Officer.
  • Copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower.

Tatkal Marriage Certificate

In April 2014, the Revenue Department of Delhi government introduced a ‘tatkal’ service ensuring a single-day authorisation of the marriage under which the registration process will be undertaken on priority. The service, which became operational on April 22, 2014, enables citizens to register their nuptials and get a certificate issued within 24 hours on payment of Rs. 10,000 as a fee.


A marriage certificate is not just ‘another license’ that one must obtain. It is in fact a very essential document that couples generally tend to overlook in the euphoria of their marriage.

Marriage Registration helps the authorities to keep a check on child marriages. If your age is not the one required under law, your marriage will not be registered, irrespective of the amount of love, feelings et al.

The outlook that many people have, is that ‘it consumes a lots of time and who even needs a marriage certificate?’ But, the reality is that every couple entering a marriage needs this legal authorisation. Registration of marriages is not as tedious as many think. The process is pretty simple and easy. Happy ‘lawful’ Wedding to You!

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