Marriage Certificate Registration
Marriage is considered a holy institution in India. Therefore, it is
common not to think about the legal formalities related to it. One such
legal formality is marriage registration. Couples as well as families
tend to ignore the registration of a marriage. However, in 2006, the
Supreme Court made it compulsory to register a marriage. The law making
it compulsory to register marriages is yet to be notified. But even when
it is not compulsory, registration provides a lot of benefits which are
not available in case of non-registration. So, it is a wise step to
complete the formalities of registration as soon as you get married.
Benefits of Marriage Registration
It provides the following benefits:
- Acts as legal proof of marriage.
- Gives legitimacy to the children born after registration.
- Useful in the procedure of getting a Visa for spouse.
- Aids in claiming insurance and other benefits in case of death of spouse without nomination.
- Serves as a useful document in case of succession-related legal proceedings.
Laws Governing Marriage Registration
In India, there are two acts which govern the entire registration process for a solemnized marriage. Solemnization is the legal term for a marriage that takes places according to traditional ceremonies. These Acts are the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
This Act applies when both persons in the marriage are either Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Buddhists. It also covers cases of conversion to these religions. But this Act will not apply even if one of the parties is not from the above religions.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954
This Act legalizes inter-religion marriages. It overrules all other marriage acts in respect of inter-religion marriages.
Steps in Marriage Registration
process for registering a marriage remains more or less the same under
all the above Acts. Below are the major steps in registration of
Steps under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- Submitting the application form.
- Verification of documents.
- Fixing of appointment with the SDM.
- Issue of marriage certificate.
Steps under Special Marriage Act, 1954
- Submission of application form with the documents.
- Issue of public notice for inviting objections, if any.
- Investigation of the validity of objections.
- Acceptance/rejection of registration.
- Issue of certificate/appeal to district court (depending on the acceptance/rejection).
Documents for Marriage Registration
You need the following details and documents:
- Application form signed by both husband and wife.
- Proof of date of birth of both parties. Moreover, under the SMA, both husband and wife must be at least 21 years of age.
- Ration Card of husband or wife.
- Affidavit by both parties stating place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage as well as the nationality.
- Proof of stay for more than 30 days in the city where you want the registration such as Ration Card or report from the SHO (only in case of SMA).
- Proof of conversion (For conversion cases under HMA).
- Two passport sized photographs of both parties and one photograph from the marriage.
- Death certificate of previous spouse or divorce decree, if applicable (attested copies).
- Invitation card for the marriage (if available).
- Certificate from priest who performed the marriage certificate (If marriage was solemnized in a religious place).
- An affirmation that both parties are not related to each other as per the HMA or SMA.
Apart from these documents, you also need two witnesses (three in case of registration under SMA). For registration, both the bride and the groom need to be present in person before the SDM on the day of the appointment.
Timeline for Marriage Registration
The entire process takes anywhere between 30-60 days. But this is subject to objections, if raised by anyone. Also, the marriage officer may even refuse to register a marriage if, in his opinion, sufficient grounds exist for refusal. In such case, the parties can approach the local district court for relief.
Moreover, in some states like Delhi, a Tatkal registration facility is available. It allows you to get a registration certificate within 24 hours.
Fee for Marriage Registration
The government fee starts from Rs. 100 and the professional fee starts from Rs. For Tatkal registration, the government fee is Rs. 10, 000 at present which is likely to go down to Rs. 1000.
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