In India, marriage is a very big deal. There are different religions which have different ways and traditions of marriage. But the marriage is only sealed after the couple gets a legal marriage certificate. Many of us still don’t get this certificate and later find themselves in trouble if things don’t go well with the spouse. Therefore, it is very important and has made mandatory by the Supreme Court of India back in 2006, to register your marriage irrespective of your religion.
How To Do Marriage Registration In India
The registration process is quite simple. You have two options, that is, either you can register your marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act. This is entirely dependent on your religion and choice. This is an important certificate which binds the man and woman legally. Neither of them can deny being married to one another after this certificate is acquired.
Let’s now get into the details and steps that you need to follow to register your marriage under any one of these marriage Acts.
Hindu Marriage Act
To get married under this act, both the partners must be Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs. The minimum age required for the boy is 21 years and for the girl is 18 years. Also, this act only allows you to register your marriage, not solemnize it.
You first need to apply to the sub-registrar. This sub-registrar should have the jurisdiction of the place where the marriage was held. You also have the option to apply to the sub-registrar of the place where either of the spouses lived for a minimum of 6 months before marriage. The relevant form must be filled, signed and submitted by both partners. They have to attach photocopies of necessary documents like address proof, age proof etc. To prove that you have really gotten married, get a certificate from the Pandit (priest) who solemnized it and submit it to the registrar.
Both of you have to disclose your previous marital status (if any) and all the photocopies you attach to your application must be attested by a gazetted officer. You will need to pay a minimal fee to the cashier and attach that receipt to the form.
Once your application is submitted and the documents are verified, the officer who is concerned will assign you a date for the registration. On this date, your marriage certificate will be issued. The people who are converted to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or Sikhism from other religions are also eligible to apply under this Act. They will have to provide a certificate from the priest who converted them into Hinduism and solemnized their marriage along with related documents.
Special Marriage Act
To get married under this act, you can be of any other religion. The minimum age required is 21 years old for both the boy and girl. The Hindu Marriage Act only registers the marriage, this Act serves the purpose of marriage registration as well as solemnization of it.
The registration process for the Special Marriage Act is a bit complex than the Hindu Marriage Act. Even though the documents needed are the same, there are some key differences. First of all, the couple needs to give a 30-day notice to the registrar office in whose jurisdiction the marriage took place or where one of the spouses resided for more than 6 months.
A copy of this notice is stuck on the notice board of the registration office and another copy is sent to the marriage officer of the area where either of the parties have resided. Once these 30 days are expired, if no objections are presented then the marriage is allowed to solemnize. Else, the marriage officer has to conduct an official inquiry regarding the objections. Once he concludes his inquiry only then the marriage is allowed to solemnize.
On the day when the marriage is allowed to solemnize, 3 witnesses are required along with photocopies of documents similar to the Hindu Marriage Act. Also, they need to pay a minimal fee to the cashier. After this is done, the couple’s marriage is registered and they can obtain their marriage certificate from the sub-registrar’s office.
- An application form signed by both the husband and wife that costs around Rs 100.
- Attested proof of age, address, and date of birth.
- 3 passport sized photos of both the husband and wife and also at least one photo of their marriage.
- Affidavit by both the parties declaring their marital status prior to their wedding, place and time of marriage, nationality etc.
- A certificate from the priest who solemnized their marriage.
- 3 witnesses along with their relevant documents.
- A certificate of conversion if applicable.
- A certificate of divorce, or the death certificate of spouse if applicable.
A Late Fee will be charged if the involved parties delay applying for their marriage registration after the marriage. Also, it takes about 3 working days to get your marriage certificate. But it might take longer.