Marriage registration

1. Is registration of marriage compulsory in India?

Some of the states in the Indian Union have enacted legislations to make marriage registration compulsory; These states are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Registration of marriage is optional in other states.

After you marry the PIO/NRI, you must register the marriage at the office of the Registrar in India before you/your husband leave the country. The marriage certificate issued by the Registrars’ office and a copy of it should be kept with you and your family in India.

Please keep adequate proof like marriage photographs, wedding invitation, copy of the husbands’ passport driving license, any other ID proof issued by the foreign country, visa address proof of both bride and groom etc.

Please remember the following points -

  • Marriage registration certificate should be carried at all times.
  • Doing all the paperwork for issue of visa and other required formalities at your end- keep all the original papers with yourself.
  • Affidavit from the spouse stating present marital status.
  • Visit with a health/comprehensive insurance policy before arriving in the foreign country.
  • Keep your passport with you in the foreign country and at least one copy of the passport.

2. What documents are required for registration of marriage in India?

  • Age Proof (Any one of the following document)

                       -Birth Certificate (or) Any education certificate (or) Passport (or) Pan card

  • Address Proof. (Any one of the following document)

-Passport (or) Driving License (or) Aadhar card (or) Voter Id (or) Family card (or) Bank Passbook

  • Passport-size Photo-each-6 Nos.
  • Invitation-2 Nos. (For direct registration, marriage invitation is not required)
  • Two witnesses with ID proof
  • Divorce order (if Divorcee)

3. What are the additional documents required for marriage registration if anyone or both is a foreign national?

       Single status certificate and no objection certificate from their Country.

4. What is the minimum age requirement to get married legally in India?

For boys – 21

For girls – 18

5. What are the advantages of registration of marriage?

Certificate of marriage is a document, which provides valuable evidence of marriage; 
Certificate of marriage is a document providing social security, self-confidence particularly among married woman.
Certificate of marriage is useful in getting the visa for the wife/husband. 
It may help in claiming the Bank deposits or Life Insurance benefits when the depositee or the Insurer dies without a nomination or otherwise. 
It will be helpful in arresting frauds related to marriages.

6. What are the laws under which marriages are registered in sub-registry or direct registrar offices?

Marriages are registered in Sub Registry or District Registrar Offices under the following Acts:

       Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954

7. Where are the marriages to be registered?

Marriages under Hindu Marriage Act can be registered in the office of the Registrar of Marriage within the jurisdiction of which the marriage has taken place or in the office of Marriage Officer in whose jurisdiction the bride or bride-groom resides The Sub Registrar Office in whose jurisdiction either wife or husband has been residing for at least six months immediately preceding the date of marriage.

8. To whom Hindu Marriage Act 1954 applies?

It applies to Hindu, Buddhist, Brahma, Sikhs and Arya samaj. It does not apply to Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew Communities. But it also applies to those who follow Hindu religious customs.

9. To whom Special Marriage Act 1954 applies?

 It applies to all, irrespective of religion, caste, language.

10. Are there any restrictions for registration of marriages?

Following are the restrictions under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954:

  • Bridegroom or bride who desire to marry should not have married wife / husband
  • Bridegroom or bride who cannot voluntarily give consent for marriages owing to mental illness are not eligible for marriage
  • Marriage of those who are capable of giving consent for marriage but incapable of getting child owing to unsound mind cannot be solemnised nor be registered
  • Those suffering from insanity are ineligible for solemnisation of marriage
  • Those who are within degree of prohibited relationship are ineligible for marriage provided they can marry if it is permitted according to the usage of custom or usage governing such persons
  • Bridegroom and bride who are descendants up to 5 generation from mother's side or father's side cannot marry (They are called Sapindas).

11. What is the time limit for registration of marriage?

Marriage under Hindu or Parsi Marriage Act can be registered any time after marriage. There is no time limit. Now, in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Sub Registrar (Marriage Officer) can register the Hindu marriage at any time and there is no procedure of condonation of delay by the District Registrar, which was there till recently.

12. Can the marriage already held according to the religious custom be registered under Special Marriage Act? If so how to get it registered?

Application duly filled in should be given in prescribed form in duplicate under Section 16 of the Special Marriage Act 1954 along with prescribed fee to the marriage officer. If there are no objections marriage officer will register the marriage after 30 days if the husband and wife appear along with 3 witnesses subject to following conditions:

  • They should have married and must be living together since then
  • At the time of marriage any of them should not have more than one living wife or husband
  • Any of them should not be idiot or lunatic at the time of registration of marriage
  • Husband and wife should have completed age of 21. They should not be within the degree of prohibited relationship described in schedule I of the Act
  • Husband and wife should have lived for a period not less than 30 days within the jurisdiction of marriage officer

13. What is the fee to be paid for registration of marriage?

Rs 200/-

14. When can the marriages be solemnized under special marriage act?

A marriage between any two persons may be solemnized under the special marriage act provided the following conditions are satisfied. Namely: -
(a) Neither party has a spouse living
(b) Neither party is an idiot or a lunatic 
(c) The male must have completed the age of twenty-one years and female the age of eighteen years.
(d) The persons seeking to marry must not be within the degrees of prohibited relationship.

15. When can the marriage be solemnized?

The marriage can be solemnized on expiry of 30 days after clearing objections if any filed. The validity for the notice is 3 months. Before the solemnization of marriage the parties and three witnesses in the presence of the marriage officer should sign declarations in the prescribed form. The marriage can be solemnized in any form, which the parties may choose to adopt. The marriages can be solemnized either with the office of the Marriage Officer or at such other place within a reasonable distance as the parties may desire. A fee of RS 10 has to be paid for solemnization. Certificate will be issued on stamp paper if RS 10 produced by the parties on payment of RS 2/-

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