Marriage is wedlock that is believed to be there till death. Only a person, who thinks he/she has the competence to live his /her entire life in this sacred tied relation being man and wife, should enter the bond. In India, no wedding is a small affair. People plan the wedding of their children since they are born. People leave no stone unturned to make sure that the wedding of their families is celebrated at their fullest. Meanwhile, between all the fun and wedding preparations, it is equally essential to get the marriage registered legally in our country. This will issue a marriage certificate that will be needed for all the joint ventures of the couple like, buying property or a spouse visa to go abroad.
Moreover, unfortunately, if the things do not go well, and one is thinking of a separation, a marriage certificate is a must for that. Moreover, if one of the partners dies, the certificate is very helpful in getting the insurance claim. Getting a marriage registered is the most essential and smartest thing to do.
Legal Provisions for Registration of Marriage
Currently, there are two legislation framed to solve the challenge of Marriage Registration Laws in diverse cultures, they are –
- The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- The Special Marriage Act, 1954
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with marriage registration in case both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or, where they have converted into any of these religions.
Whereas, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 lay down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage, where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.
Essentials of Marriage Registration
THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
Under the Hindu marriage Act, 1955, certain conditions must be fulfilled in order to give the marriage between the parties a legal standing and make it a valid marriage. These conditions have been specified under Sec. 5 and sec. 7 of the Act. By virtue of section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, a marriage will be valid only if both the parties to the marriage are Hindus. If one of the parties to the marriage is a Christian or Muslim, the marriage will not be a valid Hindu marriage.
A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:
- Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage,
- Neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind,
- Though capable of giving a valid consent, neither of them has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children,
- Neither of them has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy.
- The bridegroom has completed the age of 21 years and the bride the age of 18 years at the time of marriage,
- The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two,
- The parties are not sapindas (one is a lineal ascendant of the other) of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.
. 2. THE SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
The Special Marriage Act, deals with both solemnization and registration of marriage. Under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 certain conditions have been laid down under Sec. 4, which are substantially similar to those laid down under Sec. 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954.
As per this act, no religious ceremonies are prerequisite for a marriage to be complete.
The Act lays down following conditions for a marriage to be regarded as a lawful one, having legal standing, by the virtue of Sec. 4:
- Neither party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage.
- The physical and mental capacity of the both the parties should be as per the section requires.
- The age of the parties i.e. the male has completed the age of twenty one and the female has complete the age of eighteen.
- The parties are not within the degree of prohibited relationship provided that custom governing one of the parties permits such a marriage between them.
A marriage in contravention of any of the above conditions will stand void under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. For the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs marrying within these four communities, the Special Marriage Act 1954 is an alternative to the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.
The Muslims marrying a Muslim have a choice between their uncodified personal law and the Special Marriage Act.
Step by step procedure to register a marriage in India
A marriage certificate is a document that declares two people married legally. Marriages in India are to be registered under the Hindu Marriage act, 1955 or the Special Marriage Act, 1954. In the year 2006, the Honorable Supreme Court made it mandatory in India to get a marriage registered to legalize it.
Though most of the people know that it is a compulsion to get the marriage registered in India, they lack the knowledge of the procedure and end up in either paying too much to an agent or getting too much troubled. Here is the online and offline procedure to get a marriage registered in India:
Online registration for a marriage certificate
Just like the other essential things available online in India these days, registration of marriage online is also an option. Online registration is more preferred options because it saves time and troubles less, one does not have to stand in long queues and, especially in this era of social distancing. It skips one’s multiple meetings with the marriage registrar. Here are the steps.
- Open the government’s official website of the home state applicant belong to
- Browse the website and find the form for marriage registration on the site
- Fill the personal details of both the parties of the marriage, as asked in the form
- Submit the form once it is filled
Once the form is filled, marriage registrar will summon the applicant for a particular date and time. It is compulsory to present at the office of the marriage registrar on time with all the documents that are mentioned in the article below. Also, two witnesses from each side should be present at the time of the marriage at the marriage registrar office.
It is noteworthy that the date and time of the marriage given by the marriage registrar for a marriage under the Hindu Marriage act, 1955 is approximately 15-30 days after submission of the form. Furthermore, in the case of the Special Marriage Act,1954, it is approximately 60 days.
Offline registration for a marriage certificate
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
As discussed, marriages in India can be registered under either the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or Special Marriage Act, 1954. Irrespective of their religion, it is applicable to all citizens of India. The parties applying for a registration of marriage in India are only eligible, only if they are either Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists. Also, if the marriage is already solemnized, the couple can apply for registration.
One has to visit the office of the sub-registrar under whose jurisdiction, the marriage was solemnized. It can be done at the sub-registrar’s office, under whose jurisdiction; one of the partners is residing for more than six months. According to the customs and rituals of either of the party, a Hindu marriage can be solemnized.
Under the Special Marriage Act, 1954
Irrespective of their religion, all the citizens of India can get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Under this registration, along with solemnization, is given to the couple by the marriage officer. As discussed, the couple applying under Special marriage Act, have to give a 30 days’ notice to the sub-registrar under whose jurisdiction, any of the partners reside.
The registrar puts up a notice on the board for 30 days, and if he/she does not receive and objection within the duration, the marriage gets registered. The sub-registrar of the jurisdiction must keep a copy of the notice.
This whole process enables the marriage to be complete without any religious ceremony. Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an alternative for those who are not eligible to register their marriage under the Hindu marriage act in India.
Where to register a marriage in India
As discussed, a marriage in India can be registered both online and offline. Online registration of marriage in India is available in major cities across India. One need to log in to the official website of the state in which the marriage was solemnized, or either of the partners is residing for more than six months. Then he/she needs to fill the marriage registration form available on the website. Once this process is complete, the person who has applied for the registration will be called at the registrar office for a meeting with him, to verify the couple’s documents and the witnesses, and then the registrar registers the marriage.
For the people who find the online procedure complicated, offline marriage registration is also an alternative. As discuss, one need to visit the office of the sub-registrar of the jurisdiction where the marriage was solemnized. Then one needs to fill the application manually, preceded by both the party’s signature and required documents. After 30 days, if there found no objections, the application on the marriage will be registered.
It is essential to know that if the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage act, 1954, the marriage can be only solemnized by a marriage officer. In such kind of cases, a notice is given to the registrar by the couple which is to be put on the notice board for the next 30 days. As mentioned, if there occurs no objection during this time period, the marriage gets registered.
The documents required to get a marriage registered in India may slightly vary from one state to another. However, most of it remains the same. It is important to know that all the documents should be duly signed by a gazetted officer at the time of submission. The standard documents for all states are:
- An application form signed by both the parties, i.e. the husband and the wife
- A document for birth proof. The document can be a matriculation certificate, birth certificate, or passport. The age of the male applying for a marriage registration should be 21, and the female should be 18. This is applicable for both the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
- Residential proof of both the parties. It can be in the form of Election Voter ID, PAN Card, Aadhar Card, Ration Card or electricity bill.
- In case the marriage took place in any religious place, a certificate from the institution, certifying the solemnization of the marriage.
- Rs 100, if the marriage is registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Rs 150, if the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, to be submitted to the district cashier. The receipt of the payment is to be attached with the application form.
- Two passport size photos of both the parties, i.e. the husband and the wife. And one marriage photo in case it is already solemnized.
- The invitation card for the wedding if the marriage is solemnized.
- Both the parties have to give an affirmation that they are neither relayed to nor they fall into any decree of prohibited relationship, mentioned under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
- In case any of the party is divorcee, an attested copy of the divorce decree should be attached with the application form.
- In case any of the party is a widow or a widower, the death certificate of the spouse should be attached with the application form.
- An affidavit should be attached with the application form that states the place of marriage, date of marriage, time of marriage, marital status and nationality of both the parties.
- Two witnesses from both the side need to be present in the sub-registrar office at the time of the meeting.
- In case the marriage is solemnized, two witnesses who attended the wedding need to be present in the sub-registrar office at the time of the meeting.