Procedure for Registration of Marriage – governing Laws


   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 1955: 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.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954: Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, the marriage is registered under this Act. Further, marriage can also be solemnised between any two persons under the provisions of this Act.

As regards the procedure for Solemnization of marriage/Registration of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, initially one has to visit the Office of the Additional Divisional Magistrate in whose jurisdiction either the husband or the wife residents, during Office hours on any working day; and obtain prescribed forms for Registration of marriage. After filling up the said Hindu/Special Marriage Application form and duly signed by both the husband and wife, the same has to be submitted along with documentary evidence of date of birth both the parties, while the minimum age of both the parties is fixed as 21 years at the time of registration under the Special Marriage Act, along with residential proof of husband and wife. Further, both the parties have to execute an Affidavit stating therein the place and date of marriage, date of birth of both the parties, marital status at the time of marriage and their nationality. These documents are to be submitted along with two sets of passport size photographs of both the parties and one set of marriage photograph. Further, the marriage invitation card is also required to be enclosed, if available. In case the marriage was solemnized in a religious place, a Certificate from the priest who has solemnized the marriage is also required to be enclosed.

The requisite fee for such registration is Rs.10/- in case of Hindu Marriage Act; and Rs.15/- in case of Special Marriage Act.

Further, the parties also have to declare by affirming that they are not related to each other within the prohibited degree of relationship as per the Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act, as the case may be.

In case of divorcees or remarriage of widow/widower on account of death of either of the spouse, an attested copy of the divorce decree/order and/or the death certificate of the spouse need to be enclosed.

According to Hindu Marriage Act, in case of one of the parties belong to other than Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religions, a conversion certificate from the priest who solemnized the marriage, is also need to be enclosed along with the above documents.

In case, one of the parties is a foreign national, in such cases, no objection certificate depicting the marital status or the marital status certificate issued by the concerned embassy need to be produced along with the above documents.

It is very essential that all these documents are invariably to be attested by a Gazetted Officer.

Documents required for Court marriage:

             1. Affidavit duly attested by the Magistrate/S.D.M. or Notary public with Register entry No.

             2. Age proof (one of these documents: Voter Identity card; Driving License; Matriculation Certificate)

             3. Residence proof (one of these documents: Voter Identity card; Driving license; Matriculation Certificate; Passport).

             4. 7 sets of Passport size photographs of both the parties.

             5. Two witnesses with their photograph ID proof.

             6. In case of a divorcee, then a Certified copy of the Decree of Divorce granted by the Court need to be enclosed.

             7. In case of one of the partner is a Foreigner, then no impediment certificate/ NOC from concerned Embassy and Valid VISA need to be enclosed.

The Criteria for deciding the cases would be as under:

Hindu Marriage Act:

Verification of all the documents is carried out on the date of application and a day is fixed and communicated to the parties for registration. On the said day, both parties, alongwith a Gazetted Officer who attended their marriage, need to be present before the ADM. The Certificate is issued on the same day.

Special Marriage Act:

Both parties are required to be present after submission of documents for issuance of public notice inviting objections. One copy of notice is pasted on the notice board of the office and copy of the notice is sent by registered post to marriage officer of the area where either of the parties having present/permanent address. Registration is done 30 days after the date of notice after deciding any objection that may have been received during that period by the ADM. Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration/Solemnization. For filing objection, register is available with the Dealing Assistant in the office of ADM(S).

The most interesting fact, is that for registration of marriages both under Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act, the solemnization procedure of marriage is very simple and it need not require any assistance from Lawyer; and instead both the parties should present their case directly by visiting the concerned Office.

After receipt of such application for registration along with all the documents, one copy of notice is pasted on the notice board of the Office while the copy of the notice is sent by Registered Post to the Marriage Officer of the area where either of the parties are having their permanent residential address.

In case of Hindu Marriage Act, the response would be instant, i.e., no sooner the application form is filled-in and submitted, a due date vide acknowledgement of receipt of application would be given and on that date necessary formalities would be completed for registration.

While in case of Registration/Solemnization under Special Marriage Act, it is mandatory that the Marriage Officer shall issue notice of 30 days after appearance of both the parties; and once the application along with the prescribed documents is presented, the date for such appearance before the Marriage Officer is given vide acknowledgement.