Everything Newlyweds Must Know About Getting Marriage Registered In India

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By Team BollywoodShaadis Last Updated:

Everything Newlyweds Must Know About Getting Marriage Registered In India

After your wedding, whether you are planning to open a joint bank account or get a spouse visa, you have to show a proof of your marriage. Anything from your wedding photographs and invitations cards to the certificate provided by the priest who solemnised your wedding are proofs that show that you are legally married. But, it is not easy to carry all these documents (and their copies) with you all the time.

Well with your marriage certificate in your hands, you can leave behind the worries of carrying and keeping these documents along. Yes, with this single proof one can avoid the hassles of carrying around multiple copies of other documents, in case you are required to show or prove your marital status.

Apart from this, there are many more reasons and benefits of getting your marriage registered that most Indian couples do not know. So, read on to know everything about marriage registration process in complete detail right here.

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Benefits of Marriage Registration

Under the Indian Legal System, a procedure for marriage registration has been provided. But, before we tell you about the procedure, take a look at the reasons why you should be getting your marriage registration done.

1) It is a legal proof of marriage, as per the Indian law.

2) For women, even if you have not changed your surname, it is a valid proof of being a spouse.

3) It is helpful or beneficial in situations wherein the parties want to:

  • Open a joint bank account
  • Select life insurance policies
  • Opt for tax benefits
  • Apply for loan in banks, especially in nationalised banks
  • Get a spouse visa
  • Benefits to children
  • Apply for a job with Government of India, where a spouse is already a Government officer.

4) There have been cases where men who marry women in a small town disappear on pretext of working in a metro city or abroad. In such cases, documents that you file for marriage registration are a complete record of each individual. The information along with the marriage certificate can be used to seek help of the local police (or the embassy of that country) to search about the absconding man’s whereabouts.

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5) The above point also goes in cases of love marriages or elopement. If the girl or the boy don’t know anything about their partner’s family or place of residence, or any other details, they can get the marriage registration certificate published in a newspaper and seek help of police.

6) Marriage registration certificate gives you jurisdiction to file a case or divorce petition. For example, if a girl who belongs to Delhi gets married to a boy in Mumbai and stays with him in Mumbai, she can file for a divorce petition only at two places- where the marriage took place or where they last resided together. However, if they get their marriage registered in Delhi, it gives an additional place of jurisdiction to the girl. Especially in cases where a girl is forced to leave her husband’s home or is sent to her parents’ house or deserted by the husband and his family members, this is definitely an advantage.

7) Right to the children, if the father belongs to a special category or community or caste. This is even valid in the cases where the spouses are living separately or divorced.

8) In case of a divorce, a marriage certificate in hand makes it easier for the woman to prove that she is legally married to that man. The man cannot deny that he is married and he cannot avoid paying the alimony or maintenance.

What’s more? Marriage certificate allows you to obtain legal proof of being married even when the marriage has not been solemnised by a priest, especially under the Hindu Marriage Act.

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In the right of the above image you can see one of the affidavits that a couple needs to attach when they apply for marriage registration (Image Courtesy: Delhi.gov.in)

Marriage Registration Process

A marriage can be registered either under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both the husband and the wife are:

  1. Hindus
  2. Buddhists
  3. Jains
  4. Sikhs
  5. Or, where they have converted into any of these religions.

In cases where couples are getting married under the Hindu Marriage Act, the minimum age of the groom has been set for 21 years and for the bride it is 18 years.

Where either of the husband and wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, the marriage is registered under Special Marriage Act. Minimum age of both the parties should be 21 years at the time of registration, under the Special Marriage Act.

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In the right, you can see a glimpse of the application form that is needed to be filled while applying under the Hindu Marriage Act (Image Courtesy: delhi.gov.in)

Documents Required

Here is a list of the documents that are required to get a marriage registered. There might be a few changes in case you fall under the Special Marriage Act or either of the party has been residing outside India. Take a look at the essentials that you need to get in place before your marriage gets registered.

  1. An application form duly signed by both husband and wife.
  2. Documentary evidence of date of birth of both the husband and the wife (Matriculation Certificate/Passport/Birth Certificate).
  3. Residential proof of both the parties.
  4. In case of Special Marriage Act, documentary evidence regarding the stay of both the parties in the area within the jurisdiction of the Marriage Officer for more than 30 days need to be provided (Ration Card or report from SHO). Say, if a couple is getting their marriage registered in Delhi, they should have stayed in the city for more than 30 days before they are granted the date for registration.
  5. Affidavit by both the parties stating place of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage and nationality.
  6. Two passport size photographs and one marriage photograph.
  7. Marriage invitation card of both parties if available, as some of the registrars ask for it.
  8. If the marriage has been solemnised in a religious place, then you need to submit a certificate from the priest who performed the marriage rituals.
  9. Attested copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee; and death certificate of spouse in case of widow or widower.
  10. In case of Hindu Marriage Act, if one of the parties belongs to another religion, and has converted to get married, then a conversion certificate from the priest who solemnised the marriage is required.
  11. In case of foreign national, No Objection Certificate/marital status certificate from the embassy.
  12. Affirmation that the parties are not related to each other within the prohibited degree of relationship as per Hindu Marriage Act (or Special Marriage Act, as the case may be).
  13. In case of change of surname, separate affidavit is required on Rs.10/- non judicial stamp paper.
  14. Two separate affidavits on Rs.10/- non judicial stamp paper from both husband and wife.
  15. All documents to be attested by Gazetted Officer.

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Procedure for Marriage Registration

You have to go to the office of Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) or Additional District Magistrate (ADM), in whose jurisdiction either the husband or the wife resides. You can also apply for the certificate at the place where the marriage took place.

In case of Hindu Marriage Act, at the time of filling the application form, a due date vide (by the way of) acknowledgement of receipt is given. In between this time all the submitted documents are verified by the authorities. On the said date, necessary formalities can be completed. The certificate is issued on the same day.

In case of registration/solemnisation of marriage under Special Marriage Act, a notice of 30 days after the appearance of both the parties by marriage officer is mandatory. Once the application along with prescribed documents is presented, a date of appearance before the marriage officer is given by the way of an acknowledgement receipt.

Verification of all the documents is carried out on the date of application itself and a day is fixed, and communicated to the parties for the registration. On the said date, both the parties need to be present before the ADM.

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In the right, you can see a glimpse of the application form that is needed to be filled while applying under the Special Marriage Act (Image Courtesy: delhi.gov.in)

Bringing Registration Online

The Indian Government is also introducing an online marriage registration system, in order to ensure that more people get their marriages registered. This is especially good in those cases where the spouses are living in two different cities due to work or any other reasons. Such couples can seek registration online and avoid the entire system of being present physically before the office of the ADM.  

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So, you can apply for the registration and upload all the required documents online, once the system comes in place. After applying and uploading the documents, couples will be given one date when both the partners’ need to visit the marriage registrar office for the completion of the process. However, the same is currently under consideration and is to be implemented quite soon, hopefully by the end of this year.

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Well, one should always act in terms of law and if any provisions are available in law to secure oneself, the same should be availed without any delay. That is why; even marriage registration is essential. It helps couples to safeguard their interests while being in a relationship that is as trustworthy, complex and delicate as this one.

Author: Nehha Gupta (Advocate and Legal Expert)
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