Marriage Certificate in India


Author: Mansi Rana, UPES Dehradun

What is Court Marriage?

Court marriages are very different from traditional marriages, which are usually followed by all ceremonies among all family members and relatives. Court marriages are usually conducted in the presence of marriage officers. In court marriage, any two qualified persons can marry each other in the presence of three witnesses. There is no need for any ceremony to lead the marriage. One marriage officer and three witnesses are sufficient. The most important thing in court marriage is to comply with the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Anyone with different gender, regardless of caste and religion, can marry each other through court marriage. Both must be Indian nationals is not mandatory.

What is a Marriage Certificate?

Obviously, oral statements will not be a shred of evidence. You need some proof to support whatever you say. It will be approved by the judiciary of any country. Like a bachelor’s degree certificate, an Indian marriage certificate is the legal recognition of your marriage. If you request it before 2006, this registration is optional. But not now. The Apex Court introduced this legislation to ensure women’s legal rights.

The essential condition of Court Marriage:

The court marriage rules and regulations stipulate the conditions that need to be met before proceeding to the court marriage procedure. These Court Marriage Rules are also given in accordance with Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Both parties must comply with each other or sign a civil marriage contract in order to meet the basic conditions stipulated in the decree. The conditions are as follows:

  • No valid previous marriage: Every individual applying for court marriage needs to keep in mind that there is no previous marriage of any of the party is valid i.e. living husband or wife.
  • Effective consent: Both parties should enter the marriage with full consent. Both parties must maintain a stable state of mind and participate in marriage as they wish.
  • Valid age: The legal court marriage age for men is 21 years and for women 18 years.
  • Prohibited degree relationship: According to the court marriage rules, the parties should not be in a degree that prohibits the relationship as stipulated in Schedule I of the Act

Procedure for a Court Marriage Certificate:

  1.  Notice of intended marriage

The first step in court marriage is to obtain notice of the intended marriage. The above notice must comply with Section 5 of the Special Marriage Act,1954. You must force a written notice to the marriage registrar to indicate that both parties intend to marry. The notification needs to be sent to the marriage registrar’s office, and either party must live in their area for at least 30 days before sending the notification.

Documents required for this purpose:

You need certain documents to complete the legal marriage process in court. Without these documents, it is impossible to solemnize the Indian marriage. The applicants need to provide the following documents in order to go through the process:

➔      Bride and Groom Documents

  • The Marriage application form duly signed by both Bride and Groom
  • Fee receipt
  • Proof of Age documents of both parties (SSLC book or Birth Certificate)
  • Proof of Residential address (Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Ration Card or Driving License)
  • Affidavit
  • Passport size photograph of both the bride and groom (2 copies)
  • If there is a divorce, a Copy of divorce order is required and if it is a widow/widower then copy of the death certificate of the spouse.

➔      Documents required in case of Foreign National

If a formal wedding ceremony is held between Indians and foreigners, in addition to the above documents, the applicant must also submit the following documents:

  • Copy of passport with a valid visa.
  • Written proof of one of the parties concerned staying in India for more than 30 days (residence certificate or report of the relevant station housing officer (SHO)).
  • The NOC or marital status certificate obtained by the foreign partner at the Indian embassy or consulate.

Attributes in Affidavit

The bride and groom have to submit separate affidavits for solemnizing their marriage in India.

  • Date of birth
  • Unmarried, divorced or widowed marital status
  • The two parties should not be related to each other under the prohibited relationship
  • 2 passport size photos of the bride and groom
  • A copy of the divorce decree (if there is a divorce) and the spouse ’s death certificate (widowed / wives).

Who can be a witness to court marriage?

Anyone, such as a family member, family friend, colleague, or friend, can be a witness to court marriage. In addition, there must be three witnesses who testify solemnly for a valid court marriage. Documents of witnesses required by the court for marriage

  • The witness ’proof of residence is the most important document and must be provided to the marriage officer.
  • The PAN card of the witness must also be presented to the marriage officer.
  • One passport-size photo of each witness.
  • Witness identification documents, such as driving license, Aadhar card, etc.



Marriage Officer for the ………………….District.

We hereby give you notice that a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, is intended to be solemnized between us within three calendar months from the date hereof.


Name        Condition           Occupation           Age         Dwelling                 Permanent dwelling             Length of

Place               dwelling place                     residence                                                                                                       if present dwelling

                                                                                                          place not permanent


A, B.    Unmarried



C.D.   Unmarried



Witness our hands this ………………………………………… of ………………….19.                                                                                                                         

(S.d.)  A.B.

(S.d.)  C.D.

  • Publication of notice:

The notice sent to the marriage registrar’s office shall be published by the marriage officer in a clearly visible place while keeping the original notice in its notice for publication. If the notice of intention to marry is sent to the wrong marriage registrar’s office, he should forward it to the official in the jurisdiction where the party lives, so that the notice is posted in the correct place.

  • Objection to marriage:

Section 7 of the Special Marriage Law stipulates that anyone who has an objection to marriage may file an objection within 30 days from the date the marriage registrar issues the notice. If the marriage registrar finds that the objection raised is correct, he/she will end the original court marriage procedure. However, if he/she finds that the objection is unreasonable, he/she will continue the court marriage registration process. However, if the marriage registrar supports the objection, the parties can appeal to the district court on the order of the marriage officer/registrar to complete the court marriage procedure in India.

  • Declaration of the parties and witnesses:

The next step stipulated in the court’s marriage rules is the declaration of the parties and witnesses. Before the court marriage is determined, both parties must sign the court marriage form with three witnesses, announcing that both parties are marrying with free consent. The marriage registrar must sign the declaration in the presence of the marriage registrar.


I, C.D., hereby declare as follows;

  1. I am at the present time unmarried (or a widow or a divorcee, as the case may be).
  1. I have completed……………………………………..years of age.
  1. I am not related to A.B.(the Bridegroom) within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
  1. I am aware that, if any statement in this declaration is false, and if in making such a statement I either know or believe it to be false or do not believe it to be true, I am liable to imprisonment and also to fine.

(S.d) C.D.(the Bride)

*Signed in our presence by the abovenamed A.B.and far as we are aware there is no lawful impediment to the marriage.

(S.d) G.H.

(S.d) I.J                                                                                            Three witness

(S.d) K.L.         

                                                                                                                          Countersigned E.F.,

Marriage Officer.,

Dated the   day of    19

  1. Location and form of solemnization:

Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act,1954 stipulates that the grand ceremony of court marriage may be held in the office of the marriage registrar or any other reasonable distance. You can also solemnly marry the process by filling out the form online. The online court marriage application includes completing the payment process for marriage court fees.

  1. The procedure of marriage certificate:

After the grand ceremony is carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations of court marriage, the marriage registrar will enter the marriage details in the marriage certificate according to Schedule IV of the Special Marriage Act,1954.

What is the complexity that a person faces in Court marriage?

The process of court marriage is relatively simpler than ordinary marriage, which includes customary rituals, elaborate religious steps and months of planning. But there are some  complications faced by a court marriage:

  • The date depends on the marriage official, who assigns the same date to the court ceremony and wedding ceremony. In an emergency, marriage cannot take place earlier than the specified date (only if no one raises an objection, within 30 days after the notice is issued).
  • Any specific objection can make marriage stagnate for a long time, and its decision depends on the decision of the marriage officer. If the marriage officer insists on objection, the parties must appeal to the local court.
  • Since there is no online job portal in most places, the entire process must be done manually through the marriage officer ’s office in most places.
  • A person must live in a place for at least 30 days to be eligible to notify marriage officials in that area or area. Therefore, in general, a person can only apply for marriage in the place where he/she lives, but not in a place where he/she plans to marry.
  • The process varies from place to place, the documents, fees and the appointed marriage officer all depend on the rules and regulation of the state.
  • If there is no marriage within 3 months from the date of the notification, the notification will be invalidated and a new notification shall be sent to the marriage official.

Online site for marriage registration:

Click here for Application Form for registration of marriage under Hindu Marriage Act.

Click here for Application Form for registration of marriage under Special Marriage Act.

Click here for Identification Certificate a)any person having PAN of income Tax (OR) b) any officer/official of Central or State govt. or UT Administration or PSU/Autonomous bodies whose identity can be established

Click here for Affidavit

Conclusion :

No matter what religion you belong to, having a marriage certificate is legally important. It can prove that the couple is legally married. For example, if a couple wants to apply for a visa, a marriage certificate is required. It is recommended to register within 60 days after the wedding.

Obtaining a certificate after marriage is good for getting an insurance policy, Health insurance, passport, etc.

It is also very helpful for immigrants and can be used to obtain social insurance cards, and name changes in passports, Aadhaar cards, and voter ID cards. This means that in India, all newly married couples must obtain a marriage certificate after marriage.

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