How to get the Indian marriage certificate?

Once you get married in India, you can apply for a marriage certificate. A marriage certificate is a legal proof of registration of a marriage. Many couples in India do not get their marriages registered and prefer to get the marriage solemnized as per religious customs and rituals only. This is a very important piece of document that proves that a couple is legally married. It is only the marriage certificate that is accepted in lieu of a legal marriage document and not documentation of the religious ceremony
This will be required for obtaining a passport, applying for a visa in another country, interviewing for the visa, changing your maiden name, etc.

Things to know about the Indian marriage certificate

  • In India a legal marriage is between males older than 21 years of age and females older than 18 years of age.
  • In India, marriage can be registered in accordance to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • If you are getting married in accordance to the Hindu Marriage Act you can perform the rituals and then apply for registration of the marriage. The Hindu Marriage Act provides for registration of an already solemnized marriage. Solemnizing the wedding in the presence of a Registrar is unnecessary.
  • If you are getting married in accordance to the Special Marriage Act the wedding is solemnized and registered by a Marriage Officer. To do so a public notice must be issued for 30 days. If there is an objection to the marriage in these 30 days, the Marriage Registrar will take necessary steps to redress the objection. He may accept or reject the marriage altogether based on his investigation.

Any marriage already celebrated can also be registered under the Special Marriage Act after giving a public notice of 30 days, subject to the above conditions.

How to get the Indian marriage certificate under the Hindu Marriage Act?

  • Apply to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction the marriage is solemnized.
  • You can also apply to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction either party to the marriage has been residing at least for six months immediately preceding the date of marriage.
    Example 1
    If your spouse lives in Mumbai and you belong to Ganganagar, you can get the marriage registered in Mumbai or Ganganagar provided that you both of you have lived in these cities for at least 6 months prior to the marriage.
    Example 2
    Another example can be of A and B belonging to Agra and Simla and the marriage being solemnized in New Delhi. In this case, the marriage can be registered in Simla, Agra, or New Delhi.
  • Both the parties have to appear before the Registrar along with their parents or guardians or other witnesses within one month from the date of marriage. For example, if the marriage was performed on June 10, 2010 the marriage must be registered before July 10, 2010.
  • When you are choosing between a few places to get the registration done, find out where there is less waiting time. Many couples are in a hurry to get their marriage registered to expedite the work visa process. If this is the case, you should let the Registrar know the special circumstances for the registration.
  • The marriage certificate can take anywhere between a couple of hours and 1-2 weeks to be issued.

How to get the Indian marriage certificate under the Special Marriage Act?

  • The parties to the intended marriage have to give a notice to the Marriage Officer.
  • This Marriage Officer is chosen on the basis of residence of one of the parties. For example, you will apply to the Marriage Officer in whose jurisdiction you or your spouse has resided for not less than 30 days prior to the date of notice. So if you are applying on June 30, 2010 you should have lived in the jurisdiction from May 30, 2010 to June 30, 2010.
  • The notice will be put up in a noticeable location at his office.
  • If your spouse is residing in the area of another Marriage Officer, a copy of the notice should be sent to him for similar display and publication.
  • The idea of putting up such notices is to ensure that the marriage is legal and that no one in the community has an objection to it.
  • The marriage may be solemnized after the expiry of one month from the date of publication of the notice, if no objections are received.
  • If any objections are received, the Marriage Officer has to investigate the matter. He will then decide if it is ok to solemnize the wedding or to refuse it altogether.
  • Registration will be done after solemnization of the marriage.
  • The marriage certificate can take anywhere between a couple of hours and 1-2 weeks to be issued.