In India marriages can be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. It is a legal proof you are married and the most vital document of a marriage. In 2006, the Supreme Court made it compulsory to register the marriage for the women protection. To be eligible for marriage, the minimum age limit is 21 for males and 18 for females. The parties to a Hindu marriage should be unmarried or divorced, or if previously married, the spouse by that marriage should not be alive. In addition, the parties should be physically and mentally healthy and must not be related in a way prohibited by the law.
The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable only to the Hindus, whereas the Special Marriage Act is applicable to all citizens of India. All the marriages solemnized inter caste or between an Indian and a foreigner would be registered under special marriage act. Once a marriage is registered under special marriage act, they would always be governed by the provisions of special marriage act.
The Hindu Marriage Act provides for registration of an already solemnised marriage. It does not provide for solemnisation of a marriage by the Registrar. The Special Marriage Act provides for solemnisation of a marriage as well as registration by a Marriage Officer.
For marriage which is to be registered after marriage is solemnized between the parties i.e marriage is performed according to religious rites and rituals.
Under Hindu Marriage Act
- For Marriage Registration under Hindu Act: You can apply at office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in whose jurisdiction the husband or wife resides, at least six months preceding the date of marriage, on any working day.
- Fill the Application form duly signed by both husband and wife.
- Verification of all the documents is carried out on the date of application and a day is fixed for the appointment and communicated to the parties for registration.
- On the said day, both parties, along with a Gazetted Officer who attended their marriage, need to be present before the ADM. The Certificate is issued on the same day.
Documents required to be submitted
Requirements for documents may differ from state to state but some of the necessary documents are:
- Completely filled application form signed by both husband and wife
- Proof of Address- Voter ID/ Ration Card/ Passport, Driving License of both husband and wife
- Proof of Date of Birth of both husband and wife
- 2 passport sized photographs, 1 marriage photograph
- Separate Marriage Affidavits in prescribed format from Husband & Wife
- Aadhaar Card
- All documents must be self attested.
- Marriage Invitation Card
- If marriage was solemnized in a religious place, a certificate from the priest is required who solemnized the marriage
- 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
- Attested copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower
- Affidavit by the Husband and Wife: An Affidavit (or Application) should be submitted along with the Marriage Memorandum. The affidavit wording differs from state to state; but most affidavits have a declaration by the husband and wife stating that a valid marriage, with stating place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage and nationality, was solemnized between them and the information in the application form is correct.
Cost of registration:
The basic cost of registration differs from state to state; it is however in between Rs. 100-200.
Under special marriage act
The Indian Special Marriage Act is for those who don’t opt the religious way of marriage, i.e. those who prefer other methods of getting married apart from the religious methods such as court marriage.
The special marriage act also covers the requirements of court marriages in India. Court marriage can be between an Indian male and a female irrespective of their caste, religion or creed. It can also be between an Indian and a foreigner, rules of which have been already explained just above. What court marriage does is it removes the rituals and ceremonies that happen the traditional/religious marriages. The interested parties can directly apply to the Marriage Registrar for registration of marriage and be granted of the marriage certificate by the registrar.
According to the Special Marriage Act, when two individuals are willing to do a court marriage, they need to ensure the following things:
- Both the individuals must not be married substantially to any other partner, i.e. both the parties are required to be unmarried.
- Both the individuals must have attained the legal age of marriage, i.e. 21 in the case of the groom (male) and 18 in the case of the bride (female).
- Both the individuals should be marrying with the sound state of mind, and none shall be under any sought of unsound state of mind.
Conditions and requirements for registration under Special Marriage Act
The procedure followed in case of marriage registered under Special Marriage Act:
- The individuals are required to fill the form and submit it to the marriage registrar in one of the districts in which either of the individuals has resided for not less than a month.
- The marriage may be allowed only after 30 days unless there is any sort of objection from any of the individual.
- The marriage is required to take place only at the specified marriage office.
- Both the individuals are required to be present physically at the time of marriage.
- The presence of 3 eye witnesses.
Following are the list of documents required for registration under the special marriage act:
- Passport – A valid passport is a must requirement in the case of registration under the special marriage act.
- Birth certificate.
- A copy of the divorce certificate in case of divorcees.
- Death certificate of the deceased spouse in case of widowed partner.
- The certificate mentioning the stay of a couple in India for the period of 30 days.
Charges an individual has to pay to get married under the Special Marriage Act:
There is no charge taken by the registrar. Registration form charges differ from state to state. The individuals are required to submit the form charges along with the required documents at the time of registration. Generally it is between Rs. 150-200.
Benefits of Marriage Certificate:
Following are the benefits of obtaining a marriage certificate.
- If you are applying for a passport or opening a bank account after the wedding, then Marriage Certificate is required.
- Extremely helpful in obtaining visas for both husband and wife.
- As the foreign embassies in India as well as in countries outside India, do not recognize traditional marriages, the Marriage Certificate is mandatory for the couple to travel abroad using a spouse visa.
- Enables a spouse in claiming life insurance return or bank deposits in case of demise of the Insurer or depositor without any nominee