Once a marriage ceremony is over, the couples follow marriage registration process as per their state laws. For Christians, Muslims, Parsis, Jews, and Baha’i followers, their respective religious authorities issue a marriage certificate which is the legal evidence of marriage. Therefore, a certificate fro the Marriage Registrar is not required. However, a certificate issued by a religious body is not considered valid among Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Hence, a formal marriage certificate must be obtained from the Registrar.
Marriage Registration: Civil Marriage Ceremony or Registered Court Marriage in India
A civil marriage is a formal marriage registration process which is a ceremony in itself. It does not involve the pomp and show of religious marriages. The couple intending to have a civil marriage ceremony should submit the requisite application one month in advance. The marriage officer puts an ad in the newspaper so that anyone against the marriage can raise objections.
Marriage Registration: Special Marriage Act, 1954
Marriage registration in India is governed by the Special Marriage Act, 1954. All marriages under this Act are civil marriages. Under this Act, two persons of any religion, caste or nationality can get married. The Act includes the following conditions:
- Neither party should have a living spouse
- The bride and the bridegroom should be at least 18 and 21 years of age.
- None of the parties should be insane or lunatic
In case both the parties to a marriage are Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists, the marriage is registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. On the other hand, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, recognizes only inter-caste marriages.
Marriage Registration: Required Documents
The following documents are required for the process of marriage registration:
- Application form with signatures of both parties
- Proof of date of birth of both parties
- Proof of residence of husband and wife
- Two passport size photographs of husband and wife and one marriage photograph
- Affidavit by husband and wife mentioning place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status during marriage and nationality.
Final Legal Take Away Tip: If one of the parties to a marriage belongs to a religion other than Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, a conversion certificate from the religious organization that solemnized the marriage is required for marriage registration under the Hindu Marriage Act.