Marriages in court differ greatly from traditional marriages, which are usually celebrated in front of all family members and relatives while complying with customary rituals. Marriages conducted in court are usually conducted in the presence of a marriage officer. The marriage of any two eligible persons requires three witnesses in a court ceremony. Formalizing the marriage does not require any rituals. An official witness and three witnesses are sufficient.
According to the Special Marriage Act of 1954, court marriage is governed by rules and regulations. Additionally, court marriages make it possible for individuals of different genders to marry, regardless of caste or religion. The state does not even require the couple to be Indian citizens. It is permissible to marry one Indian and one foreign national.
Registering your marriage
A marriage registration certificate is an official document that states that two people have married. A Hindu marriage can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, of 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, of 1954. Regardless of the type of marriage, the marriage registration certificate acts as legal proof that both parties are married. In 2006, the Supreme Court made marriage registration mandatory to preserve women’s rights. A marriage registration certificate can have many benefits, therefore.
After marriage, a marriage registration certificate is required when applying for a passport or opening a new bank account. Many embassies and travel agencies also require a copy of the marriage registration certificate when applying for visas or traveling abroad. As a result, a couple moving abroad after getting married requires a marriage registration certificate.
India’s Court Marriage Regulations:
- A couple should not have a pre-existing marriage. In either case, the previous spouse must be still alive or the divorce has already been granted.
- For the court marriage to take place, both parties must consent free of charge. Insane, unsound of mind, etc. people shouldn’t give consent.
- The parties should both be of legal marriage age. A boy must be at least 21 years old and a girl must be 18 years old.
- Both parties to a court marriage should not be related under forbidden degrees of marriage. In such cases, the marriage is solemnized only if the custom of the parties permits it.
Marriage Registration in India: Rules and Regulations
- When the parties are married, neither should have a legally recognized spouse living with them.
- Neither party should have consented because they were unsound of mind. The consent of both parties is valid provided neither of them is suffering from any mental disorder.
- It is no good if they suffer from recurrent epilepsy attacks of insanity.
- In order to marry, the bride must be 18 years old and the groom must be 21 years old.
- Unless each of them permits marriage between them according to their own customs or traditions, the two should not be in the category of prohibited relationships.
- It isn’t possible for the couples to be genetic relatives (sapindas) unless tradition or custom permits them to marry.
A court marriage requires the following documents:
- Form signed by both bride and groom
- Wedding and groom date of birth proof
- Proof of residential address
- The receipt of the application fee is enclosed with the application.
- Please provide two passport-size photographs of the bride and groom.
- Obtain a copy of the divorce decree or order in the case of a divorcee and the death certificate of the spouse in the case of a widow or widower.
- The bride and groom each must submit an affidavit. Information required on the affidavit: Date of birth
- An unmarried, divorced, or widowed status
- It confirms that both parties are not related to each other under any prohibited degree of relationship.
Marriage registration documents include:
Proof of marriage
The invitation to your wedding or a receipt from a temple.
Identification & Address Proof
A driver’s license, ration card, passport, or visa for an employee
Proof against aging
Certificates of birth, school or college, visas, passports.
Click on the TNREGINET website to download your marriage certificate online.
Religions are allowed to perform legal court marriages in India. Nowadays, court marriage registration is a legal requirement in almost all Indian states. The Registrar of Marriages must also issue a marriage certificate for visa and immigration purposes. Different religions have various rules. Hindu, Muslim, and Christian marriage laws exist, as does the Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act.
Registrars may request a “no objection letter” from the Embassy or Consulate of another country, along with proof of termination of previous marriages, before issuing a court marriage certificate if one of the parties is a citizen of another country.
As an example, the registrar may request a “no objection letter” from the U.S. diplomatic mission, or request proof of the termination of previous marriages, before issuing a marriage certificate.
Hindu Rituals of Marriage
Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists may be married under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. Registration of a religious marriage already solemnized under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is allowed. When both the husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, or Sikhs, or if they’ve converted to any of these religions, the Hindu Marriage Act applies. In accordance with the Hindu Marriage Act, the bridegroom must be over 21 years old and the bride must be over 18 years old, and neither should be in any kind of prohibited relationship.
The documents required for registering a marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act are as follows:
- Signed application form by the husband and wife
- Proof of date of birth of each party (Matriculation Certificate/Passport/Birth Certificate)
- A Special Marriage Act registration does not require the parties to be younger than 21 years old
- Husband or wife’s ration card whose SDM has been approached
- Both parties’ affidavits stating their birthdates, marital status at the marriage, and nationalities
- One marriage photograph and two passport-size photographs
- Invite card, if available
- If the religious ceremony was performed, a certificate from the priest conducting it is required
- An indication that the parties do not have any degree of relationship within the prohibited range under the Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act
- Certified copies of divorce decrees or orders for divorcees and death certificates for widows or widowers
- An official conversion certificate from the priest who performed the marriage if one party does not belong to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh religion
Attestation of all documents is required, excluding receipts.
All documents are verified on the date of application and the parties are notified on the day of registration. On the said day, both parties, along with a Gazetted Officer who attended their marriage, need to be present before the SDM. The marriage certificate under the Hindu Marriage Act is issued on the same day or within a few days.
Civil Marriage Ceremonies in India
Under the Indian Special Marriage Act of 1954, parties opting out of a religious ceremony can get married in a civil ceremony instead.
A marriage between an Indian and a foreign national must be registered with a Marriage Registrar of the couple’s choice in India in case the couple intends to wed in India. Publication must last for 30 days. After 30 days, the Marriage Registrar is free to marry.
Only if both partners live in India permanently and temporarily can the marriage notice be given.
If one partner is living in a foreign country, then the partner who is resident in India will need to fill out the “Marriage Notice” obtained from a Marriage Registration Office of their choice in India and send it to the partner in the foreign country. You should then send this “Notice” back to your partner in India who should resubmit it to the Marriage Registry. Within 30 days of the 30-day waiting period, India’s marriage laws take effect. Under the Special Online Marriage Registration Act of 1954, a certificate will be issued with the signatures of the bride and groom, the registrar, and the witnesses. It’s needed to prove marriage and when applying for a visa.
India’s Special Marriage Act
Marriage between persons from different communities or of different religions and nationalities is permitted by the Indian Special Marriage Act 1954. Indian nationals living overseas and intending spouses who are both Indian nationals are covered by the Act.
At least 21 years of age is required for both groom and bride. You should not be married at the time of your wedding. Marriage parties must give notice of their intention to marry before a marriage officer in the district where at least one of the parties has resided for at least 30 days prior to the notice. Marriages Notice Books, which are open for public inspection with an inspection fee, are used to record the intended marriages. The public can object for 30 days after the marriage. Any marriage in India can be registered. Each party must apply jointly registration. The marriage certificate will be entered into the Marriage Certificate Book after 30 days of public notice. A minimum of three witnesses must sign the certificate.
Registering a marriage in India
An online guide to applying for Tamil Nadu marriage certificates