Weddings in India are, simply, grand celebrations that are planned very often from the day a child is born. However, with all the fun and being rushed off your feet, what should not be missed is getting your marriage registered at the earliest.
In India, a marriage can be either registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act 1954. To be eligible for marriage in India, the minimum age is 21 years for males and 18 years for females. To avoid any further confusion here’s your ultimate guide to registering your marriage in India. Basically, there are two ways of getting your marriage registered in India – online and offline. We have explained each of them in detail below.
Remember, if it feels like it’s too complicated to handle, Vakilsearch can do all this for you.
The Importance of Marriage Registration
Marriage registration is an absolute necessity to validate your marriage legally in India. A marriage certificate is an important document needed for applying for a passport, any kind of property purchase, or to apply for a companion visa. It is valid proof of your being legally married to your partner. So, you must remember that getting your marriage registered is a smart step to secure your future.
Online Marriage Registration
Like most aspects of life in India today, this is easily available online. Avoid the hassle of standing in queues and visiting the marriage registrar multiple times. Instead, you can simply fill and submit the form online and visit the registrar on the day of the appointment. The steps to be followed for registering your marriage online are:
- Visit the state official website
- Click on marriage registration online
- Fill the form with all the required details of your and your spouse’s
- Additionally, submit the marriage registration form.
- You will be called by the marriage registrar on a particular date and time
- Carry all the documents and two witnesses of your marriage for verification purpose.
Offline Marriage Registration
Marriages in India can be registered offline under any of these Acts:
- The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- The Special Marriage Act, 1954
Marriage Registration Under the Hindu Marriage Act
The Hindu Marriage Act applies to Hindus. The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, or where they have converted into any of these religions.
Procedure for Registration Under the Hindu Marriage Act
The first step in the Hindu marriage registration process is to apply to the sub-registrar. Similarly, after the marriage is solemnized and conducted as per the Hindu customs and rituals, the parties have to apply to the Registrar of Marriages or the Tahsildar of the District where either of the parties resides or where the marriage took place. The points given below must be kept in mind while registering a marriage.
- The marriage should be registered within one month of the marriage date.
- No notice is required in Hindu marriage registration.
- Both parties must fill out the application form.
- The following documents must be submitted:
- Two photographs of the marriage ceremony
- Wedding invitation
- ID proof
- Date of birth
- An affidavit of self-declaration (notary attested).
- Likewise, the guardians or parents of each party should be present.
- Both parties have to sign in the presence of three witnesses.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, certain conditions have to be fulfilled to consider the marriage between the parties legal and valid. These conditions have been specified under Sec. 5 and Sec. 7 of the Act. Moreover, under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, a marriage is considered valid only if both the parties to the marriage are Hindus. If either one of the parties to the marriage is a Muslim or a Christian, then the marriage will not be a valid Hindu marriage.
A marriage can be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- If neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage
- If neither party is incapable of giving valid consent to it as a consequence of unsoundness of mind
- Though capable of giving valid consent, neither of them has been suffering from any mental disorder nor is legally deemed unfit for marriage and the procreation of children
- If neither of them has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy
- Further, the bride has completed the age of 18 years and the bridegroom the age of 21 years at the time of marriage
- The parties aren’t within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two
- The parties are not a lineal ascendant of the other (sapindas) unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two.
Degree of Prohibited Relationship
Two individuals are said to be covered under the degrees of prohibited relationship:
- If one of them is the lineal descendant of the other
- If one were the husband or wife of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other
- Further, if one of them were the wife of the brother or the father’s or mother’s brother or the grandfather’s or grandmother’s brother of the other
- Or if they were brother and sister, aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, or children of brother and sister or of two brothers or two sisters.
A marriage falling within the above categories will be considered void.
Exception: The customs play an important role here, i.e., if there is a custom governing the parties, they may marry even if they fall under the degrees of prohibited relationship.
Punishment: A marriage that is solemnized between the parties within the degrees of a prohibited relationship is considered null and void.
Moreover, the parties to such a marriage are liable to be punished with simple imprisonment for one month or a fine of ₹10000/- or both.
Marriage Registration Under the Special Marriage Act
The Special Marriage Act applies to all citizens of India. Marriages performed under this act are termed ‘Court Marriages’. Moreover, any person, irrespective of religion can solemnise and register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Further, the persons intending to register a marriage under this Act have to give notice. Thereof in writing in specified forms to the concerned marriage officer, in whose jurisdiction at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which notice is given.
Procedure for Registration of Special Marriage
- A copy of the notice is affixed on the notice board of the registration office and a copy of the notice is sent to the marriage officer of the area where either of the parties has their present/permanent address, for similar publication.
- Moreover, after the expiration of one month from the date of publication of the notice, if no objections are received, the marriage may be solemnized.
- In case of objection, the marriage officer conducts an inquiry and the marriage is solemnised after the inquiry concludes.
- Similarly, on the day of solemnisation, three witnesses plus basic identification documents are required for the marriage certificate to be issued. The basic identification documents required include
- Age proof
- Address of both parties
- Marital status
- Fit mental condition
- Non-relationship between the parties within the degree of prohibition
- Passport size photographs and
- Three witnesses to solemnise the marriage.
5. After that, the couple may apply to have their marriage registered and get an official marriage certificate document from the registrar.
According to this act, no religious ceremonies are a prerequisite for a marriage to be complete.
This Act lays down the following conditions for a marriage to be regarded as a lawful one, having legal standing, by the virtue of Sec. 4
- Neither of the party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage
- The physical and mental capacity of both the parties must be as listed
- The age of the parties, i.e., the minimum age, is 21 years for males and 18 years for females
- The parties aren’t within the degree of prohibited relationship provided that custom governing one of the parties permits such a marriage between them.
Marriage Registration with Vakilsearch
All the aspects mentioned above can be made much more simple with Vakilsearch. We help you with registering your marriage quickly and easily. Moreover, all you need to do is provide your basic details and upload scans of your documents. We will fill out the forms on your behalf, and you’ll merely be called in on the day of solemnisation for the purposes of verification. Reach out to our experts to know more about the process.