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Marriage Certificate

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Application for a Marriage Certificate

When you enter into a civil marriage or civil union, the marriage officer will issue a handwritten marriage certificate ( BI-27) free of charge at the
ceremony. You can apply for a copy of the marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs if you have been married in South Africa and your marriage is registered.

The first issue of an abridged marriage certificate is free, but you will have to pay for a second issue or an unabridged certificate. Where one
partner has passed away and you need to prove that you had been married, an unabridged marriage certificate will be issued.

Two witnesses and the marriage officer must sign the marriage register after the solemnisation of a marriage.

The marriage officer must then submit the marriage register to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs, where the marriage
details will be recorded in the National Population Register (NPR).

Marriage certificates are issued in South Africa and requires a waiting period of 6 months.

Any additional abridged copies or unabridged copies of the marriage certificate can be requested by:

• completing Form BI-130 (accessed on www.LawyersEzyFind.co.za) in black ink and submitting it to the nearest office of the Department
of Home Affairs or to the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad;

• bringing certified copies of yours and your spouse’s Identity Documents;

• paying the prescribed fee.

The first issue of an abridged marriage certificate is free, and a re-issue is R75.00.

Important considerations to note:
• if you or your spouse are not South African citizens, the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country;

• if you are overseas you can apply for a marriage certificate at any South African embassy or consulate;

• the unabridged marriage certificate takes approximately 6 months to receive after you have applied.

In addition to abridged or unabridged copies of a marriage certificate, you may also request the following documents after completing Form BI-130 and paying the prescribed fees:

• a vault copy of the register;

• an abridged marriage certificate that is either computer printed or handwritten.

Prohibited Marriages

The law states that certain categories of people may not marry. These include:

• minors, unless the prescribed consent to the marriage has been given;

• people who are already married. bigamy is a punishable offence in South Africa. Such marriages are also null and void under South African law.

Consent to the marriage of a minor

If you are or your partner is a minor (younger than 18 years) in the care of either your respective parents or a legal guardian, only the
parents’/guardian’s written consent (Form DHA-32) is necessary for you to obtain a marriage certificate.
If a parent whose consent is legally required but either cannot be found to grant consent, or is legally incompetent to do so, then an application may be made to a Commissioner of Child Welfare for consent to the marriage.

If your parents and/or a Commissioner of Child Welfare refuse to grant consent for your marriage, you may then apply to a judge of the High
Court for consent. The judge will not grant consent unless there is sufficient evidence that the marriage is in the interest of the minor and
that prior consent has been unreasonably refused.

In addition to getting consent from the parents or guardian, boys under the age of 18 and girls under the age of 16 may also be required to seek
the consent of the Minister of Home Affairs. The Minister may, on application, condone a marriage which required his/her consent but was
contracted without such consent.

Voiding the marriage of a minor

A marriage contracted without the legally required consent of the parents or guardian can be made void, in other words, declared null and void by
the High Court at the request of the parents or guardian:
• before the minor turns 21 and

• within six weeks of the date on which the marriage first came to their knowledge

If you are a minor, you may apply for the dissolution of the marriage:

• before you turn 21, or
• within three months after turning 21.

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