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What are the procedures to obtain marriage certificate? Is it compulsory?

Q. Presently I am residing in Bangalore. It is essential for me to submit the marriage certificate to get passport. What are the procedures to be followed to get the marriage certificate? Whether obtaining marriage certificate is compulsory under law?

As the proverb says that marriages are made in heaven, nowadays we need a proof to prove that we are married. Thus marriage certificate comes to the rescue here. Marriage certificate is a valid proof that proves a marriage has happened between two persons. It is very much necessary to all married ladies for applying for passport, visa in another country, claiming bank FD’s or insurance benefits when her spouse dies without a nomination.

Karnataka State Government has made an attempt to make marriage registration compulsory within the state. Most of the marriages are conducted under personal law rites and rituals and laws like Hindu Marriage Act 1955 or Special Marriage act 1954 apply. Except these four states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh there are no such law to provide for compulsory registration of marriages in the country. Application fee for Registration as applicable is Rs.150/- is charged.  If husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs then the marriage should be registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Eligibility criteria for applying to the certificate is the bride should be 21 years of age and at the time of marriage she should be above 18 years. Some documents should be produced like:

  • 6 copies of joint photographs of bride and grooms in white or blue background;
  • 2 Photos of the couple in marriage dress at the time of the wedding celebration;
  • 1 copy of the wedding card;
  • ID proof of Bride and Groom;(Pan card or Voter ID Card)
  • Husband’s address proof; (Passport, DL)
  • Groom and Bride’s proof of age;(10th Marks Card);
  • If bride’s name has been changed then the affidavit to be submitted;
  • Newspaper where name change details was published

Procedure for applying for the certificate of marriage are below:

  • You can go to the sub registrar office near your residence and you can get the prescribed form from that office, if not form can be downloaded online and you should print it back-to-back else it is invalid.  Link for the form is
  • Details should be filled in carefully in the form;
  • The form should be signed by 3 witnesses, they can be friends or relatives;
  • That documents can be submitted in the sub registrar’s office and verification will be done by them by providing 6 printouts of the form;
  • Signature of both Bride and Grooms should be put on the printouts;
  • Those printouts are stamped and signed by the Registrar of Marriage;
  • 2 copies of marriage certificates will be given to bride and groom and they will retain one copy for official records.

by Sushma Javare.