A marriage which has already been solemnised can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. 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. Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. A Marriage Certificate is the proof of registration of a marriage. The need for a Marriage Certificate arises in case you need to prove that you are legally married to someone, for purposes like obtaining a passport, changing your maiden name, etc. To be eligible for marriage, the minimum age limit is 21 for males and 18 for females. The parties to a Hindu marriage should be unmarried or divorced, or if previously married, the spouse by that marriage should not be alive. In addition, the parties should be physically and mentally healthy and must not be related in a way prohibited by the law.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act:
Parties to the marriage have to apply to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction the marriage is solemnised or to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction either party to the marriage has been residing at least for six months immediately preceding the date of marriage. Both the parties have to appear before the Registrar along with their parents or guardians or other witnesses within one month from the date of marriage. There is a provision for condonation of delay up to 5 years, by the Registrar, and thereafter by the District Registrar concerned.
Under the Special Marriage Act:
The parties to the intended marriage have to give a notice to the Marriage Officer in whose jurisdiction at least one of the parties has resided for not less than 30 days prior to the date of notice. It should be affixed at some conspicuous place in his office. If either of the parties is residing in the area of another Marriage Officer, a copy of the notice should be sent to him for similar publication.
Any marriage already celebrated can also be registered under the Special Marriage Act after giving a public notice of 30 days, subject to conditions. However, as stated above, the bridegroom and the bride must have completed 21 years and 18 years of age respectively.
Documents required for Registration