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Getting Married in South Africa | Marriage Registration

wedding flowers

What documentation do we need to get married?

Copy of ID
ID size photograph (1 each)
If previously married: divorce certificate
If you are a widow or widower: death certificate
Birth certificates are not required for marriage registrations
If you are not South African:
Passport picture page
Visa page
Non commonwealth citizens: Letter of no impediment
Commonwealth citizens: Affidavit from a SA Police station stating you are single 

Do we require a marriage license?

What infomation are we required to give?
To see info requirements on the marriage register - Click here

Do we need to give notice regarding our intention to marry?

When can we get married?
At any time it so suits, 7 days a week, day or night.

I can’t find my divorce certificate, can I still get married?
The short answer is yes. I provide an affidavit which you sign before you marry.
This is provided that home affairs have your marital status recorded correctly.

How do I know if home affairs have my marital status recorded correctly?
Check your marital status:
Send an SMS to 48748 and the message on the SMS should be:
DHA M (space) your ID number (eg. DHA M 8002141234082)
SMS cost R10. Delivery to your phone is immediate!

My status is incorrect on the home affairs system - 
what can I do?

Home affairs will not register a further marriage
if you are “married” on the system.
Take your divorce certificate to home affairs
and ask them to amend the status.
This normally takes 3 months to change,
so do this in good time before your wedding.
If it so suits, I have a Q4U service located across the way
from the relevant office in Pretoria
who have this done in 3 days. Costs: R750.

When do we get our marriage certificate?
On wedding day. This is a hand written certificate.
The wife can use this certificate

to change her names with the bank, clothing accounts etc.

What is an abridged marriage certificate?
A certificate printed by Home Affairs.
(Costs R15 at any Department of Home Affairs;
waiting period about 6 weeks).

What is an unabridged marriage certificate?
Also printed by Home Affairs, this certificate contains more detail.
This is the most formal form of certificate
and is required for emmigration.
If one or both of you are not South African
the unabridged certificate will be required
to register the marriage in your home country.

How do I get an unabridged marriage certificate?
Apply at Home Affairs. Cost is R75. The wait is 3-6 months.
I can arrange this through a Pretoria based service.
Fee: R1400. You will have it in 5 days.

How long does it take to register a marriage?
It can take about a month.
I choose not to post this documentation.
I hand delivered and register within 2 weeks of the wedding.

One or both of us are not South African – can we still get married?
Yes. I will need copies of your passport (picture page and visa page).
There is brand new legislation that requires a South African person
and his/her foreign partner to  undergo a brief interview
with an immigration officer at the Department of Home Affairs.
This is simply to establish that the marriage is genuine
and not a marriage of convenience.  

We are foreigners.
How long do we have to be in SA before we can marry?

There is no waiting period.
You can marry on the day you arrive.
Please contact me in good time however so that
I can have the approval of The Department of Home Affairs

What happens with regard to the wife’s surname?
She can:
Keep her surname;
oin her name with her husband's (double barrel)
or a
ssume her husband’s surname

How does the wife change her surname?
The surname the wife would like to assume is recorded on the marriage register
and the marriage certificate.
Home Affairs will automatically change the women’s surname
when the marriage is registered.

What about a new ID book for the wife?
A week or two after the wedding the bride can apply at Home Affairs
for a new ID book reflecting her new surname.

Trevor Hugo

Marriage Officer | Commisioner of Oaths | Marriage Registrar |
083 651 0787

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