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Getting Married in South Africa | Marriage Registration

wedding flowers

What documentation do we require to get married?

Copy of ID
ID size photograph (1 each)
If you have been married before: divorce certificate
If you are a widow or widower: death certificate
NB. Birth certificates are not required for marriage registration
If you are not South African:
Copy of passport picture page
Copy of 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?
You can marry 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 can draw up an affidavit which you will 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 as follows:
Type the letters DHA M and then your ID number (eg. DHA M 8002141234082)
SMS cost is R10-00. Delivery of your status 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 recorded as “married” on the system. Take your divorce certificate to home affairs and ask them to amend the status. Nb. This normally takes three months to change, so please 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 can have this done for you in days. Costs: R700.

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 showing full names, ID number and marriage date.
(It 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 if you want to emmigrate or obtain a foreign passport. 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. Please note that can wait between 3-6 months for this!
I can arrange this through a Q4U service - It's expensive: R1400 and you will have it in 2 to 3 weeks.

How long does it take to register a marriage?
It can take about a month. I choose not to post this documentation. It is hand delivered to the relevant authority and will be registered 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).
ps. 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 that you are legally in the country at the date of your marriage.

What happens with regard to the wife’s surname?
She can:
Keep her surname; join 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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