Applying for a South African marriage certificate

Applying for a South African marriage certificate

The formalities of getting married are stressful for most couples, as visits to Home Affairs go. But if you have some key information about applying for a South African marriage certificate before hand, the process should be as smooth as can be.

When you enter into a marriage, the marriage officer will provide you with a handwritten marriage certificate (form BI-27) , free of charge. You’ll need to apply for an unabridged marriage certificate as soon as possible. The abridged certificate is issued on the same day that it is applied for.

While the abridged certificate contains the personal details of both you and your partner as well as the date of marriage, the unabridged certificate contains more detailed information. The latter is often required for legal reasons by the government (for when you travel, emigrate or obtain foreign passports) and financial institutions (for opening accounts etc.).

It’s best to ensure that you are in possession of an unabridged marriage certificate, it’s a better document to have and is much more useful.

If you require another copy of the abridged certificate, or want a unabridged certificate, then here’s what you need to do : 

– Complete Form BI-130 in black ink

– Pay the prescribed fee (a re-issue is R75)

– Bring certified copies of you and your spouses ID’s

– Submit these to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs

– Call the Home Affairs toll-free hotline 0800 601 190 to follow up on the progress of your application for an unabridged marriage certificate.

Other things you need to know: 

– If you (or your spouse) aren’t South African, the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country.

– If you’re overseas you can apply for a marriage certificate at any South African embassy or consulate.

– The unabridged marriage certificate takes about 6 to 8 weeks to receive after you have applied.

Image: Facebook / Department of Home Affairs

Article written by