Getting married is all fun and games until the paperwork needs to be taken care of. Not sure how and where to register your marriage quickly in South Africa? Here’s a quick guide!
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Many South Africans are not aware that registering their marriage is a crucial step in nuptial preparations. Before you can officially get hitched, there are some basic steps you need to follow to ensure your marriage is legal. One of these steps is to register your marriage to ensure that the South African Department of Home Affairs is aware of it.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the requirements for getting married in South Africa, when and how to have your marriage registered, and the fastest way to get it done.
Legalities surrounding marriage in South Africa
There are three types of marriages that are recognised in South Africa. These include traditional marriage, civil union, and customary marriage.
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- Marriage is a traditionally officiated ceremony that is governed by the South African Marriage Act (Act 25 of 1961). These legal contracts see two people being wed in the communion of property unless antenuptial contracts are entered into before the wedding.
- Civil unions are in place to allow same-sex partners to enter into legal partnerships under the Civil Union Act (Act 17 of 2006). Although civil unions do have legal consequences, partners in a civil union must still have their marriage formalised by a marriage officer.
- Customary marriages are in place to protect the cultural practices of African tribes and do not cover marriages in accordance with Muslim, Hindu, and other religious rites. Like marriage and civil union, customary marriages also carry legal consequences.
How to register your marriage in South Africa
- Anyone looking to get married in South Africa must ensure that the following rules are adhered to:
- At least two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.
- Marriages and civil unions must take place in a church or public space with open doors.
- Only authorised marriage officers are allowed to formalise the ceremony.
- South Africans marrying foreigners must ensure that they submit copies of both partners’ passports along with a duly completed Letter of No Impediment form.
- Persons that were previously married must submit a copy of the final decree of divorce before they can legally get married again.
As stated above, whenever a wedding takes place, at least two eligible witnesses and the marriage officer must be present for the ceremony. The marriage officer and the witnesses must all sign the marriage register on the day of the wedding. After it has been signed, the marriage officer then submits the signed log to the National Population Register at the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that the marriage is recorded and registered in South Africa. Only once the DHA registers the marriage can an unabridged marriage certificate be issued.
Assistance with registering a marriage in South Africa
The South African Department of Home Affairs is notorious for its backlogs and timely processing times. Still, you can avoid this frustration by using a concierge service like Apostil.co.za. As a legal document assistance service, they can help you register your marriage in South Africa, even if you are outside of the country.
Many married couples wait months to have their marriage registered with the DHA, all the while putting their lives on hold since many official processes rely on the issuing of a marriage certificate, which cannot be issued before the marriage is registered. In some cases, couples wait months (and sometimes even years) before receiving their marriage certificates, which can all be avoided by using a dedicated concierge service.
Source: Briefly News