Author: Drishti Bhanushali.

In India, a marriage can be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 or the Special Marriage Act of 1954. To be eligible for marriage in India, the minimum age is 21 years for males and 18 years for females. To avoid further confusion, here’s your ultimate guide to registration of marriage rules in India. There are two ways to register your marriage in India – online and offline. The details of which have been explained below. 


Marriage Registration Rules in India 

Marriage registration is an absolute necessity to validate your marriage legally in India. A Marriage Certificate is an important document needed for applying for a passport, any kind of property purchase, or to apply for a companion visa. It is a valid proof of your being legally married to your partner. So, you must remember that registering your marriage is an intelligent step to secure your future. 


Online Marriage Registration  

Like most aspects of India today, this is readily available online. Avoid the hassle of standing in queues and visiting the marriage registrar multiple times. Instead, you can simply fill and submit the form online and visit the registrar on the day of the appointment. The steps to be followed for registering your marriage online are:  

  • Visit the state’s official website. 
  • Click on marriage registration online. 
  • Fill out the form with all the required details of your and your spouse’s.  
  • Submit the marriage registration form. 
  • The marriage registrar will call you on a particular date and time. 
  • Carry all the documents and two witnesses of your marriage for verification purposes. 


Offline Marriage Registration 

Marriages in India can be registered offline under any of these Acts: 

  1. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 
  1. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 


Marriage registration Under the Hindu Marriage Act 

The Hindu Marriage Act applies to Hindus. The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, or where they have converted to any of these religions. 


Procedure for Registration Under The Hindu Marriage Act 

The first step in Hindu marriage registration is applying to the sub-registrar. Similarly, after the marriage is solemnized and conducted as per the Hindu customs and rituals, the parties have to apply to the Registrar of Marriages or the Tahsildar of the District where either of the parties resides or where the marriage took place. The points given below must be kept in mind while registering a marriage.  


  1. No notice is required in Hindu marriage registration. 
  2. Both parties must fill out the application form. 
  3. The following documents must be submitted: 
  • Two photographs of the marriage ceremony. 
  • Wedding invitation. 
  • ID proof. 
  • Address. 
  • Date of birth. 
  • An affidavit of self-declaration (notary attested). 
  • Likewise, the guardians or parents of each party should be present. 
  • Both parties have to sign in the presence of three witnesses. 

Under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, certain conditions must be fulfilled to consider the marriage between the parties legal and valid.  These conditions have been specified under Sec. 5 and Sec. 7 of the Act. Moreover, under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, a marriage is considered valid only if both are Hindus. If either one of the parties to the marriage is a Muslim or a Christian, then the marriage will not be a valid Hindu marriage. Without a marriage certificate, a divorce can’t be legally processed. 


A marriage can be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled: 

  1. If neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage. 
  1. If neither party is incapable of giving valid consent to it as a consequence of unsoundness of mind. 
  1. Though capable of giving valid consent, neither of them has been suffering from any mental disorder nor is legally deemed unfit for marriage and the procreation of children. 
  1. If neither of them has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy. 
  1. Further, the bride has completed the age of 18 years and the groom the age of 21 years at the time of marriage. 
  1. The parties aren’t within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two. 
  1. The parties are not a lineal ascendant of the other (sapindas) unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two. 


In Ajay P Mathew v. State of Telangana and Anr, 

The Supreme Court observed that only Hindus can marry under the Hindu Marriage Act and that any marriage between inter-faith couples under the same is void.  


Marriage Registration Under the Special Marriage Act 

The Special Marriage Act applies to all citizens of India. Marriages performed under this Act are termed ‘Court Marriages’. Moreover, any person, irrespective of religion, can solemnize and register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act 1954. Further, the persons intending to register a marriage under this Act must give notice. Thereof in writing in specified forms to the concerned marriage officer, in whose jurisdiction at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which notice is given. 


Procedure for Registration of Special Marriage 

  1. A copy of the notice is affixed on the notice board of the registration office, and a copy of the notice is sent to the marriage officer of the area where either of the parties has their present/permanent address for similar publication. 
  1. Moreover, after the expiration of one month from the date of publication of the notice, if no objections are received, the marriage may be solemnized. 
  1. In case of objection, the marriage officer conducts an inquiry, and the marriage is solemnized after the inquiry concludes. 
  1. Similarly, on the day of solemnization, three witnesses plus basic identification documents are required for the marriage certificate to be issued. The basic identification documents required include:
  • Age proof 
  • Address of both parties 
  • Affidavit 
  • Marital status 
  • Fit mental condition 
  • Non-relationship between the parties within the degree of prohibition 
  • Passport-size photographs and 
  • Three witnesses solemnize the marriage. 
  1. After that, the couple may apply to have their marriage registered and get an official marriage certificate document from the registrar. 


On October 25, 2007, the Supreme Court of India ruled that all marriages must be registered without any exception for any religion. The court directed all states and union territories to enact legislation within three months to make registration of all marriages compulsory. 


Section 4 of this Act lays down the following conditions for a marriage to be regarded as a lawful one, having legal standing: 


  • Neither party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage 
  • The physical and mental capacities of both parties must be as listed. 
  • The age of the parties. That is, the  minimum age should be 21 years for males and 18 years for females 
  • The parties aren’t within the degree of prohibited relationship provided that custom governing one of the parties permits such a marriage between them.  


It’s true that registration of marriage in India is mandatory and it will be feasible if the same is adopted and followed by the Indian citizens for societal betterment and benefit.

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