Recently Indian parliament has passed a bill to make registration of marriages mandatory for all the religions. The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, makes the registration compulsory under the same act. The amendment bill introduced in 2012 has made it compulsory to register all the marriages irrespective of caste and religion. It also has included all types of re-marriages within its purview. The law does not require the marriages registered under various state laws to get registered again.
Procedures in registering a marriage
Though various Indian states have implemented different registration rules, most of such rules are confined to the following three broad categories.
Registration of Hindu Marriages
The act allows registration of marriages solemnized under Hindu religious customs as well as non-customary marriages. The act covers Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religions. To get the marriage registered the groom and the bride should have completed 21 and 18 years respectively. The marriage can be registered in any of the registering office that is close to the bride’s residence, groom’s residence or the marriage hall or the temple, where the marriage actually took place.
Along with the application for registration a) proof for the marriage (wedding invitation/temple marriage receipt/ or any other proof for completing the marriage) b) Residential proof for bride and groom (employee ID card/ration card/driving license/passport or visa) and c) age proof (birth certificate/school or college certificate or passport/visa) d) four passport size photo graph of bride and e) four passport size photograph of the groom need to be enclosed. After paying the required fee for registration the marriage is registered after signed by two witnesses and the certificate is issued on the same day.
Registration of marriage under the state law
Under this act marriages solemnized under any of the personal law can be registered. While the proof of marriage, residential proof, age of marriage and the number of witnesses remains same as the Hindu Marriages, the marriage can be registered without fine up to 90 days and up to 150 days with fine and cannot be registered afterward.
Registration of Special Marriages
The special marriages are normally solemnized before the Registering officer. Only the groom and bride who have completed 21 and 18 years of age are allowed to get married under the act. Either the residence of the bride or groom should fall within the jurisdiction of the registering officer. The residential and age proof of the bride and groom are to be submitted to the officer along with the application to marry.
The marriage is registered only on completion of 30 days from the date of the application submitted by both the bride and the groom. Along with the age and residential proofs two passport photos of both the bride and the groom need to be provided. The names of the applicants will be displayed in the registrar office to receive objections if any in writing for the conducting of such marriage. The marriage is not performed in case of valid objections. If no objection is received the marriage is allowed to take place on the 31st day in front of the marriage registrar and signed by two witnesses. The marriage certificate is issued later on.
Since the marriage registration certificate is considered as a most valid document for a number of purposes care should be taken to register the name of the bride and groom correctly. It is advisable to have the same name and spelling as available in the passport in the marriage certificate to avoid any future complications in the issuance of long-term residential visa. The certificate becomes a very important legal document in unfortunate circumstances such as divorce or one of the couple predeceased the other. It is always advisable to apply and receive sufficient number of certificates for future use.