Applying for a marriage certificate | Western Cape Government

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Applying for a marriage certificate


Marriage CertificateWhen you get married, you’ll be issued with a handwritten marriage certificate (BI-27) at no cost. For your convenience, it's best to apply for your unabridged marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs as soon as possible thereafter.

An abridged certificate contains both your personal details (such as full name and ID number) as well as the date of the marriage. You’ll automatically receive an abridged certificate once the Department of Home Affairs is notified by your marriage officer.

An abridged certificate will be issued on the same day that it’s applied for. An application for an unabridged certificate takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks to process.

The unabridged certificate (also known as a full marriage certificate) contains more detailed information that's sometimes required by government and financial institutions. This is the official certificate that's required should you ever plan to travel extensively, emigrate or obtain a foreign passport.

If you (or your spouse) aren’t South African, the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country. Your unabridged marriage certificate is usable in most circumstances both locally and internationally and is generally a better document to have.


How to apply

To apply for a new copy of your marriage certificate, you’ll need to:

  • fill in application form BI-130, which is available at any Home Affairs office, and
  • pay the required fee.

Where to apply

If you’re in South Africa, you can apply for a copy of your marriage certificate at any Home Affairs office, and if you’re overseas you can apply at any South African embassy or consulate.

What you need

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • complete the BI-130 form,
  • get certified copies made of you and your spouse’s IDs (this can be done at your local police station or any other Commissioner of Oaths),
  • submit the form at any Department of Home Affairs office, and
  • pay the required processing fee. 


The first issue of an abridged marriage certificate is free. A fee is required for any copies of your certificate that you request in future.  Please phone a Home Affairs office to confirm the fee before you go.

Contact information

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

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 1 June 2022