Applying for a marriage certificate
When you and your partner get married, a marriage officer and two witnesses will sign the marriage register. Once that’s completed, you’ll be issued a handwritten marriage certificate (BI-27) at no cost. The marriage officer will then submit the marriage register to the nearest Department of Home Affairs office. At the Department of Home Affairs your marriage will be recorded in the National Population Register.
Once registered, you can apply for an unabridged marriage certificate. It's best to apply for your unabridged marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs as soon as possible after your marriage.
An abridged certificate contains your details (such as full name and ID number) and the marriage date. Once your marriage officer notifies the Department of Home Affairs, you will automatically receive an abridged certificate.
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 (referred to as a full marriage certificate) contains more detailed information that government and financial institutions may require. This certificate is the official document you’ll need if you ever want 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:
Where to apply
What you need
To apply, you’ll need to:
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.
Call the Home Affairs toll-free hotline at 0800 601 190 to follow up on the progress of your application for an unabridged marriage certificate.
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(The Government of South Africa)|
- What you need to know about marriage contracts (Public Information)