Applying for a marriage certificate | Western Cape Government

Applying for a marriage certificate


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:

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

Where to apply

In South Africa, you can apply for a copy of your marriage certificate at any Home Affairs office. You can apply at any South African embassy or consulate when overseas.

What you need

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • complete the BI-130 form,
  • get certified copies made of your and your spouse’s IDs 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 at 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 27 March 2023