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Marriage Certificates South Africa


Certificates RSA can make the process of obtaining your unabridged and abridged marriage certificate in South Africa faster and more hassle free.

Continue reading for more information about how the process works. If you still have questions please contact us.

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Marriage certificates in South Africa is an official document that serves as proof of a legally recognized marriage. Here is some key information about marriage certificates:

  1. Marriage certificate is essential for various legal and administrative purposes, including changing your marital status, applying for spousal benefits, updating identification documents, and proving your legal relationship for immigration or citizenship purposes.
  2. The department is responsible for registering marriages and issuing the necessary certificates.
  3. In South Africa, there are two types of marriage certificates:
    • Abridged Marriage Certificate is a shorter version of the marriage certificate and contains essential information about the marriage. It contains information such as the names of the spouses, date of marriage and place of marriage.
    • Unabridged Marriage Certificate is a more comprehensive version and includes additional details. These are the identity numbers of the spouses, marital status at the time of marriage, date of marriage and place of marriage.
    • If you plan to use the marriage certificate outside of South Africa, you may need to have it legalized or apostilled. This process involves obtaining an authentication or apostille from the DIRCO or other relevant authorities

Here are some interesting facts and information about South African marriage certificates:

  1. The registration process involves submitting a Notice of Marriage, conducting an interview with a marriage officer, and completing the necessary documentation.
  2. Marriage ceremony, it is required to have at least two witnesses present. These witnesses must be over the age of 18 and have legal capacity to witness a marriage.
  3. Once married, individuals may need to update their marital status on various documents. The marriage certificate serves as proof of the change in marital status.


How to apply

After completing your online order, please email the following documents to onlineorders@certificatesrsa.co.za:

  • Fully completed application form (download here) - please complete Section A – Particulars of husband, Section B – Particulars of wife, Section C – Particulars of marriage, Section D – fill in your name and surname, ID number, address, contact number and signature)
  • The marriage register, BI30/DHA30 (this can be obtained from the church or priest who married you, please enquire with them. I will require a clear scanned copy and no bigger than 1MB).
  • Any additional documents. Handwritten marriage certificate (BI27), abridged marriage certificate etc.
  • Power of Attorney (download here)
  • You may also need your documents Apostilled

If any records have been misplaced by home affairs or are missing from your file in archives, you will be asked to complete additional documentation. This needs to be done in person at home affairs and we will refund you less the admin fee paid.

If you have already applied at home affairs, please let us know. If you do have existing applications, we will finalise the oldest application on the system and you would need to collect it from the office of application

Lead time

Unabridged Marriage Applications: Approximately 30-40 working days. Expedited option with the register is for 15-20 working days and the extra cost is R950.00 (billed separately - please contact us if you would like to add this option). The expedited option can only be done if you have the marriage register. If an application takes longer than the quoted times, it means that they are struggling to locate the record in order to finalise the application. In such a case, we can continue with the application or refund you 50% of the above fee.

Vault Marriage Applications:

We are unable to confirm how long it will take to obtain as the document is kept in archives of home affairs in Pretoria, searching for this document is not always an easy task and can sometimes take a while. If at any stage you would like to stop the process, we will refund you less the admin fee of 50%.

Abridged marriage applications: Approximately 5-7 working days. When applying for the abridged marriage certificate, both parties need to be alive and still married to each other.

NB – If you do not have a copy of the marriage register, we are unable to advise how long the application will take. We would need to search for the register in archives and this can sometimes take some time to obtain or even be unsuccessful if the register has been misplaced.

In some cases information might take longer to collect or be missing from the archives and processing time can take longer. We cannot be held responsible in such cases. Please note that we will not be held responsible for any incorrect information or spelling errors detailed on documentation applied for on your behalf as the document is received directly from home office authorities.

Disclaimer: Certificates RSA does not guarantee lead times in any way and does not accept responsibility for any loss due to delays in issue of certificates and/or certificates issued with faulty information.

Variations in delivery times from the DHA fluctuate. We cannot and will not be held responsible or liable for any costs incurred due to late or non delivery.

Additional costs

Cash deposits: If you will be making a cash deposit please include R50.00 for banking charges, or a separate invoice will be issued.

International payments: If paying from an international account, please include bank charges of R250.00 per transaction, or a separate invoice will be issued.

Courier: Once the certificate/s are ready they will be sent to you via courier. Please select the correct courier option when placing your order. If you are unsure about which region to select, please choose "Please send me a separate quote" and we will send you a separate invoice. If you choose an incorrect region (eg. if you select "Courier South Africa - Main Centre" but reside in a remote/outlying area in South Africa), a separate invoice will be issued to cover any additional costs.

We make use of DHL for courier services. Once the parcel has been collected from us it is out of our control and any queries should be directed to DHL directly.

Please note that from time to time the CRC and HA experiences backlogs and turnaround times listed on our website cannot be guaranteed. Loadshedding is putting a lot of pressure on the system and affecting applications and turnaround times. Kindly take this into consideration when making travelling plans or have deadlines.