What is a court marriage?

The term court marriage indicates the legal solemnization of marriage. The Special Marriage Act, 1954, legalizes the marriage between two individuals irrespective of their caste and religion. The Act also applies to those marriages where one party is Indian and whereas another is of foreign national. The interested parties can directly apply at the office of the registrar for a marriage certificate.

The Court marriage differs from the traditional marriage as the court marriage is solemnized in absence of any traditional customs and rituals. It is solemnized before the marriage officer and in presence of the witnesses.

Eligibility for court marriage under special marriage

  • At the time of marriage, neither party should have a living spouse.
  • The female should be of at least 18 years, at the time of marriage.
  • The male should be of at least 21 years at the time of marriage.
  • The parties to the marriage should be of sound mind.
  • At the time of marriage, both parties must be capable of giving valid consent.
  • The parties must not be within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
  • Both parties should not suffer from any kind of insanity or mental disorder.

Which documents are required for court marriage?

  • The application form duly filled and signed by both parties.
  • Age proof of both parties such as a Birth certificate or Matriculation Certificate or Passport.
  • Residential proof of both the parties. (Voter Card or Aadhar Card or Ration Card or Driving License)
  • Passport size photographs (2 copies each) of both parties.
  • Affidavit regarding the marital status of both parties (unmarried or divorcee or widower).
  • In the case of remarriage, a copy of divorce decree/order and in case of a widow/ widower then death certificate.
  • Receipt of fees paid with the application form in the District Court.
  • Affirmation in form of Affidavit is to be given from both the parties of the marriage stating that both the parties are not related to each other and do not fall within the prohibited degree, as defined in the Special Marriage Act.

Which Documents are required in the case of a foreign national?

  • A copy of passport and visa.
  • A marital status certificate or certificate of NOC from the concerned embassy.
  • One of the parties should produce documentary evidence regarding staying in India for the last 30 days or more as proof of residence and also report from the concerned SHO.

What is the procedure of Special Marriage?

  • One of the parties of marriage shall give notice of to the registrar of the district in which any one of the parties resides.
  • One of the parties must have resided for a minimum of 30 days previous to the giving of such notice to the Registrar.
  • Such notice should be in writing and in the form prescribed by the Marriage Officer in the Second Schedule.+
  • The Marriage Officer shall publish the notice by way of affixation, for 30 days to some conspicuous place in his office. After publishing the notice parties have to wait for 30 days for any kind of objection. If there are no objections raised, then the marriage officer shall register the marriage after the expiration of said 30 days.
  • But in case, the objections are raised within a period of said thirty days of publication then the Marriage Officer, on receiving such objection would enquire into it within the next 30 days. But the objection should be on a legal basis, not on a personal basis.
  • Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties of the marriage and three witnesses are required to sign a declaration form (which is specified in the Third Schedule) in the presence of the Marriage Officer.
  • After complying with all the conditions, the marriage officer shall give the marriage certificate, signed by both the parties and three witnesses. Such a certificate issued by the registrar of marriage will be conclusive proof of the marriage.


Marriage under the Special Marriage Act can be solemnized between two parties, where either belong to the same or different nations or caste or religion. The interested parties can directly apply for marriage to the Marriage Registrar.

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