Required Documents

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    What do I need to get married? 

    Your decision to get married is one of the most significant of your life. To honour this, we would love your wedding day to be a wonderful life changing event for you. . and those who celebrate with you.

     

    We want your day to be exceptional and memorable in the best possible way – A truly joy-filled event.

     

    We certainly don’t want The Home Affairs requirements to interfere with this in any way.  The following is our way of streamlining the Home Affairs process to make it as simple as possible – so that you are really freed up to focus in what is most important.

     

    As a reference we have categorised the information into four easily accessible groupings:

    • You have never been married before and are both South African Citizens
    • At least one of you is now divorced or widowed and you are both South African Citizens
    • You are an international couple coming to SA to get married
    • You are a South African who will be marrying a Non-South African citizen

    Each grouping will require the following:

    PRE-WEDDING Information.

    It is important that all documentation is ready and correct for the signing of the register and so that we can prepare your Marriage Certificate before your wedding.

    Required Documents

     

    Getting married is a legal process, as well as a celebration. The documentation is required for the successful legal registration of the marriage

    1. You have never been married before and are both South African Citizens

    This is the most straight-forward application to Home Affairs for the registration of your marriage.  The end goal is that your Marital Status is updated from Single to Married on the National Population Registry.

     

    Documentation Required;  

    • A copy of your ID
    • A copy of your partner’s ID
    • 3 x ID photo’s each
    • If yours is an ante-nuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.

    (As simple as that ..)

    We no longer require that your witnesses provide their ID documentation.

     

    Information Required;

     

    Particulars of Couple:

    Husband Wife
     

    ID Number

     

    Forenames in full

     

    Previous Surnames?

    Bride’s Maiden Surname
     

    Surname (current)

     

    Dates of Birth

     

    Nationality

     

    City/town of birth

     

    Country of birth

     

     

    Residential Address

     

    Telephone/Mobile Number

     

    Highest education level completed

     

    Current occupation

     

    Bride’s Surname after Marriage

     

    Current Marital Status

     

    Particulars of Witnesses:

      Witness 1 Witness 2
     

    Surname

     

    Forenames in full

     

    ID/passport Number

     

    Telephone/Mobile Number

     

    1. At least one of you is now divorced or widowed and you are both South African Citizens.

     

    This application to Home Affairs for the registration of your marriage is slightly more complicated.  The end goal is that your Marital Status is updated from Single, Divorced or Widowed to Married on the National Population Registry.  There are occasions where your divorce or even widow/widower status has not been correctly amended on the Population Registry.  It is important that we verify that you are in fact divorced, widowed or single – This can be verified by visiting the link – http://www.dha.gov.za/status/Status.html (follow the instructions given there) to ensure that Home Affairs will accept your application for your new marriage.

     

    Documentation Required:

    • A copy of your ID
    • A copy of your Partner’s ID
    • 3 x ID photo’s each
    • If one or both of you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf.
    • If yours is an ante-nuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.

     

    We no longer require that your witnesses provide their ID documentation.

     

     

    Information Required:

     

    Particulars of Couple:

    Husband Wife
     

    ID Number

     

    Forenames in full

     

    Previous Surnames?

    Bride’s Maiden Surname
     

    Surname (current)

     

    Dates of Birth

     

    Nationality

     

    City/town of birth

     

    Country of birth

     

     

    Residential Address

     

    Telephone/Mobile Number

     

    Highest education level completed

     

    Current occupation

     

    Bride’s Surname after Marriage

     

    Current Marital Status

     

    Particulars of Witnesses:

      Witness 1 Witness 2
     

    Surname

     

    Forenames in full

     

    ID/passport Number

     

    Telephone Number

     

    1. You are an international couple coming to SA to get married

    There are a few possible ways for you to manage the legal aspect of your Marriage in South Africa as an international couple.

     

    1. The first and most popular method is for you to officially marry and register your marriage in your home country.

     

    Your event in South Africa will therefore simply be a celebration of what is already legally in place  . .

     

    No documentation or information will be required for Home Affairs, but you might prefer to have some reference to your Full Names in the vows that you choose with your Marriage Officer/Celebrant to enhance your experience of your ceremony.  (We will also very happily design and issue a commemoration certificate for your pleasure.)

     

    1. The second approach is to have your marriage legally solemnized in South Africa – but without the registration onto the South African Population Registry.

     

    In this case, you will receive the official Abridged Marriage Certificate (DHA 27) from your celebrant/Marriage Officer – along with the right to receive an Unabridged Certificate (which will be required for the registration of your marriage in the country of your choice).

     

    The most efficient means of obtaining this Unabridged Certificate is to personally apply at the nearest Home Affairs to you while you are still in South Africa..

    If you are not able to personally apply you are allowed to authorize a family member to apply for an unabridged marriage certificate on your behalf. A letter giving the family member permission to apply on your behalf and to collect the certificate must be drawn up by you and must be accompanied by a copy of their ID and copies of your documents as listed below.”

    A third option would be to apply through your nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad.

     

    Documentation Required:

    • A copy of the front page of your passport
    • A copy of the Visa Page in your passport – or the last entry stamp through customs, found in your passport
    • A copy of the front page of your partner’s passport
    • A copy of the Visa Page in your partner’s passport – or the last entry stamp through customs, found in your passport
    • 3 x ID photo’s each
    • If one or both of you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf.
    • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry)
    • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry) for your partner.

    Note: British Authorities do not supply this Letter to Common-Wealth Countries such as South Africa.  If you are a British Citizen, a sworn affidavit stating that you are not married, and that there is no legal impediment to your intended marriage will be accepted by the South African Home Affairs Office.

    • Each of you will be required to sign an Affidavit on the day of your wedding – This is a stationery document supplied by Home Affairs (BI 31) – Required to verify that you are using your international passport as a means of documentation (Your Marriage Officer will have this stationery on hand.)

     

    Information Required:

     

    Particulars of Couple:

    Husband Wife
     

    Passport Number

     

    Forenames in full

     

    Previous Surnames?

    Bride’s Maiden Surname
     

    Surname (current)

     

    Dates of Birth

     

    Nationality

     

    City/town of birth

     

    Country of birth

     

     

    Residential Address

     

    Telephone/Mobile Number

     

    Highest education level completed

     

    Current occupation

     

    Bride’s Surname after Marriage

     

    Current Marital Status

     

    Particulars of Witnesses:

      Witness 1 Witness 2
     

    Surname

     

    Forenames in full

     

    ID/passport Number

    Telephone/Mobile Number

     

    1. You are a South African who will be marrying a Non-South African citizen

    As of December 2014 – Home Affairs have an added stipulation that all South African citizens applying to have a Marriage solemnized with any Non-South African citizen need to comply with the following:

    • At least one of the couple that wishes to get legally married in South Africa will need to appear in person (with the correct documentation) at a Home Affairs Office (Preferably the same office where your Marriage Officer is registered- to make an appointment booking with the immigration interviewing officer..)
    • The documentation (especially the “Letters/Certs of No Impediment”) will be verified by the official on duty to secure your Interview date/time (An Affidavit is permissible for all UK Citizens in lieu of this letter – Please request a pro-forma if needed).
    • Both parties of the couple will have to attend the pre-arranged interview. Once the interview has been successfully concluded, an Immigration Report will be drawn up and submitted to the marriage section

     

     

     

    Documentation Required;  

    For the South African Citizen –

    • A copy of your ID
    • 3 x ID photo’s
    • If you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf. If yours is an ante-nuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.
    • If yours is an ante-nuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the cover letter from your lawyer.

    We no longer require that your witnesses provide their ID documentation.

     

    For the Non- South African Citizen –

    • A copy of the front page of your passport
    • A copy of the Visa Page in your passport – or the last entry stamp through customs found in your passport
    • 3 x ID photo’s
    • If you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce/death certificate (whichever applies) which will be submitted on your behalf.
    • A letter of non-impediment (certificate from your country of citizenship confirming freedom to marry)
    • You will be required to sign an Affidavit on the day of your wedding – This is a stationery document supplied by Home Affairs (BI 31) – Required to verify that you are using your international passport as a means of documentation

    Note: British Authorities do not supply this Letter to common wealth countries such as South Africa.  If you are a British Citizen, a sworn affidavit stating that you are not married, and that there is no legal impediment to your intended marriage will be accepted by the South African Home Affairs Office.

     

    Marriage requirements FAQ

    Also to assist here is a list of ‘frequently asked questions’ with some helpful answers:

     

    I can’t find my divorce certificate, can I still get married?

    The short answer is yes. If your divorce status has been correctly captured onto the National Population Registry, your status will be verified upon submission of documents.  In this case we will accept documentation without the divorce decree.  On rare occasions, Home Affairs will still insist that some documentation is submitted.  In that case, we can draw up an affidavit for you to sign to submit on your behalf.

     

    How do I know if home affairs have my marital status recorded correctly?

    Check your marital status:
    This can be verified by visiting the link – http://www.dha.gov.za/status/Status.html (Follow the instructions given there)

     

    My Marital Status is incorrect on the home affairs system – what should I do?

    Home affairs will not register your marriage if your status reflects as “married” on the system.
    It is advisable that you take your Divorce Certificate or your late spouse’s Death Certificate to home affairs
    to ask that they correct the status detail on the Population Registry.
    This sometimes takes 3 or more months to amend.

    If this creates a timing crises for you, please make contact with us.  We will make more specific suggestions to assist.

     

    When do we get our marriage certificate?

    You will receive your official issue Abridged Marriage Certificate (DHA – 27) on your wedding day. This is a hand written document issued by your Marriage Officer/Celebrant.

    What is an Unabridged Marriage Certificate?

    This is the most formal and complete form of Marriage Certificate – issued by any Home Affairs office.

    All couples who intend to register their marriage internationally or prove the detail of their marriage for legal purposes internationally, will require this Unabridged Marriage Certificate.

    Vault copies are also obtainable if required.

     

    How do I get an unabridged marriage certificate?

    Apply at any Home Affairs office. (You will require a copy of your Registry Document from your Marriage Officer/Celebrant.)

    The expected waiting time is 3-6 months.

    You can also use the services of a fast track company who will manage the process for you.  Please make contact if you require more detail.

    How long does it take to register a marriage?

    Normally within 2 weeks of your marriage the process will be completed by the registration of your marriage onto the Population Registry.

    Any discrepancy – or documentation difficulty might delay the process.  Your Marriage Officer/Celebrant will probably be in touch with you to rectify the issue.

     

    We are foreigners. How long do we have to be in SA before we can marry?

    There is no waiting period.
    You may marry on the day you arrive in South Africa.

    What is the regulation regarding the wife’s surname detail?

    One of the following options are available to you:
    Keep your current surname;
    Join your current surname with your new husband’s surname (double-barrel surname)
    Assume your husband’s surname

     

    How do you change your surname? (Option only available to the wife of the couple.)

    The surname that you would like to assume will be recorded on the marriage register.
    Home Affairs will capture the stipulated detail when your marriage is registered.

     

    What about a new ID book or passport?

    A week or two after the wedding you may apply to Home Affairs for a new ID book or passport reflecting your new surname.

     

    Is there any other legal preparation needed to register my marriage?

     

    Your marriage is a legal contract with a financial component to it.

    The financial aspect has a few possible approaches for you to consider

     

    1. 1. Community of property
      If you choose not to draw up a financial agreement in South Africathen you will automatically be married ‘in community of property’. The state assumes that all assets and liabilities of both husband and wife are shared. It simply means that everything which is his is hers and everything which is hers is his. There are advantages and disadvantages to not drawing up a contract:

      Disadvantages:
    • If one of you gets into financial trouble, creditors have a claim against both of you.
    • There is also no financial independence; if the wife wants to open a clothing account, the husband has to sign the account application; if the husband wants to buy a car, the wife has to sign too. Every business transaction requires the consent of both parties.
    • If one partner should die, the estate of both the deceased and surviving partner will be wound up because it is a joint estate – not great for the surviving partner who will find themselves in legal limbo for a while.

    Advantages:

    • on death or divorce, the estate is divided equally
    1. Ante-nuptial contract

    An ante-nuptial contract or ANC means that you are married out of community of property. The law recognizes you as two separate entities.

    There are two types of ANC contracts:

    Ante-nuptial (ANC) contract without accrual
    Ante-nuptial contract with accrual

    ANC without accrual
    Assets acquired before or during the marriage remain separate throughout the course of the marriage. Assets are not shared and each partner has a separate estate.
    Advantages:

    • if one of you goes insolvent, creditors may not attach the assets of the other; in other words you get to keep your home folks.
    • each of you are legally obliged to offer financial support to one another should one of you be unable to support himself/herself

    Disadvantages:

    • in the case of death or divorce, you are entitled only to those assets you have accrued in your name. Should one of you choose to stay at home to raise children, that partner would not be entitled to the assets accumulated by the other partner

     

    ANC with accrual

    Each partner states the value of their respective assets at the beginning of marriage. Thereafter any assets are shared 50/50. One can state that specific assets be excluded from the accrual, such an inheritances, donations etc.
    Most marriages (9 out of 10) are ANC with accrual … this is really the way to go!

    Advantages:

    • you both share in the wealth accumulated during marriage
    • if each of you owned property before the marriage, it remains in your respective names
    • you each conduct your own independent financial affairs
    • if one of you goes into debt, it cannot be claimed from the estate of the other
    • in the case of divorce, any assets made whilst married are shared – it doesn’t matter who acquired them; each partner’s current net asset value is calculated by subtracting all liabilities from assets
    • the ANC can be tailored to suit your needs
    • it protects the partner who remains at home to care for the family

    Let us know if you need the detail of a reputable Notary to assist with this..

    Download the documents checklist

    Wedding Details

    Date
    Time
    Venue
    Contact person at Venue
    Proposed Rehearsal Date and time (Optional)

    Admin/Documentation Requirements For Couple

    Remember, you need to supply documents for both parties of the couple.

    Copies ID/Passport(Groom) X 2
    Copies ID/Passport (Bride ) X2
    Passport size photo’s (Bride) X3
    Passport size photo’s (Groome) X3
    Divorce Documentation (if applicable)
    If yours is an ante-nuptial agreement, we will need a copy of the contract from a lawyer
        • (I will be able to certify the ID/passport copies for you)
        • You will be required to give left thumb finger prints on the day.
          (I will have necessary ink pad & wipes to make sure that this is as neat as possible.)

    Particulars of Couple

    Remember, you need to supply these details for both parties.

    ID/passport #
    Forenames in full
    Previous Surnames?
    Surname (current)
    Dates of Birth
    Nationality
    City/town of birth
    Country of birth
    Residential Address
    Telephone #
    Highest education level completed
    Current occupation
    Bride’s Surname after Marriage
    Current Marital Status
        • If one or both of you have been previously married, Home Affairs will require a copy of the decree of divorce which I will submit on your behalf.

    Particulars of Witnesses

    Remember, you need two witnesses, over the age of 18.

    Surnames
    Forenames in full
    ID or passport numbers
    Telephone numbers

    Documentation Required for Witnesses

    Remember, you need to supply documents for both Witnesses.

    Copies ID/passport  (Witness 1)
    Copies ID/passport (Witness 2)

    Further Legalities

    If either of you is not a South African citizen, please do consult with me. I will compile all needed documentation and ensure the process is completed to the point of receiving your abridged certificate.

    If one or both of your of you do not have an S.A. ID document, Home Affairs requirement is that a BI-31 form is filled in. I have copies of these. We can complete the document together so that I can submit this on your behalf. A certified copy (I can certify for you) of your passport is also required.

    If you are not a South African citizen a letter of no impedance is also required from the Embassy of the country in which you are a citizen.

    At least one of you is now divorced or widowed and you are both South African Citizens.

  • The second approach is to have your marriage legally solemnized in South Africa – but without the registration onto the South African Population Registry.