A marriage certificate is an official document issued by the government that shows the couple listed have a legally recognized relationship. Upon getting married, you’ll be given a handwritten marriage certificate at no cost. It’s best to apply for your unabridged marriage certificate as soon as possible from the Department of Home Affairs.


A marriage certificate contains the names of the couple that was married as well as the date, place, and witnesses of their marriage.


You will receive an abridged certificate the same day you apply for it. According to the Department of Home Affairs, the processing time for an unabridged certificate is approximately 6-8 weeks. However, this timeline is not accurate, and in some cases, couples have had to wait up to two years.


Government and financial institutions sometimes require a full marriage certificate (also known as an unabridged marriage certificate). If you plan on travelling extensively, emigrating, or obtaining a foreign passport, then an official certificate is required.


A marriage register must be signed by the marriage officer, two witnesses, and the couple getting married. After which, they will provide the married couple with a certificate that’s handwritten free of charge.


Marriage records are submitted to the nearest Department of Home Affairs office, where details of the marriage are entered in the National Population Register (NPR).


If you would like additional copies of your marriage certificate, you can obtain them by:


  • Filling out Form BI-130 with black ink and submitting it to the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate abroad
  • Paying the applicable fee

How Do I Get an Unabridged Marriage Certificate?

You can get your abridged and unabridged marriage certificate in South Africa faster and easier with DocAssist.


You were issued a BI-30 by your registrar or priest. Signed by you along with the priest or registrar and any witnesses who attended the wedding, it consists of your signatures and their signatures. For a smooth, issue-free unabridged marriage certificate application, the BI-30 copies must be legible. Even without the BI30, we can still assist you.


DocAssist provides an indication of lead times but does not guarantee lead times and accepts no responsibility in the event certificates are not issued on time or in the event information is incorrectly submitted. For more information about marriage certificates, feel free to contact us.


Chat with us on WhatsApp