If you want your wedding to be legal, the most important part is to sign the marriage license. Even though the ceremony and celebration of your wedding are memorable, the marriage license is the most important part of it. You need this document if you want to change your name legally. A marriage certificate binds you together legally. 

What Is a Marriage Certificate? How Many Do You Need?

Marriage certificates are official documents that prove that a couple has a legally recognized relationship, issued by a government agency.


The marriage certificate contains the names of the couple involved, the date, the location, the witnesses, and the names of the people who witnessed the marriage.


On the day you get married, you will receive an abridged marriage certificate. However, if you plan on travelling or applying for citizenship outside of the country, you will need an unabridged marriage certificate. One copy of each should be efficient.  

How to Obtain a Marriage Certificate in South Africa

The marriage register must be signed by the marriage officer, two witnesses, and the couple that are getting married. A handwritten marriage certificate (BI-27) is then given to the newlyweds by the marriage officer at no charge.


A marriage register is then submitted to the nearest Department of Home Affairs office, where the details of the marriage are recorded in the National Population Register (NPR).

If you need extra abridged or unabridged copies of your marriage certificate, you can:


  • Complete the BI-130 form in black ink and submit it to the Department of Home Affairs or the nearest SA embassy, consulate or mission abroad
  • Pay the applicable fee


It is easier and faster to obtain your unabridged and abridged marriage certificate in South Africa with DocAssist.


Your registrar or priest should have issued you a form called the BI-30. It includes your signature along with the signatures of the registrar/priest and the witnesses. A legible copy of the BI-30 is essential to the unabridged marriage certificate process. We can still assist you if you do not have the BI30.


Although lead times are a guide, DocAssist cannot be held responsible for delays in the issue of certificates or certificates issued with inaccurate information.


If you would like further information about marriage certificates feel free to get in touch with the team at DocAssist today. 


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