Court Marriage Procedure in India

A court marriage is devoid of rites and ceremonies and is simple. The Marriage Registrar performs the court marriage procedure. Upon completion, the parties receive a court marriage certificate confirming their union is valid in the eyes of the law.

In India, either the Hindu marriage act of 1955 or the Special Marriage Act of 1954 governs the court marriages. Court marriage can be performed under both of these Acts. When a person marries someone of the opposite sex, the man should be above 21, and the woman be over 18.

What are the steps involved in a court marriage in India?

Step 1 – Informing about planned marriage

The first stage in the court marriage procedure is to notify the district marriage officer of your desire to marry. Fill out the court marriage application form (as indicated in Schedule II of the Act), which may also be accessed from the internet. You must submit the paperwork to the district office where either of the participants resides 30 days before the wedding day.

Step 2 – Notice’s Display

The notification will be displayed prominently in the district marriage registrar’s office for 30 days. Anyone can object to marriage within this period if it is judged illegal under the act and the established eligibility standards. According to Section 7 of the Special Marriage Act, any individual having an objection to the prospective marriage may raise it within 30 days of the notice’s publication.

When a marriage registrar receives such an objection, they investigate its legality. If the registrar is reasonably satisfied with the legitimacy of the complaint, the court marriage procedure may be terminated immediately. In this instance, the parties may file an appeal against the marriage registrar’s order with the appropriate district court.

If there are no legitimate objections, then the officer may proceed with the court marriage procedure following the guidelines of court marriage.

Step 3 – Day of Marriage

The bride, groom, and three witnesses must sign a declaration in the presence of the marriage registrar or at a site reasonably near the registrar’s office (as per Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act). The parties would sign a statement stating that they continued with the court marriage in their consent.

Step 4 – Court marriage certificate

On completion of all requirements, the marriage registrar enters the court marriage data into the court marriage certificate. Within 15 to 30 days, the certificate is provided and it follows the terms of Schedule IV of the Special Marriage Act.

Documents required

Documents for the bride and groom

  • Both the bride and the groom must sign the marriage application.
  • Receipt of the paid fee age verification documents for both parties (SSLC book or Birth Certificate)
  • Proof of residential address (Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Ration Card or Driving Licence)
  • Affidavit
  • Photograph of the bride and couple in passport size (2 copies)
  • In the case of a divorcee, a copy of the divorce decree is required, as is a copy of the spouse’s death certificate for a widow/widower.

Witnesses’ Documents

  • PAN card
  • One passport-sized picture and proof of identification (driver’s licence or Aadhar card)

Documents Required for Foreign Nationals

  • If the court marriage is between an Indian and a foreign national, the petitioner must present the following documents in addition to the documentation listed above:
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport with a valid visa
  • Documentary evidence of one of the parties’ presence in India for more than thirty days (proof of residency or report from the concerned Station House Officer (SHO)
  • A foreigner partner must get a no-objection certificate (NOC) or a marital status certificate from the relevant embassy or consulate in India.

Conditions for Court Marriage

Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act specifies the court marriage regulations.

  • When accepting the Civil Marriage Contract, the parties must satisfy the requirements outlined in the statute.
  • There should be no existing, legitimate marriage between either of the parties and anybody else. If the prior spouse is no longer alive or if granted a divorce, the pair can proceed with the court marriage.
  • The parties must have provided free consent for the court marriage, which means that none of the court marriage parties is incapable of giving legal permission owing to incompetence or any other circumstance.
  • The marriageable age for a groom is 21 years, whereas the marriageable age for a bride is 18.
  • The participants in the marriage should not be in a forbidden relationship of any kind.

How long does the process of court marriage take to complete?

Starting with the notification, the complete court marriage procedure may take up to 60 days. The information will be legitimate on no objection in less than 30 days of the notice’s publication.

The Marriage Officer has a maximum inquiry time of 30 days on objecting. If the Marriage Officer upholds the complaint, a District Court appeal may be brought within 30 days of the Marriage Officer’s decision.

Advantages of court marriage

The following are the benefits of a court marriage:

  • It is a less costly and more straightforward procedure.
  • The bride and groom choose to solemnise their marriage in whatever way they see fit. For example, two Hindus can opt to have a Christian-style wedding if they so choose.
  • The married couple does not need to reapply to the marriage official to have their marriage registered, and it is an element of the courtship process.
  • The marriage certificate obtained after the court marriage is definitive proof of the parties’ union, and there is no need to establish it differently through evidence.


Understanding the court marriage procedures that must be followed to be official and legal when considering a court marriage. Couples may opt for this marriage as it eliminates rituals and formalities in a traditional marriage. Court marriages are the favoured option for various reasons such as wishing to keep the marriage a low cost and uncomplicated event to inter-caste weddings between partners without the blessings of their families. Whatever the situation, choosing a court marriage can be straightforward, provided all essential paperwork is produced and the regulations mentioned above are followed.


What is the fee for court marriage?

In each state, the court marriage charge varies. The court marriage fees procedures typically range from Rs. 500 to Rs.1000. However, it is best to double-check the prices before submitting the court marriage application form.

What are the attributes in the affidavit?

  • To solemnise a court marriage in India, the bride and groom must submit separate affidavits.
  • Birthdate
  • Marital status (whether married, divorced, or widowed)
  • A declaration that the spouses are not linked in the banned degree of relationships.

What is the timetable for a court marriage?

You can conclude the court marriage procedure as soon as the 30-day waiting period is ended without objections. The full court marriage procedure may take up to 60 days if there is an opposition.

What is the Uniformity of Court Marriage Process in India?

Every law evolves with time, and one can notice continual changes in many acts and areas of Indian law today. The Special Marriage Statute is a secular act that applies uniformly to all religions. As a result, the Court Marriage procedure is the same for everyone, regardless of religion.

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