At present, there is no uniform law regarding the registration of marriage in India. Except for few States, there is no such law to provide for the compulsory registration of marriage in India. Like we all know in India the religion based personal laws also governs, so for the four major communities which are Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Christian they have their personal laws to register marriage which is acceptable in their religion and two other legal frames, by Indian law.


At present, a marriage can either be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which is applicable on the Hindus or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 which is applicable on all the shit citizens of India irrespective of their religion. Hindu Marriage Act only deals with the registration of marriage that has been already been solemnized. But Special Marriage Act provides for solemnization of a marriage as well as registration by a Marriage Officer. The minimum age of the boy should be 21 years and the minimum age of the girl should be 18 years for the eligibility of getting married in India.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

This Act deals with marriage registration in the cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or, where they have converted into any of these religions. According to the act, there are certain conditions which are ought to be fulfilled by giving the marriage between the parties legal status and making it a valid marriage.

Section 5 states that a marriage is considered valid only for both parties to the marriage are Hindus.
A marriage can be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:

  • Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage,
  • Neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind,
  • Though capable of giving a valid consent, neither of them has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children,
  • Neither of them has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy.
  • The bridegroom has completed the age of 21 years and the bride, the age of 18 years at the time of marriage,
  • The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two,
  • The parties are not sapindas (one is a lineal ascendant of the other) of each other unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.

As stated in the section 7 ceremonies have to be followed in a Hindu Marriage. A Hindu marriage can be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party. These ceremonies may vary according to the customs and traditions followed by the parties.

Note: A marriage solemnized between the parties within the degrees of prohibited relationship is considered null and void. The parties of such marriage are liable to be punished with simple imprisonment for a period of one month of fine or Rs. 10000/- or with both.

Procedures to be followed :

The Couple will fill in the Application Form, sign it and submit it along with two photographs of the marriage ceremonies, invitation card of marriage, age and address proof of both parties, affidavit of Notary/Executive Magistrate for the prove that the couple is married under Hindu Marriage Act 1955, fit mental condition and proof of non-relationship between the parties within the degree of prohibition.

Documents provided should be attested by a Gazetted Officer and the parties will have to deposit a fee with the cashier at the sub-registrar and attach the receipt with the Application Form. Once the application has been submitted and the documents verified, the concerned officer will assign a future date of registration on which the marriage certificate will be issued.

The Special Marriage, Act 1954

The Special Marriage Act, deals with both solemnization and registration of marriage. It is applicable to all citizens of India irrespective of their religion. As per this act, no religious ceremonies are required for a marriage to be complete. Parties intending to register their marriage under this act have to give notice in writing in specified forms to the concerned marriage officer, in whose jurisdiction at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which notice is given. One copy of the notice is pasted on the notice board of the office and the copy of the notice is sent via registered post to both the parties as per the address given by them.

If after such notice is publicized and no objection occurs the registration of marriage will be done or in case of any objection occurs the registration of marriage will be done after the enquiry on such objection concludes. Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration.

This act Lays down certain conditions under Section 4 of the act, which is similar to the conditions given in Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

  • Neither of the party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage
  • The physical and mental capacity of the both the parties must be as per the section requires.
  • The age of the parties i.e. the female has completed the age of eighteen and the male has complete the age of twenty one.
  • The parties aren’t within the degree of prohibited relationship provided that custom governing one of the parties permits such a marriage between them.
  • A marriage in violation of any of the above conditions will stand null and void under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.



Registration of marriage is compulsory under the Indian Christian Marriages Act, 1872. Under the Act, entries are made in the marriage register of the church, just after the ceremony, along with the signatures of the partners, the officiating priest and witnesses.


Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 makes necessary Registration of Marriages. Marriage under Parsi Marriage Act can be registered in the Office of the District Registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage takes place.


In Muslim law, a marriage is regarded as a civil contract and the Qazi, also records the terms of the marriage in a Nikahnama, which is handed over to the married couple.


Under Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, there exists a provision for registration of marriages. However, it’s left to the contracting parties to either solemnize the marriage before the sub-registrar or register it after performing the ceremony in conformity with Hindu beliefs.

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