Legal Requirements for Getting Married in India
At least 60 days from arrival in India to wedding date (30 days for living in area, attain certificate from police, and provide to minister or registrar office for another 30 days to post the couple’s intent to marry. The marriage certificate can take another 14 days to process after the wedding ceremony). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected holidays.
Necessary legal documents:
- Certified copy of birth certificates
- Valid Passports
- Certificate of No Impediment*/Affidavit declaring that each party is free to marry (obtained prior to your trip from the Indian Embassy in your resident country or your Embassy in India)
- Divorce or death certificates, if applicable
- Two photos, passport size
- Some places of worship may require additional documentation. It is recommended to contact the officiant prior to leaving on your trip, if applicable
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
Civil and religious ceremonies are legally recognized wedding performed in India. Any religion under the Hindu Marriage Act (including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists), require certification from the Registrar of Marriages. Other religions including, but not limited to: Christian, Muslim, Parsi, Jewish, Baha’I are recognized with a marriage certificate from the place of worship. A Special License marriage requires a civil ceremony.
Christian churches will only marry a couple if the bride and groom are both Christian. A minister or registrar should be notified of the couple’s intent to marry. Wedding banns will be posted in a church for three consecutive Sundays prior to the wedding date. A marriage notice will be placed in the registrar’s office for one month prior to the wedding date.
The bride and groom must both be of Hindu faith for this marriage to be recognized.
Special License Weddings:
A Special License Wedding is preformed for brides and grooms of different religious faiths. All paperwork must be provided to the . A notice of intent to marry will be posted for 30 days prior to the wedding date.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 21 years of age. In general, they cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption. For specifics, please see the degrees prohibited by the different marriage acts.
Three witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide their passports, two passport sized photos and proof of address.
Take all paperwork and photocopies, in person, to your Embassy. Your Embassy can provide you with a Certificates of No Impediment*, if you have not already obtained in your resident country.
Visit the local police station to ascertain a Residence Certificate to demonstrate that either the bride or groom have been living in the area for at least 30 days. Allow an additional month prior to the date of the wedding for these certificates, posting of wedding banns, and paperwork to be processed. Getting married in Goa has its own set of rules, .
- The newlyweds can expect their Marriage Certificate two weeks after the wedding ceremony.
*A Certificate of No Impediment, is also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or a Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form).
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in India” in the subject line.
- Both the bride and groom must acquire the 30-day Residence Certificates from the local municipality. After, the couple and four witnesses will need to go before a Goan court to apply and obtain a provisional wedding certificate. This certificate is then brought to the Civil Registrar to be posted for 10 days, pending objections. Applying to the Assistant Public Prosecutor could waive those 10 days. As long as there are no objections, your marriage can move forward.
- If you plan Catholic wedding in Goa, contact the priest from the Catholic Church of your choice to obtain a No Objection Certificate. The bride and groom will be required to show certificates of baptism, confirmation and a letter of intent.