The legal requirements for getting married in South Africa are relatively simple and straightforward.
The following information is intended to be a starting point and guideline only.
Although much care and effort has been taken to ensure the information provided is correct please do not take it as legal advice. I strongly advise you to consult the Embassy or High Commission of South Africa for first hand information.
Please Note: Required documentation and the legal process may vary from nationality to nationality.
- Civil ceremonies can take place in any location and are conducted by a registered celebrant
- Both religious and civil ceremonies are legally binding
- There is no minimum residency period
Legality of Marriage
Marriages performed in South Africa are internationally recognised and legally binding.
There are no minimum residency requirements for getting married in South Africa.
All documents must be original and taken with you to South Africa.
- Full Birth Certificate.
- 10 Year Passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.
- If you are divorced – a Decree Absolute.
- If you are a widower – a Death certificate and previous Marriage Certificate.
- If you are under 18 – written consent.
In South Africa, only marriage officers authorised by law can perform marriage ceremonies.
Civil marriages are solemnized at offices of the Department of Home Affairs and at churches with authorized marriage officers.
Place of Marriage
A wedding ceremony in South Africa may only be conducted in a church or another building used for religious services, or in a public office or private house, with open doors.
You will be required to have a least 2 witnesses present at your marriage ceremony.
After the solemnisation of your marriage, you and your two witnesses must sign the marriage register. You will then be issued with a marriage certificate.
Registration and certificates
After your marriage, the marriage officer will then submit the marriage register to the nearest Home Affairs office. Your marriage will then be recorded in South Africa’s National Population Register (NPR).
If you would like additional marriage certificates you must complete form BI-130 and lodge this at the nearest Home Affairs office. A fee must also be paid for additional certificates.
Same Sex Weddings
Same sex weddings are legally recognised in South Africa and the process is the same as for heterosexual marriages. For information in respect of same-sex marriages in South Africa click here.
For further information
For further information on the legal requirements for getting married in South Africa please contact the South African Embassy or High Commission.
A full listing of South African Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices can be found on the following link: South African Embassy or Diplomatic Mission in your country
Requirements are subject to change in accordance with the laws of South Africa.