7 Steps for Court Marriage in India

The special marriage Act 1954 deals with court marriage in India. The court marriage procedure in India is the same for every state. Whether you are doing court marriage in Kanyakumari or Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat or Kolkata, the procedure will remain the same across India. 

The procedure given under the special marriage Act 1954 is applicable for every citizen of India or even for foreigners. If you want to marry a foreign boy or girl, you can use the same procedure given under the act for your court marriage. 

In simple words, you can do court marriage with your partner without any restriction of religion, caste and country. It is one of the best practices to do marriage because the court marriage saves your money and time. 

What is court marriage?

Court marriage is a process to do marriage in India with the help of the rules and procedures given under the special marriage Act 1954. The court marriage is solemnized in the presence of a marriage officer with three more witnesses.

The physical presence of the bride and groom is important in court marriage; there is no online procedure for marriage. The bride and groom have to appear in the marriage registrar office. 

Conditions for court marriage in India

The bride or groom should not be married before

The male or female who is going to have a court marriage should not be married before that. But if the divorce has been done, then the person can do court marriage with the same procedure. In simple words, a person cannot have more than one marriage at the same time. If the person has been divorced, he or she must have a divorce certificate. 

Valid and free consent

There must be free consent of the bride and groom. Any consent was taken under undue influence, coercion or forcefully, will not be considered as free consent. 

Age of majority

The bride and groom must attain the age of marriage. According to the act, the boy should have completed 21 years of age and the girl should have completed the age of 18 years. 

There should be no prohibited relationship

Both boy and girl must not come under the prohibited degree of relationship with each other. Relationships like brother and sister, cousin brother and cousin sister are some relationships that come under a prohibited degree of relationship. 

Court marriage procedure

These are some necessary steps which are also known as the Court marriage procedure:

Notice of intended marriage

It is the first step for the court marriage that the parties have to file a notice in a prescribed format and submit it to the marriage registrar office. Both parties have to submit the necessary documents.

Verification of documents

After giving the notice to the marriage registration office, the marriage registrar will verify the documents of both parties. 

Publication of notice

The notice given by the boy and girl will be published in the marriage register office. The notice will be clearly visible to everyone and the original copy of the same notice will be saved in the official record. 

The notice is published only in the registered office and it is not sent to the houses of boys and girls. Because sometimes there may be conditions that the male and female do marriage without telling their families or the families of male and female are not ready. 

Objection to marriage

The marriage officer gives 30 days from the date of publication of the notice that any person who has an objection to the marriage can raise his objection within these 30 days. If anybody raises the objection and the marriage officer finds that the objection given by that person is correct, he will end the court marriage process. But if no objection is raised for the objection raised by the person is unjustified, the marriage officer will proceed with the further process of court marriage. 

Declaration of parties and witnesses

After the expiry of 30 days, the parties have to sign the marriage application by declaring that they are doing a court marriage with their free consent. There should be three witnesses for the court marriage who will declare that the parties are doing marriage with their free consent. 

At the time of declaration, the place of marriage and date of marriage is also decided. 

Solemnization of marriage

The bride and groom can solemnize their marriage at the marriage office or any other place within a reasonable distance from the office.

Marriage certificate

After the organisation of marriage according to the rules given under the special marriage Act, the marriage officer enters all the details in his register and will provide the marriage certificate. 

The marriage certificate is a valid proof of court marriage which consists of the signatures of parties and three witnesses. 

Required documents for court marriage in India

There are some documents required for court marriage in India at the time of presenting the application in the marriage office:

Documents of bride and groom

  • Marriage application signed by both bride and groom
  • Legal document showing the age of both the parties
  • Residential address proof of both the parties
  • Affidavit
  • Two passport size photographs for bride and groom
  • If any of them is divorced, the certificate of divorce.
  • The physical presence of both parties is necessary

Documents of witnesses

There should be a minimum of three witnesses required for the court marriage in India. There are some following documents which are required from these three witnesses:

  • One passport size photograph from each witness
  • PAN card
  • Any identification proof

Documents in case of marriage with a foreigner

  • Passport copy with a valid visa
  • Marriage status certificate
  • Proof of residence at the parties are staying in India more than 30 days

Court marriage fees in India

The court marriage fees in India vary from state to state. Normally the court marriage procedure fees are between 500 to 1000 rupees only. The person should check the court marriage fees while applying for the procedure of court marriage. 

Conditions for court marriage in India

  • The female shoot at least 18 years of age and the male should be at least 21 years of age
  • Both the parties should be able to give free consent
  • Both the parties should not have married before with each other or with any other person.
  • The parties should not suffer from insanity or any mental disorder
  • Both the parties should not be in the prohibited degree of relationship or in a spinda relationship. 
  • If both the parties are in a prohibited degree of relationship but their custom allows them to do marriage in that situation, they can marry.

FAQ related to court marriage in India

How many witnesses should be there for a court marriage?

There should be at least three witnesses for the court marriage with their ID proof.

Can I marry my foreign partner through court marriage?

Yes, the court marriage can be done even with a foreign partner. The procedure is a little bit different in this situation.

Is there any need for parents at the time of court marriage?

No, there is no need for parents for court marriage. Any three witnesses should be there at the time of the marriage ceremony. These three witnesses can be parents, relatives or friends.

Is it necessary that both parties have to be present for the registration of marriage?

Yes, both the parties should physically appear at the time of registration of marriage. There is no procedure for online marriage.


The court marriage in India is a time saving and money-saving marriage. It is done by following the rules and regulations given under the Indian Marriage Act 1954. The court marriage is a written contract between bride and groom to stay with each other.

Documents are taken from: https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1954-43_1.pdf

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