Marriage in Nigeria is one of the biggest talking points. In Nigeria, many are looking forward to get married, so many ladies nearing 30 or over 30 are under pressure because their biological clock is gradually running down. As part of the process of getting married, it is important to obtain a marriage certificate to legalize it.
In Nigeria, there are various types of ceremonies involved in getting married; there is the traditional wedding, white wedding, engagement and many more according the different cultures. Whichever ceremony you are going with, you cannot leave the Registry part out.
Before you do any traditional or white wedding, it is important you go to the Registry to formalize it.
Steps to Getting a Marriage Certificate in Nigeria
- As we have stated earlier, the registry is very important. To begin the process, visit a Registry of your choice, you can choose a federal or state Registry. There are two federal Registries in Lagos and Abuja, there are also local ones in your states.
- At the Registry, you will be given a Declaration of Marriage form, Form A or Notice Form as it is called. You are required to fill all information needed in the form, if you are under 21 you are required to produce a parent written consent with signature.
- After you’ve filled and submitted the form with two coloured passport photographs, it will be posted on the Notice Board of the registry for 21 days. It will also be entered into the Marriage Notice Book which can be inspected at any time during office hours without any charge.
- When the notice is due, you will be required to pay a prescribed fee, it varies according to region but it is certainly not more than N25,000.
- The Registrar issues a Form C once you’ve met all the criteria listed below:
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- Either the intending bride or the groom must be resident within the district in which the marriage is to happen.
- Both the bride and groom must be at least 21 years of age. If otherwise, the consent hereinafter made requisite has been obtained in writing and. Is annexed to such affidavit (in layman terms, you must have a written consent from the bride-to-be’s parent or legal guardian).
- That there is not an impediment of kindred or affinity or any other lawful hindrance to the marriage.
- Neither of the parties to the intended marriage is married by customary law to any person other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed to be contracted.
- The Registrar will now sign the Form C after all the above-stated conditions have been met.
- Both parties will swear an affidavit before the Registrar or a recognized religion official. Violation of the rules of the court will attract penalties and participants could get up to five years of jail term. Violations are:
- One of the claimants being already married.
- One of the fiancés at the time of giving the written testimony is lying.
- False personal are used at the wedding.
- The betrothed enter into marriage without relatives’ or guardian’s written consent (if required).
- A person tries to impede the registration procedure under false pretenses.
- The marriage was registered by unauthorized personnel.
- After all conditioned have been met and deemed satisfactory, the officiating Minister will dispense the giving of notice, issue the marriage certificate, and grant his/her license, known as Form D. This form authorizes the celebration of a marriage between the parties named in such license.
- Now that the all legal conditions have been granted at the registry, the couple have within 3 months to get married.
- On the wedding day the Registry, the couple proceeds with family members and friends and the marriage is finalized. In the course of the proceedings, the Registrar prints the marriage certificates in duplicate and with the counterfoil in accordance with Form E.
After all this is done and the couple wants a white wedding, it must be conducted under a licensed church and minister. There must also be at least two witnesses which in most times are parents, guardians or family members.
The officiating minister will now fill up in duplicate the marriage certificate in accordance with Form E, and enter in the counterfoil the number of the certificate the date of marriage, names of bride and groom and the witnesses. The certificate in duplicate is now signed by the officiating minister, the couple and the witnesses.
The couple takes one copy home and the other is sent to the local Registry or taken there by the couple where they will also officially register their marriage.
You are now legally married and have a certificate to prove it.