The Marriage under the Special Marriage Act

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Whoever wishes to go for a "Registered Marriage" irrespective of the religion of the parties concerned, or in case the couple intending to marry are from different religions and do not wish to convert themselves into the religion of the other spouse and wishes to retain one's religion even after the marriage has to go through the prescribed procedure for the marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Under the Special marriage Act the ceremony of the marriage is performed by signing in the register kept with the local Registrar of marriages, by both the parties and their witnesses. Normally the local document registrar known as The Sub-Registrar of Assurances is also the Registrar of Marriages, and his office is located at the Taluka (Tehsil) place.

Prior to the date fixed for the marriage, you have to fill in a form in that office, and submit along with other necessary requisites of the office [which primarily varies from office to office - but may include, age proof of each of the parties, their photographs etc.] along with the necessary fees and charges, primarily giving a minimum 30 days notice of the intended marriage in the given office. After the gap of minimum 30 days from the date of filling in the form of the Notice, you can either approach the office of the Marriage Registrar for signing on the register or ask him to come to the place of the marriage fixed by you (for which a prior appointment and payments shall be necessary). The Parties to the marriage and their witnesses sign on the register where after the Registrar of Marriages proclaims the couple as married to each other. Generally a certified copy of the extract of the register may be collected (naturally upon payment towards the same) after a few days from that office. This certified copy is generally also termed by many persons as the "Marriage Certificate".

Note : The notice of the intended marriage is normally hung in a conspicuous place for public viewing in the office of the Marriage Registrar and remains hanging for at least 30 days. Thus one can not marry under these procedures earlier than 30 days from the date of deciding to get married.