If you want to travel abroad, you will likely need to submit an unabridged marriage certificate as part of your travel documentation. But there are also other reasons why you would need this certificate. Although many South Africans think it’s relatively quick and easy to obtain these certificates, it can take much longer than expected to obtain an unabridged marriage certificate from South Africa than anticipated.
In this post, we take a look at how South Africans can get copies of their unabridged marriage certificates and what the process involves.
Understanding the Unabridged Marriage Certificate
Unabridged marriage certificates prove that two people are legally married and that a legally binding marriage contract is in place. These official records denote that two people are in a partnership. It also includes the jurisdictions when wedding licenses are not in place. The certificate is proof that nuptials are permissible and that there were eligible witnesses at the wedding. The unabridged certificate, also called a “full marriage certificate,” contains much more information than the shorter, abridged version. The couple receives an abridged version after their wedding is registered with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
Like unabridged birth certificates, unabridged marriage certificates contain more information than short-form certificates and are vital for travel.
How can I apply for a copy of my unabridged marriage certificate?
The only authority that issues unabridged marriage certificates is the DHA, so an application must always be lodged with them. Embassies, missions, and consulates abroad can also accept applications from South Africans living abroad. However, these applications are forwarded to the DHA Head Offices in Pretoria. To apply for your certificates, you will need copies of your South African ID document, and you must complete the DHA-130 application form.
How long does it take to obtain an Unabridged Marriage Certificate from the DHA?
This depends on whether you’re applying in your personal capacity or if you’re using a document assistance service like Apostil.co.za. In the majority of cases where South Africans apply for their official documents from abroad through SA embassies, it can take anything between 6 and 8 months for their document to be issued. If you are based within South Africa, it can take up to two months to issue your documents.
These delayed timelines are what is causing many South Africans to turn to document concierge services like Apostil.co.za. We can have civic certificates ready for our clients in between one and six weeks, depending on which document it is and if the express process is chosen.
Need assistance with your civic certificates?
If you need help with obtaining your unabridged marriage certificate in the quickest time possible, Apostil.co.za is here to help! We are a professional documentation agency that specialises in South African document assistance.
Apostil.co.za handles everything on your behalf. We make the process of getting your certificates from Home Affairs processed much faster and hassle-free. Our team of experts is ready to help you with all your legal document requirements, so feel free to get in touch with us today!