This article is all about how to get a marriage certificate in Kenya, how you can apply for one online, how you can get a marriage affidavit, and more.
Marriage is a brilliant achievement for most people, so it is perhaps one of the most important and unforgettable milestones in a person’s life.
When a couple marries, the registrar of marriages issues them a marriage certificate.
To clarify, a marriage certificate is an official declaration that two people have married.
A marriage certificate is usually issued by a government official only after the marriage has been civilly registered.
However, obtaining a marriage certificate can be a stressful process if you don’t know how.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about how to get a marriage certificate in Kenya.
How to get a marriage certificate in Kenya
To obtain a marriage certificate in Kenya, one must first marry.
A marriage certificate in Kenya is registered under civil, religious, or customary marriage, confirming the existence of the marriage record.
Let us now look at the requirements and process for obtaining a marriage certificate in Kenya.
How to get a marriage certificate in Kenya- Required documents
1. For marriages by notice (for civil and religious marriages)
Civil and religious marriages require a written notice to the Registrar of Marriage of at least 21 days.
Also, both parties must appear at the registrar’s office to complete the notice form accompanied by the following documents:
- Original and duplicate copies of national IDs/passports
- Passport-sized color photos
- If widowed, a death certificate; if divorced, an absolute divorce decree
- A marriage affidavit is required to confirm marital status if the death certificate is more than two years old or the divorce decree is more than a year old.
2. For special license marriages (applies to civil and religious marriages)
Civil marriages by the special license are performed within fourteen days of approval.
A special license, on the other hand, is issued within three days of approval for religious marriages.
Furthermore, both applicants must have resided in Kenya for at least seven days prior to the application.
A special license is required for marriages in the following situations:
- One or both of the parties is a foreign nationals.
- The wedding is taking place somewhere other than the specified location, such as a garden wedding.
The following documents are required:
- ID cards or passports, both originals and copies
- Original and duplicate copies of birth certificates
- Proof of no impediment to marriage through a death certificate (in the case of widowed people), an absolute divorce decree (in the case of divorced people), and affidavits (to state marital status).
- Wedding invitation card with a copy of the Minister of Faith’s license and the serial number of the marriage book.
- A written reason to demonstrate that you do not have time to provide a 21-day notice (if you are unable to provide a 21-day notice).
3. For marriages in which one of the parties is a Kenyan national and the other is a foreign national
- Kenyan National
- A valid Kenyan national ID or passport, both original and copy
- Original and duplicate copies of the birth certificate
- Proof that there is no impediment to marriage
- A passport-sized color photo
- Foreign National
- Copies of the original and duplicate of a valid passport
- passport-size color photo
- Birth certificate’s original and duplicate copies
- Return flight/visa/work permit
- Certificate of no impediment to marriage
Procedures on how to get a marriage certificate in Kenya
Through civil or religious marriage registration
To begin with, the Kenyan constitution specifies an 18-year-old minimum age for marriage.
Back to the marriage registration, if the 21-day notice period has expired and no objections to the marriage have been raised (in the case of notice marriages), the wedding ceremony will proceed as planned.
Furthermore, the marriage ceremony will take place in the offices of the registrar of marriages, deputy county commissioners, or assistant county commissioners.
On the wedding day, at least two witnesses (both of whom must be at least 21 years old) must attend the ceremony.
The witnesses will be required to sign the marriage certificate issued by the religious or civil leader.
The civil officer or minister officiating the wedding will also sign the certificate, and the duplicate must be presented to the office of the registrar of marriages within seven days of the wedding.
Finally, the couple will receive their marriage certificate immediately following the ceremony.
Through customary marriage registration
The following is the procedure for obtaining a marriage certificate following a traditional marriage:
- To obtain a marriage certificate, the partners must perform the rites of marriage as prescribed by Kenyan communities.
- They must notify the registrar of marriages 90 days in advance of their reunion.
- The registrar will then give fourteen days’ notice to anyone objecting to the reunion.
- If an objection is raised, claims will be received, heard, and decided. Otherwise, if no objections are raised, an acknowledgement certificate will be issued to the parties.
- The two partners must then apply for their marriage and include the acknowledgement certificate.
- When the registrar is satisfied with all the information, he or she issues the marriage certificate.
How to get a marriage certificate online in Kenya
- Go to ecitizen.go.ke to access the eCitizen portal.
- To begin, select the “marriages” tab and then the “registration of marriages” option.
- Fill out the marriage notice form and upload all required documents.
- Print the application, have it signed by both parties, and then upload it. Wait for a response from the registrar.
- Once approved, schedule an online appointment with the registrar, pay the marriage fee, and have both parties attend an interview.
- Following the interview, the couple will be scheduled for a wedding officiated by the registrar, whereby they will be issued the marriage certificate.
How to get a marriage affidavit in Kenya
Have you misplaced or lost your marriage license?
Well, there is no need to worry because a marriage affidavit can be used in place of a marriage certificate.
A marriage affidavit is a document issued by the court or another institution to prove one’s marital status.
A marriage certificate is basically an alternative to a marriage certificate and may be required for a variety of reasons, including applying for a foreign visa, divorce or child custody issues, or changing your name, among others.
The following is a step-by-step guide to obtaining a marriage affidavit in Kenya:
- Visit a court of law or legal institution.
- You will be given a marriage affidavit form to complete.
Make it clear whether one or both spouses are filling out the form. Select “single” if only one spouse is completing and signing it. Select “joint” if both spouses will be signing.
- Enter the location and date at which the marriage certificate was signed.
- Enter the county and the location where the affidavit will be signed.
- Sign the form after filling it out in the presence of a legal attorney, who will also sign it at the bottom.
- After signing, you will receive the marriage affidavit in no time.
How to get a marriage certificate in Kenya—FAQs
Do you automatically get a marriage certificate?
No, you do not automatically receive a marriage certificate after marrying. Before you can receive your marriage certificate, you must first register your marriage, apply for it, and pay a fee.
Wrap-up on how to get a marriage certificate in Kenya
Finally, as previously stated, obtaining a marriage certificate can be stressful if you don’t know how to do it, but with this guide on how to get a marriage certificate, you’ll be fine.
Also, there will be fees associated with registering for the marriage certificate.