Ghanaian Marriage Certificate
In order to obtain a marriage certificate in Ghana, there should be a marriage and a marriage registration and the following steps are to be followed. There are three types of valid marriage recognized by Ghanaian law:
- Marriage under the Marriage Ordinance
- Customary marriage
- Islamic marriage under the Marriage of Islamic Ordinance.
Applications to get a marriage certificate can be made either in-person or online. Application for a marriage certificate for an ordinance marriage can only be done in person; whereas, an application for a marriage certificate for a customer or an Islamic marriage can be done either in-person or online.
Obtaining a marriage certificate for an ordinance marriage
- Filling a Notice of Marriage
- This step is solely required for Ordinance marriages.
- The first step to obtaining a marriage certificate from an ordinance marriage in Ghana as follows.
- The notice of Marriage is filled with the registrar of marriages in the egistrar General office, / one’s local Municipal or District Assembly.
- The waiting period of the notice of marriage 21 days.
- The reason for this is to give the general public ample notice of your intention to be married, in case any party would like to contest/oppose the marriage on legal grounds.
- The form will require information such as names, ages, occupations and addresses of both parties.
- Copies will also be made of valid identification (a passport is usually your best bet).
- After the forms are filled, you will be asked to return after 21 days, during which banns will be published on a notice board. This will indicate yours and your partner’s intention to be married.
- Within this period, some religious establishments require that their members publish banns at the church for the same time period. This is usually done orally, before the entire congregation.
- Pick approved marriage licence
- If there is no opposition after the 21 day period, you will return to the Municipal/District Assembly to pick up your approved marriage license, and present it to your licensed officiant.
- You will then have no more than a three-month period within which to get married. After which, the application process will have to be re-initiated.
- Performing your ordinance marriage ceremony and signing of marriage certificate
- Then next step is performing your ordinance marriage ceremony. The ceremony can be held in any of the following places
- A church with a licensed officiant,
- At the Registrar General Department’s Office, or the premises of the Metropolitan Assembly your ceremony you live in.
- Other locations such as hotels, gardens, homes, etc. are acceptable, provided that the officiant is licensed.
- In all cases, you and your partner will be required to sign your marriage certificate, along with two witnesses and your officiating officer.
- You may be required to sign up to three copies of the original marriage certificate, one of which will be given to you and your spouse for your records.
- Filing marriage certificate with the Registrar general’s office.
- Your church/officiant will provide the Registrar General’s office with another copy for registration of your Ordinance Marriage for filling.
Obtaining a marriage or a Traditional/Customary Marriage in Ghana
Customary marriage on its own is not recognized by law, unless registered under the Customary Marriage and Divorce Registration Law, 1985 (PNDCL 112). This is done by applying to the registrar of marriages in the district one lives in after the ceremony has taken place.
- Both couples and at least two witnesses should approach the Registrar General Office/ local Municipal or District Assembly to begin the application process after the ceremony has taken place.
- The application forms are available in these offices. Both couples should complete the forms with information regarding their details and about the ceremony.
- The couple is then required to make a statutory declaration is to family members, stating that all rites have been performed and accepted by both parties and their families, in accordance with the respective cultures in question.
- It is not necessary to register a customary marriage, if one intends to proceed with marriage under ordinance, as that is directly covered by law.
Obtaining a marriage certificate for an Islamic Marriage
To register your Islamic Marriage, you need to have first had your marriage ceremony. The following are necessary to have occurred at the ceremony before it can be registered:
- mutual agreement by both parties to marry,
- the presence of a Wali to represent the bride,
- payment of the required dowry to the bride’s family,
- two witnesses
- Officiating of the ceremony by a licensed Islamic priest.
- Within one week after the ceremony, the Registrar of Islamic marriages and divorces must be notified of the ceremony. Otherwise, the marriage cannot be lawfully registered.
- A register is then filled and signed by the licensed Islamic priest who officiated the ceremony, the bride’s Wali and the two witnesses present at the ceremony.
- If for some reason having all parties present within a week to sign the register is not possible, special permission can be sought from the High Court for an exception to be made.
- The signature of the officiating Islamic priest however, cannot be waived. When all necessary procedure has been followed, a marriage certificate will then be issued to the couple.
- Up to 4 Islamic marriages may be registered by one bridegroom.
- Note that, if Muslims get married under Ordinance Marriage law, they are subject to the laws governing this type of marriage. Thus polygamy is not permitted.
Online applications for Ghanaian Marriage Certificate
Online applications for marriage certificates apply to customary and Islamic marriages only.
The following are the steps of obtaining a marriage certificate online.
- Access the Ghana E-Payment Portal under E-payand create an account
- Enter your personal data, choose a password and confirm your registration with <Submit>.
- An E-Mail confirmation is sent to you listing your user details and password.
- There are two different options to browse for the Service or Product you want to pay for:
- Click service by clicking on the service icon and select AMA – Authentication Of Marriage
Step 3 – Add TO Cart
- Under AMA – Authentication of Marriage attach the documents requested.
- Identification documents
- Passport photos
- Click <Add to Cart>. And you will be forwarded to your cart.
Step 4 – Cart & Shipping Estimate
- This shows a summary of your application and shipping fee estimate.
- At this point you can cancel the application
- Select the city where you want your certificate to be shipped to and proceed to make the payment
- When done click <Proceed to Checkout>.
Step 5 – Checkout Process
- Step 1 <Billing Information> confirms your actual billing address.
- Select <Ship to this address> if you want to ship to the same address
- When selecting <Ship to different address> you are requested to provide the new address data in Step 2, else this step is skipped.
Step 6 – Payment Processing
- As soon as your order is placed the payment is processed in two different ways depending on the payment method you have chosen:
- Bank Transfer
- Cash & Cheque Payment (Payall Network)
Step 7 – User Account
- At any point in time you can access your account using the <My Account> button in the menu top to get a comprehensive summary of your certificate order and status associated with it.
Step 8 – Delivery
- After processing the AMA – Authentication of Marriage certificated will be delivered to the shipping address you provided.
Ghanaian Marriage Certificate Required Documents
- Full Names of both parties
- Dates of birth
- Valid identity proof
- Proof of death of spouse if widowed
- Proof of divorce if divorced
- Proof of no impendent of marriage
Ghanaian Marriage Certificate Online Information
- First, in order to obtain a marriage certificate in Ghana, there should be a marriage registration and a marriage between a couple who are either both Ghanaian citizens or only one of them.
- It is better to start preparing a month before the marriage ceremony by giving a notice of the marriage at the marriage registry, which can be done at any office of the registrar in Ghana.
- Conditions for obtaining a marriages certificate are as follows’
- One or both of the applicants must be citizens of Ghana;
- Applications of marriage must be made at the registrar of marriages in the district in which applicants live;
- Registration of applicants below the ages of sixteen (16) years is at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) office.
- Those between sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) years must obtain consent from a family member to proceed with registration.
- Anyone giving consent to a marriage must be eighteen (18) and above;
- Application forms are obtained from the office of registrar; they should be completed and required document’s attached before submission.
- Notice of marriage must be twenty one (21) days prior to the marriage date;
- There must be at least two witnesses to witness wedding ceremony;
- Witnesses must be eighteen (18) years and above;
- Marriage can either be civil or religious; and
- Applicants must perform all the necessary customary rites going to the registrar’s office.
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