Marriage is a legally binding union between two individuals, and it is important to register your marriage in Kenya to have a supporting document that proves your legal relationship.
The Marriage Act (2014) recognizes five systems of marriage: Civil, Christian, Hindu, Customary, and Islamic.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at the process of registering a civil marriage in Kenya.
Requirements for Civil Marriage Registration
In a relationship with someone of the opposite sex
Both parties meet the minimum age for marriage of 18 years
Both parties are not already married to someone else.
For the Civil, Christian, or Hindu marriage systems, you must give a written notice of at least 21 days to the Registrar of Marriage. Both parties should appear before the Registrar to fill out a Notice form and attach the required documents, such as proof of identity, age, and residence.
The fee for filing this notice is Kshs.600.00 (subject to change) and the legal notice period allows for any objections to be raised on the intended marriage.
Procedure for Civil Marriage Registration
Once the 21-day period has passed without any objections, the couple must complete an affidavit as instructed by the Registrar of Marriages.
The Registrar will also oversee the completion of the affidavit and a Marriage Certificate form. The cost for this service, which includes the marriage ceremony, is currently Kshs. 2,700.00 (subject to change).
Once all the paperwork is completed, a date for the marriage will be scheduled.
Special License: A special license can also be obtained at the discretion of the Registrar of Marriages. This waives the 21-day legal notice period but comes at a higher fee of currently Kshs. 7,000.00 (subject to change).
The total fee for a marriage solemnized under a special license will include the fees for an ordinary license marriage ceremony.
Marriages conducted by a Registrar of Marriages outside the Registrar’s office: are charged a fee of currently Kshs. 16,700.00 (subject to change) payable at the Registrar of Marriages office and application for a license. Additional costs as provided by the Registrar’s office.
Marriages conducted by a licensed clergy outside a church: Marriages conducted by a licensed clergy outside a church are charged a fee of currently Kshs. 14,200.00 (subject to change) payable at the Registrar of Marriages office and apply for a license.
Other Services offered by the Registrar of Marriages:
Advice for those looking to have their marriage ceremony under alternative regimes outlined in the Marriage Act 4 of 2014, such as Islamic, Hindu, or Customary marriage.
Recognition of foreign marriages as civil marriages in Kenya,
Celebration of civil marriages at Kenyan High Commissions and Consulates outside Kenya and issuance of “Certificates of no Impediment” to marry.
Where to Register Your Marriage:
The physical address is Registrar of Marriages, Office of Attorney General and Department of Justice, Sheria House, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi. The telephone number is +254 020 222 7461/62, and the website is Office of The Attorney General of Kenya. Postal address is P. O Box 40112-00100, Harambee Avenue, Nairobi.
The office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm. If you are getting married outside of Nairobi, it’s best to visit the Nairobi office for guidance.
In addition to the Nairobi office, there are Registrar of Marriages offices located in major towns across the country and are under the Office of the Attorney General.
Importance of Marriage Registration
It is important to remember that after the ceremony, the marriage officer will issue a marriage certificate, which must be presented to the local registrar’s office within 21 days to be officially registered.
The couple is then issued with a certificate of registration of marriage. This certificate is a very important document as it will be required in various situations, such as opening a joint bank account, changing names, obtaining a passport, and other legal matters.
Getting married in the presence of a legal officer, such as a registrar of marriages or licensed clergy, will avoid any legal complications in the future.
Conclusion: In conclusion, registering your marriage in Kenya is important in legally recognizing your union and having a supporting document for future reference.
The process for registering a civil marriage in Kenya involves filing a notice with the Registrar of Marriages,
Waiting out a 21-day legal notice period,
Completing an affidavit and obtaining a Marriage Certificate, and paying a fee
It is recommended to visit the Registrar of Marriages office in Nairobi or major towns in Kenya