To prevent fraudulent marriages in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs implemented stricter rules regarding foreign marriages in South Africa.
According to the statics released by DHA, the number of fraud unions has significantly reduced in the past decade.
This, however, does not mean that the efforts of the department have been fruition yet. More effort still needs to be put in place towards making this issue a thing of the past.
And the last thing you want to find out is that you are married to someone without knowing it, or that your divorce was never registered.
This reason makes it prudent for you to be enlightened about the process. With that being said, the ministry has devised the online marital status check process.
Check marital status free South Africa
To counter the issue of fraud in unions in the country, in 2003, the Department of Home Affairs introduced smart card Identification Documents. The bar codes on the cards have proven to be difficult to forge; hence the issue of fraud marriages has been brought under control. The department also came up with a database that keeps the records of married parties. The database has enabled the public to check their status remotely.
Department of Home Affairs: marital status
The department has, therefore, came up with stringent rules regarding the process. The rules not only regulate the process but are also a strategy to curb the cases of fraud.
These are the South Africa marriage rules that both parties should fulfil for them to get married:
- Both parties should ensure that according to the constitution, they qualify to get married.
- Both parties should ensure that they are aware of and understand the consequences of being legally married. This requirement refers to the issue of ownership of property.
- Both parties should ensure that their union will abide by the legal requirements of a legal union in South Africa.
What do I need to get married at Home Affairs?
Apart from the rules mentioned above, both parties are required to have the following documents:
- Identification documents, especially if they are South African citizens.
- If it is a union between a South African citizen and a non-South African, both parties are required to present their valid passports. They will also be required to submit a filled-in BI-31 Form.
- If the wedding involves someone who is below eighteen years, he or she is required to present a consent on Form DHA-32 from their parent, legal guardian, judge or an officer from the Commissioner of Child Welfare.
- If either of the parties is widowed, they are required to present the death certificate of their deceased spouse.
- If either of the parties is divorced, they are required to present the final decree of the divorce.
The marriage is conducted in the locations that the constitution has designated. A marriage officer is also required to oversee the signing of the marriage certificate alongside two other witnesses. Signing this certificate is proof that the union has been carried out with the consent of the two parties. The officer then issues the couple a handwritten certificate (BI-27). After that, he is required to submit the marriage register to the nearest office of the department for the couple’s details to be updated in the National Population Register for the public to check marriage status.
Home Affairs marital status check: SMS
The Department of Home Affairs has made it much easier for the public by providing the Home Affairs marital status search option and also making the process of marriage more transparent. It can be performed remotely at the convenience of the interested party.
How can I check my marital status through SMS?
Checking your marital status is as easy as typing letter ‘M’ followed by your national identification number or passport number and sending the short message to 32551. The results will be sent to your phone in the form of a short text message.
For inquiries about the Home Affairs marriage status check, you could contact the department through 0800 60 11 90.