I’ve been married for 7 months now and from the time I signed the dotted line I was worried about how I am going to get this ‘thing’ to be government-approved. I am a Bohri-Muslim and had a Nikah ceremony in the mosque near my husband’s house prayed by the priest or Kazi. The Nikahanama or proof of my marriage is in Arabic.
So, after I got done with the ‘honeymoon period’ I began to work towards getting that coveted ‘Marriage certificate!’ And boy, I have to say it was quite a task! It isn’t tough, in fact, It’s an easy process that should not take you more than a week (even if you are doing it on your own). But I took months because I didn’t exactly know what to do and how to do it. Plus, the information available is either wrong or outdated.
You can give it to an agent and just pay up a whopping Rs. 4-5k for the task but I just couldn’t put so much money into one simple procedure so I did it on my own.
Here’s what I did (and you should too to get your marriage registered without paying agents!).
- If like me you got married under the Muslim law or special marriage act then go to a lawyer and get an affidavit made on a stamp paper of Rs. 100. I went to A. A. Mulla opposite Mazagaon Court since that is closest to my house. The lawyers know when you tell them affidavit for marriage registration and will help you. Should be done immediately but will require both husband and wife for signature.
- Also, get your Nikahnama translated into English. Extremely important as the form mentions it. I got this done at the same place – A.A. Mulla and was charged Rs. 600 for it. In total, we paid Rs. 1000 for all the stamp duty and translation work.
- Now get your address proof/age proof etc. ready. You do NOT need to have all the documents. Anyone document that is proof of your age and address is enough hence we used our passports for the same. Get a Xerox copy of your passport. You can also use Aadhaar Card or Pan Card.
- Decide who you want as witnesses. Pick people who are free to visit the BMC (E-ward office at the start of Sankli Street for me) office between 11 am and 1 pm. I took my paternal aunt, mother-in-law and father-in-law. You will also need any 1 of their documents (the form mentions a list of documents you can carry). I took their passports as well. Get 1 Xerox copy of all.
- Also, get everything scanned and ready to upload.
- Now you need to fill in the details on the MCGM website. So log onto the website and change language preference to English (right-hand side topmost). Now on the top scroll, you’ll see online services. Click on it and go to Marriage Registration. Once here, the page will open up an online form which you need to fill (I had the toughest time getting this form as the site is really busy in the day and won’t load. So try it at night.) Fill in all the details according to your Nikahanama and the documents of witnesses. Here’s you’ll also be asked details of the Kazi which you will find in the Nikahnama or translation.
Tip: Also enable pop-ups on your PC as it helps in getting notifications etc.
- Once the form is filled, click on submit documents and upload all the documents you mentioned ‘YES’ for.
- After it’s all uploaded, you’ll only see a ‘back’ option. Click that. (I feared it will take me back to the blank form) Once you go back, it’ll take you to the form below which you will see a ‘SUBMIT’ option. Click that and wait. This is the tough part and all you have to do now is hope that your internet connection doesn’t fail you. (It happened to me. Twice!)
- Once your submission has been accepted it will take you to the MCGM payment page where you will have to make an online payment of Rs. 15.76. This is essential for the online form.
- After the payment has been made successfully you’ll get a receipt where your appointment date will be mentioned. I got an appointment of 2 days later.
- Now, take a print out of your filled form and paste all the pictures behind (bride, groom, and witnesses). Don’t forget to get the sign of the priest. They don’t check it and you can easily replicate it but make sure it’s similar to the one on your Nikahnama.
- On your day of the appointment, you have to go to the BMC office between 11 am and 1 pm (better to be there at 11). For me, it was the BMC E-Ward office, second floor, room no. 24).
- Don’t forget to take with you
- Original documents (although they didn’t check for me, it’s better to carry it along)
- Your marriage registration form
- Payment receipt printout
- One document of witnesses with self-attestation
- Xerox of your document with self-attestation
- The affidavit
- Xerox of Nikahnama + Nikahnama Translation
- Passport-size photos and
- Self Declaration Annexure A & B (We didn’t take this but it is mandatory to have it.)
- Also, carry a glue stick and pen in case you need to make any changes on the spot.
You have to take all 3 witnesses with you. (Husband, wife and witnesses have to put their thumbprint and sign on the form in front of the officer)All this needs to be given to the officer, who will check them. She will then ask the witnesses to come and put their thumbprint (left hand) on their pictures along with signatures. Finally, the husband and wife will have to put their thumbprint and signature.
After putting all the documents in order and checking them once again, she will put them aside for approvals. Your work at the office is now done.
Note: Keep your application number safe as you will need it for further payment.
After visiting E-ward
Now, once the documents are approved you’ll get an SMS or email after which you have to make an online payment of Rs. 250 to MCGM. They will then send across a Marriage Certificate PDF. You have to take 4 colour printouts (I took 6) of this certificate and 4 photos of both bride and groom and visit the same office again to get official stamps on them. 2 of these signed certificates were kept by the official for her record while I got home the remaining 4.
After the stamps are done, you are officially married as per the Government of Maharashtra!
Note: I didn’t get any communication from them and after a few days checked their site on my own, only to discover that the documents were verified and I had to make the payment. Once the payment was made I immediately received the payment receipt along with the marriage certificate PDF. The next day I went with the printouts and got the stamps on them. This took barely 15 minutes the most of which I spent in sticking our (bride and groom) pictures onto the print-outs.
To check: MCGM portal -> online services -> online payment to MCGM – > add application number.
Also, make sure you have extra photos. They have to be the same as the ones put on the registration form.
The total cost incurred was Rs. 256 (form + registration fees) + Rs. 1000 for affidavit & translation.