How to Obtain a Marriage License in Nigeria: Marriage is typically a public ceremony attended by family, friends, and, according to civil law, witnesses.
Civil marriage is critical in Nigeria since it is legally recognized and also acts as documentation of a couple’s marital contract.
Before you have a civil wedding, there are a few critical points to understand that will help you prepare for the process and influence your decision-making.
The Marriage Act, Chapter 218 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, protects this lawful marriage.
Marriages are typically registered at a registry, which may be found in all of Nigeria’s states. This article will explain how to register a marriage in Nigeria.
1. SUBMISSION OF NOTICE OF MARRIAGE
- This is accomplished by completing a form called the Notice Form or Form A, which captures your personal information along with two coloured passport photographs and a letter of consent from your parents for minors.
- The registry then posts the Notice Form for 21 days on a notice board located at the registry.
- Following that, if the following criteria are met, the registrar will issue another form called Form C:
- That at least one of the parties has lived in the district where the marriage will take place.
- Absence of any legal impediment to the marriage.
- That neither of the two parties is married to another person in accordance with customary law.
- Consent evidence in the case of children.
A divorcee must present a divorce certificate, while a widow or widower must present the deceased spouse’s death certificate.
After confirming the aforementioned conditions, the couple would swear an affidavit in front of the registrar or a licensed minister of faith. The registrar would reaffirm the aforementioned Prohibitive degrees and also explain the associated penalties in the sworn affidavit.
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Failure to declare a breach of any of the foregoing subjects the defaulter to a two-year prison sentence.
Following that, the Registrar signs a declaration/affidavit certifying that the couple understands the legal implications and has met and satisfied all requirements.
2. OATH TAKING
This procedure entails swearing an affidavit in front of the registrar or an authorized minister of faith.
The couple is then informed of the consequences of a marriage bridge.
The registrar then signs the affidavit as a representation of the taking of the oath.
The minister then issues a certificate and license to the couple via a document called Form D, authorizing them to celebrate their union.
3. CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
The couple next choose a date for the marriage celebration, which must occur within three months of filing the notice with the register.
The marriage certificate is then signed by the spouses, the presiding minister, and two witnesses, and the marriage is entered into the Marriage Register Book by the Registrar.
On the wedding day, the couple would visit the registrar with their family and friends to conclude the marriage process. There will be additional couples attending for their own celebrations, and as such, each pair is assigned a set time to stick to.
Typically, the ceremony lasts no more than 30 minutes. The Registrar would print the marriage certificates in duplicate and with counterfoils throughout the processes, as specified in the FORM E. The officiating minister will duplicate a marriage certificate with the information required by Form E and insert the certificate number, the date of the marriage, the names of the parties, and the names of the witnesses in the counterfoil.
The officiating minister, the parties, and two or more witnesses to the marriage will then sign the certificate in duplicate. The minister, who has also signed his name on the counterfoil, will deliver one certificate to each party and then file it in his office within seven days.
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Each Registrar will then record the marriage in a book called the Marriage Register Book, together with each certificate of marriage filed in his office in accordance with the FORM F… and presto! You’ve tied the knot!
Civil marriages are far less expensive than other sorts of marriage ceremonies in Nigeria, albeit the process is longer and all conditions must be completed.