ROM Solemnisation: A Step-by-Step Guide on ROM Requirements for Foreigners and Seamless Solemnization at ROM with an Solemniser Singapore

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Essential Insights into ROM Requirements for Foreigners, ROM Solemnisation, and Choosing the Perfect ROM Solemniser in Singapore

If you want to marry in Singapore, you need to know what the law says about marriage. This will help you to understand the procedures of getting married and obtain a marriage license. Also, it is important for you to know your obligations as a person who is going to get married and what are the legal consequences of your marriage. For example, you need to understand what is monogamy and the prohibited degrees of relationship. In Singapore, the legislation governing the marriage law is the Women’s Charter. This chapter briefly explains the major provisions in the Women’s Charter. The chapter then moves on to explain the procedures of getting married in Singapore. First, the law requires that both parties to the marriage shall give at least 21 days’ notice in the form prescribed by the Registrar of Marriages to the Registrar. However, this 21 days’ notice may be dispensed with under certain exceptional circumstances such as terminally ill patient. Also, a person who is given a notice of marriage is required to give notice in another form to the Registrar of Marriages if he or she knows of any legal proceeding pending at the date of the notice for nullity of marriage, divorce, or judicial separation to which he or she is a party. Any person who is not at the date of giving notice a minor is of unsound mind, man and woman who are within the prohibited degrees of relationships are not allowed to marry. For example, a man is prohibited to marry his mother or his sister. Also, a woman is not allowed to marry her father or her brother. This chapter also explains important issues such as monogamy, prohibited degrees of relationship and the provision about marriage of persons who are not of sound mind.

Legal Requirements

Both parties must be at least 21 years old and not within any prohibited degree of relationship. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Singapore. Both parties must have the mental capacity to understand the nature of marriage and the implications of marriage. There must not be any marriage in existence at the time of the intended marriage. Each party is not allowed to be married to more than one person at any one time. Both parties must not be suffering from any mental disorder to the extent that they are unfit for marriage. Both parties are not below 16 years of age. For a person who is 18 years of age or above but below 21 years of age, the written consent of their father, mother, or guardian is required. For those with no parents, or whose parents are not in Singapore, or for the guardian, the Solemnization of Marriage Act provides for other persons who may give consent. These would be the Minister for Social and Family Development or a religious leader of a religious group recognized under the act. The relevant documents are required to be produced at the point of giving the consent. The government will carry out checks based on the personal information provided by the applicants. This is to verify that the information given is accurate. All the legal requirements for marriage are subject to the provisions of the Women’s Charter.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for marriage in Singapore are as follows: Both parties should be at least 21 years old. If they are between 18 and 21 years old, one set of the parents or the legal guardian of that person is required to give their consent to the marriage in person. Couples above the age of 21 do not need parental consent for marriage. Neither the bride nor the groom should have been married under any civil or Muslim marriage previously voided. A divorced person is allowed to remarry in Singapore. However, he or she has to wait for the final judgment of the divorce proceeding, known as an “interlocutory judgment”, before he or she can remarry. A widower is able to remarry at any time after the death of the spouse. Both parties should not be suffering from any mental disorder to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage. Neither should they be susceptible to recurrent attacks of insanity. Neither the bride nor the groom should be related by blood, marriage or adoption. That is, they should not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship as stipulated under the Women’s Charter. For instance, the marriage between a brother and a sister (whether of half or full blood) is prohibited in Singapore. Neither party should have been charged with the offence of “abetment of procuring a marriage” under section 65 of the Women’s Charter. This means that no one should have assisted another person to procure a marriage knowing that the circumstances of which that person intends to marry would render the marriage void. To our surprise, a number of people found this article very interesting. It is because they might have forgotten some of the key requirements for marriage.

Documentation Needed

The notice of marriage must be given in the presence of a registrar of marriages. When both parties to the intended marriage are giving the notice together, this can be done by going to the Registry of Marriages or the Singapore Consulate in Australia. This notice does not mean that the marriage has to take place in 21 or 15 days after the date of the notice. It is only that the notice must be given in that time. At the same time, this is the latest time that the notice can be given. After the notice has been given and the 21 or 15 days mentioned above have passed and all the other legal requirements for marriage are met, the marriage can take place at any time after that. There is no time limit as to how soon the marriage can take place after the 21 or 15 days timeframe. However, if the marriage does not take place within 3 months after the date of the notice, the notice will become invalid and a new one must be given before the parties can marry. Also, the notice of marriage is valid for 3 months. To get the whole process running, the first thing that needs to be done is that the registrar has to approach and take the appointment. Then the pairs have to book the appointment and fill in the E-Form for the notice of marriage to the internet. Next, in the actual day of the appointment, the persons need to produce important documents like notice for the marriage and statutory declaration at the time of appointment. Finally, after the registration has been done, the marriage should take place within 3 months.

Registration Process

After checking the eligibility and ensuring that you’ve prepared the necessary documentation, you may start with the registration process for your marriage. Marriages in Singapore can be registered by the Registry of Marriages (ROM) and at any of the town registries. The notices for marriage can be submitted online via iROAM or in hardcopy form by attending to the personally at ROM. The marital status search for the intended marriages can be done within 3 months from the date of the notice for marriage. If the result of the marital status search is valid for 21 days or a customary marriage without the need to file a fresh notice if the validity has lapsed but the intended solemnization has yet to take place. The result of the marital status search to be produce is valid same as the statutory declaration made in the notice for marriage. For online submission of your notice of marriage, you are required to have a valid Singpass. Singpass is a requirement for any Singapore citizen, permanent resident or anyone who wishes to use the e-service of government agencies in Singapore. If you don’t have a Singpass, you are advised to register for one as it will be useful for your future transaction with the government. For the application to get marry at a licency denomination for the generation of the affidavit, you have to login to the e-service using your Singpass and you can filled up your particulars and you may select the location as ROM to take the printed affidavit. Marriage applications can be submitted at ROM after the each party has received the affidavit of marriage, sign it in the presence of the licensed solemniser singapore and the solemnizer has signed his declaration on it. If you intend to submit the notice for your marriage in hardcopy, the form can be obtained from ROM, licensed solemnizer, the information counters at Family and Juvenile justice centre, the citizenConnect centres or any nearest neighborhood Police post. The duly completed notice of marriage form has to be submit together with the supporting documents and the appropriate payment.

Online Registration

Online applications for civil marriage can be submitted through the “e-Services” tab on the ROM website. Couples will first need to set up an account with SingPass, a government authentication system. SingPass can be obtained by either the bride or groom, and it allows for transaction and service access with various government agencies as well. One party should log in to the “e-Services” with SingPass and select “file a notice of marriage”. After filling in the online form and signing it with the Electronic SingPass, both parties must log in and confirm the information on the form in the presence of a ROM officer at the day and time of appointment. It should be noted that the “notice to ROM on intended marriage” and “safety declaration” have to be acknowledged through SingPass. After the appointment, the ROM officer will counter sign on the acknowledgement to complete the process. Couples are allowed to make changes to the notice of marriage at any point in time before the actual appointment day. This can be done through the “amendment to notice of marriage” in “e-Services”. After the solemnization of marriage, the couple can also choose to use the “change of personal particulars in relation to marriage” service in “e-Services” if there is a need to update any of the particulars stated in the marriage certificate. Such changes can be made as long as it does not deviate from the original information in the notice of marriage. The table below shows the timeline for the different steps to a civil marriage, from the first step of application to the final step of solemnization.

In-Person Appointment

To schedule an in-person appointment after completing the online registration, you would need to wait for 24 hours. This is to allow the system to update your online application. Both you and your intended spouse must personally visit the Registry of Marriages (ROM) to complete the verification. The address is at Fort Canning, 51 Hill Street, #11-03, Singapore 179366. You can check out the location map from ROM’s official website. Remember to bring along the supporting documents and the originals for verification. However, according to the guidance note provided on the ROM official website, statutory declarations “shall be made before a person lawfully authorized to take and receive statutory declarations” as stated in Section 20 of the Oaths and Declarations Act. You may also want to note that in the circumstances that one party can’t be physically present in Singapore for the verification, Commissioner for Oaths and Notaries Public outside Singapore can help to witness and certify the taking of the statutory declaration in the other country. However, all the documents must still be submitted to ROM within 21 days from the date of online application. It is advised that you should only engage the services of Notaries Public and Commissioners for Oaths who are from reputable and established law firms. Last but not least, both of you must make the in-person appointment within 21 days after the date of the online application for the verification. Well, you can also use the same computer kiosk at ROM to make an appointment by using the latest application number assigned when you file the notice online and the NRIC number of you and your intended spouse.

Solemnization Procedure

After the collection of the marriage certificate, it is advisable for the couple to obtain a few additional copies – which can be useful for various purposes such as the application for the use of the Housing and Development Board flat and to effect personal insurance. Last but not least, it is crucial for the couple to ensure that all relevant records, such as their NRICs or passports, are updated to reflect the change in their marital status. For citizens and Permanent Residents in Singapore, authentication of the marriage certificate via the e-Kuds online facility is required for the purpose of updating one’s marital status in official records such as the Income Tax Board, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

After the solemnization ceremony, the couple, the two witnesses, and the solemnizer must sign the marriage certificate at the solemnization venue. It should be noted that the marriage certificate, which is provided by the solemnizer, has to be produced for inspection by the solemnizer to every person who signs it. Once the solemnization process has been duly completed, the solemnizer would help to arrange for the registration of the marriage. An application for the registration of the marriage must be made within 21 days from the date of the solemnization. Insofar as the grace period is concerned, the Registrar may, in his discretion, extend the period of 21 days by a further period not exceeding 3 months. The certificate, which would normally be ready for collection a day after the registration of the marriage, has to be collected by one of the parties to the marriage in person at the Registry of Marriages during the office hours.

After the selection of the solemnizer, couples may turn their attention to the selection of the venue for the solemnization ceremony. Couples must ensure that the venue selected for the solemnization of the marriage is lawful and also complies with the requirements prescribed in the Women’s Charter. In this regard, the venue must be a place or part of a building which has been declared by the President to be a venue for the solemnization of marriages. Such places include the Registry of Marriages, the Registry of Muslim Marriages, licensed places of worship, or public places which are not places of worship and which have been so declared by the President. Pub or non-Muslim couples have the flexibility of choosing to solemnize their marriage in one of the various locations in Singapore – including the ROM or other licensed places of worship – as long as the venue is gazetted for the purpose of the marriage. On the other hand, Muslim couples must solemnize their marriage at the Registry of Muslim Marriages, the mosque, or the office of the Kadi, and the option to solemnize the marriage at a place other than those specified would require the approval of the Kadi, who may in his discretion allow the marriage to be solemnized at that place.

After obtaining the marriage license, couples may begin planning for their solemnization. The first order of business in this planning process is to decide on a solemnizer to conduct the ceremony. According to the statutory declaration provided by both parties during the filing of the notice of marriage at the Registry of Marriages or the Registry of Muslim Marriages, the selected solemnizer must be specified in the documentary evidence. It should be noted that the solemnizer must be a holder of a valid license for the time being in force granted by the Minister for Social and Family Development in respect of the place of worship, or a holder of a valid license granted by the Minister and specified in the First Schedule in the Statutory Declarations Act.

Choosing a Solemnizer

After deciding on the date of the solemnization, you and your partner should each make a list of up to three preferred solemnizers. Do ensure that the solemnizers you have chosen are included in the list of licensed and unlicensed non-religious solemnizers and the list of licensed religious solemnizers, which can be found on the website of the Registry of Marriages. If the list of solemnizers decides the choice of venue, the solemnizers must be a civil servant or a full-time religious leader. If the list does not restrict the choice of venue, the solemnizers can be a non-religious solemnizer or a religious leader from the list of licensed religious solemnizers and the solemnization can take place at a place of worship. For the civil marriage notice, you will have to mention in the notice the name of the chosen solemnizer, the date and venue of the intended solemnization. And for the civil endorsement to a foreign marriage, you will have to provide information on the chosen solemnizer. The notice (whether it is for a notice of marriage or civil endorsement to a foreign marriage) must be submitted to the Registry of Marriages in the manner specified in the notice form. It can be submitted either electronically via the e-Kiosks at the Registry of Marriages or in hard copy at the Registry of Marriages. It is advisable to arrange for the solemnization venue to be booked only after you have secured the solemnizer of choice; this is because the booking fee for the venue is generally not refundable. Also, check the availability of the solemnizer, the venue and the people whom you wish to invite to the solemnization on the date you have selected. If you decide to engage a licensed solemnizer to solemnize your marriage at the Registry of Marriages, do take note that the Registry of Marriages offers such a service on weekdays, excluding public holidays and weekends, from 9.15 am to 11.45 am and from 2.15 pm to 3.45 pm and on Saturdays, excluding public holidays and Sundays, from 9.15 am to 11.45 am, excluding public holidays.

Venue Selection

You can choose to solemnize your marriage at the Registry of Marriage, where the solemnization can take place in a room in the presence of a Registrar. Alternatively, you may wish to have the solemnization conducted at a place and time of your choice by a licensed Solemnizer. In this case, the marriage will be solemnized in the presence of the Solemnizer. The notice for the intended marriage must be given before the venue for solemnization is fixed. Also, the marriage must be solemnized within three months from the date of the notice. It is important to select a venue for your marriage solemnization and make the necessary arrangements early. This is because popular venues and Solemnizers are usually fully booked in advance, especially during peak periods like weekends and on Valentine’s Day. If you choose to have the marriage solemnized at the office of a licensed Solemnizer, you should contact the Solemnizer to find out the availability before fixing the date and time for the solemnization. After the venue and Solemnizer for the intended marriage have been decided, you can then proceed to give the notice of marriage. Remember to bring along the original confirmation letter from the selected venue and the original written consent from the appointed Solemnizer when either party gives the notice at the Registry of Marriage.

Solemnization Ceremony

The solemnization ceremony has to take place between 21 days and 3 months from the date of the notice of marriage. Additionally, the ceremony should be conducted between 7am and 8pm and should be attended by at least 2 credible witnesses. You and your partner need to make a statutory declaration of the facts concerning the marriage, and this usually is done immediately before the ceremony. The solemnization typically begins with the opening words, followed by a short speech about marriage. Then, the most important part where you and your partner will have to say the “Declaration of Marriage” in the prescribed form as set out in the Fourth Schedule of the Women’s Charter. Each of you will say “I, (your name), do solemnly declare that I know of no lawful impediment to the marriage of myself to (your partner’s name)” and then “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, (your name), do take (your partner’s name) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”. After that, the solemnizer will continue to perform the solemnization by saying (in the same way as provided for in the Fourth Schedule of the Women’s Charter) “I hereby declare this building and this place (or, this ship or vessel as the case may be) to be a duly appointed place for the celebration of marriages”. “Let us, in the presence of these witnesses, join together (your name and your partner’s name) in this marriage”. “(Your name), do you take (your partner’s name) here present, to be your wedded wife (or husband)?” and so on. The marriage ceremony ends with the solemnizer making the closing speech and the signing of the marriage certificate by the solemnizer, you, your partner and the two witnesses. After the ceremony, the solemnizer is obliged to send the marriage certificate to the Registry of Marriages within 7 days.

Post-Solemnization Matters

Now that the marriage has been solemnized, you will need to make arrangements to collect the official marriage certificate from the Registry of Marriage (ROM). The marriage certificate can only be collected after the date of solemnization of marriage. The appointed person (either the solemnizer or any qualified attendee) should have submitted the documents to the ROM for the official marriage registration process. The marriage certificate will be ready for collection after approximately 3 weeks from the date of submission. When the marriage certificate is ready for collection, both parties to the marriage can make an appointment via the ROM website to collect the marriage certificate personally at the ROM. You will need to bring along the following documents on the scheduled date and time of appointment for the collection of the marriage certificate: Identity cards and passports of groom and bride; and the official marriage certificate collection advice. If you are unable to collect the marriage certificate in person, you may also authorize someone to collect it on your behalf. The authorized person will need to bring along the following documents for the appointment: The original identity card or passport of the authorized person; the original identity card or passport of the person giving the authorization; and the original marriage certificate collection advice. After collecting the official marriage certificate from the ROM, the certificate should be produced whenever necessary, especially for the update of personal records. The marriage certificate is an essential document to prove the marital status of a person.

Marriage Certificate Collection

Marriage certificates will generally be ready for collection three working days after the date of solemnization of marriage. If the solemnization is scheduled on a weekend (i.e. Saturday, Sunday) or public holiday, the certificates will be ready for collection three working days after that weekend or public holiday. It is advisable for the couples to check the certificates before they leave the Registry of Marriage (ROM’s) office. In the event that the details on the certificates are found to be incorrect after the couples have left the office, a request for a fresh certificate will attract a search fee of $50. Couples can authorize a person to collect the marriage certificates on their behalf. The authorized person has to produce the original of the NRIC of himself and the NRICs of the couple (photocopies are not acceptable) and his written authorization to ROM solemnisation for verification when collecting the certificates. For those couples who wish to collect and register their marriage at the same time, upon the request made at the point of marriage registration, the certificate will normally be ready for collection after 30 minutes. Couples are advised to apply for a few additional certified true extracts of the certificates at the point of marriage registration for use in the future. The certified true extracts are issued free of charge at the time of marriage registration if applied.

Updating Personal Records

Upon marriage, couples are advised to update their personal records with the various agencies. Most of the updating can be done through the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s iC. Through the SingPass, we can update personal records with various government agencies including the Housing Development Board and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. In addition, we can also apply for an update on the personal particulars and update the records with the Community Centre/Community Development Council and the Ministry of Social and Family Development by using SingPass. It is relatively simple and hassle-free, and most of the updates will be effected instantaneously, except that of personal records with the Community Centre/Community Development Council and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The updates of these will take effect approximately one month later. Moreover, besides updating personal records, we must also apply for a new NRIC and inform the Land Transport Authority about the change in our name. This personal record updating does not only benefit the lawful marriage but also paves the way for applying and registering various related activities, such as motor vehicles and even for baby delivery at the hospital.