Are you ready to tie the knot with your significant other? The processes to successfully registering and Solemnise a civil marriage in Singapore are explained below. The filing and verification of legal documents connected to your marriage in preparation for solemnisation is referred to as “registering your marriage.”
Solemnisation, on the other hand, is the act of performing a marriage during your official wedding ceremony. During this time, a solemniser (the person who will officiate at your wedding) will verify all legal documents, ensure that both parties’ consent to the marriage, and assist in the signing of the Certificate of Marriage.
Solemnisation is distinct from any religious ceremonies or engagement celebrations, as such ceremonies/engagement celebrations will not be considered marriage. They may be held in combination with or after the marriage’s solemnization, but not before.
Please note that this item only applies to civil marriages between non-Muslim couples registered at the Registry of Marriages (ROM). Instead, Muslims must register their marriages with the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM).
Here is the list if you and your spouse-to-be are eligible to register a civil marriage:
- You must be at least 21 years old. Minors under the age of 21 must seek parental or guardian approval and complete a mandated Marriage Preparation Program before they can marry. Minors under the age of 18 must also get a Special Marriage License from the Minister of Social and Family Development.
- Either a Singapore citizen or a Permanent Resident (PR), or marrying a Singapore citizen or PR. If neither of you is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, at least one of you must be physically present in Singapore for 15 days prior to filing the Notice of Marriage.
- Same-sex marriages are not allowed.
Before the Civil Marriage is officially registered and solemnized:
- Choose the date and location of your solemnisation.
- You have the option of having your marriage solemnised at the ROM or elsewhere.
If you prefer to have your wedding at the ROM, you can choose a time slot based on the availability of the booking schedule, which is done on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you decide to marry outside of the ROM, you have complete control over the day, time, and location of your ceremony. However, you must complete these steps to make proper arrangements with your solemniser:
- Confirm the solemnisation’s date, time, and location.
- Choose an appropriate solemniser from the “List of Licensed Solemnisers.”
- Marriage notice can be given up to three months in advance. So, ideally, 3 to 4 months before to the desired date.
- Notify your selected solemniser of your wedding plans, including the date, time, and location.
- The “Solemniser Consent Form” can be downloaded and printed.
- Meet with your solemniser to have them sign the consent form and acquire the contact information for his or her associate solemniser (who acts as a backup solemniser for contingency purposes).
What are the Requirements for a Valid Civil Marriage?
- By the Registrar of Marriages or a person who has been granted a marriage license.
- On the premise of either a valid Registrar-issued marriage license or a valid Minister-issued Special Marriage License
- In the presence of at least two credible witnesses over the age of 21, who could be friends or family members.
- Only when the person performing the ceremony is certain that both parties freely consent to the marriage.
How to Register a Civil Marriage
Step 1: Submit a Marriage Notice
The first step in registering your marriage is to file a Notice of Marriage after you’ve worked out the arrangements of the ceremony.
You must file your Notice of Marriage between 21 days and 3 months prior to the day of solemnization, with no exceptions. The marriage notice is filed online, and you must prepare the following documents ahead of time:
- Bride, groom, and two witnesses’ identification documents (i.e. the NRICs for Singapore Citizens or PRs, or passports for foreigners).
- For individuals marrying outside the ROM, a completed Solemniser Consent Form is required.
- Fees of S$42 for marriages involving at least one Singapore Citizen or PR, or S$380 if both parties are foreigners, can be paid online using a credit card. Payment can also be made at internet kiosks in the ROM using NETS or CashCard.
- A divorce certificate or a married death certificate of the late spouse is necessary. If you or your future spouse have previously been married.
You will receive a Summary of Notice of Marriage after successfully filing your Notice of Marriage, which includes the documents required for the ROM appointment to check your paperwork and make the statutory declaration for marriage (see step 3 below).
Remember to print a copy of this summary and write down the date and time of your appointment with the ROM.
Also, keep in mind that you are not permitted to rescind your Marriage Notice. The notification will be void if you do not marry within three months after the date of the notice. If you want to marry beyond that deadline, you must file a fresh notice with ROM.
STEP 2: Intended for minors – Attend the required Marriage Preparation Course and/or apply for a Special Marriage License.
Minors between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to register a civil marriage must first meet with a Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) worker and then complete a mandated Marriage Preparation Program, which will be explained to them during the interview.
If one of the parties is under the age of 18, the pair must also apply for a Special Marriage License, acquire written agreement from their parents or guardians, and undertake the Marriage Preparation Program. Parts of the Marriage Preparation Programme may be needed to be attended by parents or guardians.
For the appointment to take place, both the bride and groom must be present.
STEP 3: Verification of Documents and Making of Statutory Declaration (VD/SD)
The next step is to make an appointment with the ROM for your VD/SD. During this appointment, your marriage application documents (as mentioned in step 1) will be checked, and you will sign a statutory declaration of your marriage eligibility.
For the appointment to take place, both the bride and groom must be present.
The Summary of Notice of Marriage specifies the date and hour of the VD/SD appointment at the ROM. Check the Summary of Notice of Marriage for a list of documents you’ll need to bring to the appointment.
Minors will be offered a date and time for their VD/SD appointment only after they have updated the ROM with their completion of the obligatory Marriage Preparation Program. To grant their assent to the marriage, their parents or guardians must also be present.
It could take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the VD/SD process (excluding queue time). If your solemnization will take place outside of the ROM, you will need to obtain the following documentation after the appointment:
- Confirmation of Marriage License issued
- Certificate of Marriage (white and coloured copies)
- Marriage folder and checklist
- ROM self-addressed pre-stamped envelope
When these documents are ready for pickup, the ROM will notify you.
Regardless of whether you picked up your documents from them, you must call your solemniser at least 3 working days before the ceremony to confirm his appointment. Otherwise, the meeting may be considered canceled.
Solemnising Your Marriage
On the day of your wedding, a few more procedures must be accomplished after all of the other steps have been finished. The bride and groom, your two reliable witnesses, and the solemniser you choose will be the most significant people at the solemnisation ceremony.
If the solemnization is held in the ROM, up to 20 individuals are permitted to attend. You may invite as many people as you choose if your solemnization is held outside the ROM.
Remember to bring the bride’s, groom’s, and witnesses’ identity documents to the solemnization. If the solemnization is held somewhere other than the ROM, you must also bring the supplementary paperwork you obtained earlier from the ROM (see step 3 of the procedure to register your civil marriage above).
The solemnization cannot take place without the required documents, so remember to bring them. Wedding rings are not required.
The solemnization ceremony itself takes about 10 – 20 minutes (if held outside the ROM) or 5 minutes (if held inside the ROM) (if conducted within the ROM).
Step 1: Documents are verified, and the parties’ permission to the marriage is confirmed.
- The solemniser will first examine the documents given and ensure that the bride and groom are marrying of their own free will throughout the ceremony. Wedding rings can also be exchanged by the couple.
Step 2: Signing and obtaining the Marriage Certificate
The bride, groom, two witnesses, and solemniser will then sign the Marriage Certificates.
The solemniser will declare the pair man and wife at the end of the ceremony and provide the bride with a coloured copy of the Certificate of Marriage, thus completing the solemnisation process.
On the same day, the solemniser will mail the signed white copy of the Certificate of Marriage to the ROM.
It is critical to pay attention to the many phases and details required in the procedure in order to effectively register a lawful civil marriage. To learn more about the procedures and legislation governing civil marriages in Singapore, see to the ROM website.
Now that you’ve seen the steps and possibilities, will you choose to register and solemnize your marriage at the Registry of Marriages (ROM) or elsewhere? Please give your thoughts in the box below.