How to register a marriage in South Africa from abroad

For South Africans living abroad, the process of registering a marriage in South Africa from overseas can appear challenging. It is crucial to register significant events like marriages with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), and understanding the process is key to ensuring a smooth experience. In this post, we outline the steps involved in registering marriages in South Africa from outside the republic.

What documents and forms are needed to register a marriage in South Africa?

To begin the registration process, you need to complete either Form CMO 2 or CMO 3, as recommended by the South African High Commission in London. These forms are the official applications for registering marriages. It’s essential to provide accurate and complete information on these forms to avoid delays in processing your request.

Certified copies of documents

A key requirement for registering a marriage in South Africa from abroad is the submission of certified copies of essential documents. You must provide a certified copy of the apostilled or legalised marriage certificate, recognised by the country where the marriage took place. This document is crucial for confirming the legitimacy of your marriage.

South African passport

In addition to the marriage certificate, you must submit a certified copy of your valid South African passport. This document serves as identification and confirms your nationality. Ensure that your passport is current and valid throughout the registration process.

Spouse’s passport

If you are registering a marriage, you must also provide a certified copy of your spouse’s valid passport. This step is essential for confirming the identity of both parties involved in the marriage. Ensure your spouse’s passport is up-to-date and properly certified.

Apostille or legalisation

The apostille or legalisation of your marriage certificate is a critical step in the registration process. This process ensures that your documents are internationally recognised and accepted by the South African Department of Home Affairs. Check with the relevant authorities in the country where the marriage occurred for specific apostille or legalisation requirements.

Submission process

Once you have completed the necessary forms and gathered all required documents, submit your application to the South African High Commission. Organise your application neatly and ensure all documents are in order to facilitate the efficient processing of your registration request.


Registering a marriage in South Africa from abroad requires careful attention to detail. With the right information and by following the specified procedures, you can ensure that your marital status is officially recognised by the South African Department of Home Affairs, even while residing abroad.

Alternatively, you can use the services of Evergration to ensure that your marriage is successfully registered from abroad. We specialise in document concierge services and guarantee the fastest turnaround times on South African documentation. To get started with the process, get in touch with our team of experts today!