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How to Get Marriage Certificate in Nigeria

How to Get Marriage Certificate in Nigeria

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get a marriage certificate in Nigeria, addressing the various types of marriages recognized in the country:

Understanding Marriage Types in Nigeria

Nigeria recognizes three primary types of marriages:

  1. Statutory Marriage: This is conducted at a licensed registry under the Marriage Act. This type is legally recognized within Nigeria and internationally.
  2. Customary Marriage: This follows the traditions and customs of a couple’s ethnic group. Evidence of a customary marriage often involves family members and community recognition.
  3. Islamic Marriage: This follows Islamic rites and is conducted in line with Sharia law.

Getting a Marriage Certificate for Statutory Marriage

How to Get Marriage Certificate in Nigeria

Statutory marriages, performed in designated registries, typically result in automatic issuance of a marriage certificate. If you don’t have one, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Registry: Federal Marriage Registries are present in major Nigerian cities. Some states also have their own registries.
  2. Meet Eligibility: Both individuals must:
    • Be at least 18 years old (parental consent under 18)
    • Not be currently married to another person
  3. Required Documents: Commonly include:
    • Birth certificates or declarations of age
    • Passport photographs
    • Identification documents (e.g., National ID, driver’s license)
    • Affidavit of bachelorhood/spinsterhood
    • Evidence of divorce or spousal death (if applicable)
  4. Notice of Marriage: Complete and submit this form, typically available at the registry. It’s publicly displayed for 21 days to allow for any objections.
  5. Ceremony and Fees: If no objections arise, schedule a marriage ceremony at the registry. Pay required fees.
  6. Marriage Certificate: After the ceremony, you’ll receive the official marriage certificate.

Customary and Islamic Marriages

These types might not automatically provide a formal marriage certificate. Here’s what you might need to do:

  • Documentation: During or after the traditional or Islamic ceremony, ensure you have some form of documentation confirming the marriage. This could be a letter from the presiding Imam or family heads involved.
  • Statutory Registration (Optional): While not mandatory, you can optionally register your customary or Islamic marriage at a Federal Marriage Registry to obtain a legally recognized certificate. You’ll need to provide evidence of your earlier marriage ceremony.

Important Points

  • State Variations: Some procedural details may vary slightly across states. Contact your intended registry for their specific requirements.
  • Ministry of Interior: The Federal Ministry of Interior oversees marriage registration in Nigeria. Their website ( provides further information.
  • Legal Assistance: If you have a complicated situation or want extra assurance, consult a legal practitioner specializing in family law in Nigeria.

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