Civil Marriage in Kenya: Its Process and Requirements

By Wilkister Alao / August 12, 2019



civil marriage

Weddings have become such a hyped thing. Some people love the glamour and everything that comes with a white wedding while others prefer a civil marriage.

Not everyone wants to have a big, church wedding. They prefer something simple without so much activities, hustle and bustle, and that is perfectly fine.

Some people prefer to have a simple civil marriage, attended by just a few people.

Here is what you need to need to know if you are planning to have a civil wedding;

When you decide to have a civil wedding, the first thing to do is to fill a notice of marriage at the office of the registrar General at a fee of 600 shillings and wait for 21 days, after which the marriage ceremony will be conducted.

If the ceremony is to take place in a:

Registrar of Marriages office (Civil marriage by notice):

  • You will be required to pay 3,300 shillings and after which you given a marriage date according to the official diary.
  • Upon picking the date, the marriage ceremony can either take place in the Registrar of Marriages, Deputy County Commissioners or Assistant County Commissioners offices.
  • During the ceremony before the couple repeats the vows after the registrar.
  • After the vows have been exchanged three hard copies of the Marriage Certificate are given to the couple and their witnesses to sign.
  • The registrar signs all the copies of the marriage certificate as well and issues two of them to the couple. One of the certificates is retained by at the Attorney General’s Office.

Civil Marriage by Special License (applies to Kenyans and foreigners):

  • A Fee of 9,700 shillings is charged, if wedding is being conducted in the Registrar’s office and 16,700 shillings if the wedding will take place in a garden.
  • Upon picking the date, the marriage ceremony can take place either in the registrar’s office or in the garden.
  • During the ceremony before the couple repeats the vows after the registrar.
  • After the vows have been exchanged three hard copies of the Marriage Certificate are given to the couple and their witnesses to sign.
  • The registrar signs all the copies of the marriage certificate as well and issues two of them to the couple. One of the certificates is retained by at the Attorney General’s Office.

Requirements for a civil wedding

  • The couple should present themselves and fill a notice form
  • A photocopy and original copies of ID/ Passport.
  • Colour Passport size photos.
  • Death certificate if widowed or divorce decree absolute if divorced.
  • In the event the Divorce decree is more than a year old or a death certificate is more than 2 years old, an Affidavit to confirm marital status.

In cases where one couple is a foreigner and the other a Kenyan, the foreigner will be required to present the following;

  • Valid passport (Copies and Original)
  • Birth Certificate (Copies and Original)
  • Passport size photo (Coloured)
  • Proof of no impediment to marriage through:
  • Return air ticket/visa/work permit.

 





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