Getting married – the legal requirements

Here’s what you need to know about getting married. Marriage, according to the law is the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter. It is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

To legally marry in Australia you do not have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia. You can find marriage visa information on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

On 7 December 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 to change the definition of marriage and provide for marriage equality in Australia. The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender. Same-sex couples are now able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with an authorised celebrant.

Disclaimer: This is a guide to assist you in understanding marriage legal requirements in Australia. Ensure you consult with an authorised and registered marriage celebrant of your choice.

 

Before your wedding

The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be completed at least one month prior and given to your celebrant. The NOIM form is valid for up to eighteen months before your marriage is to take place.

Required documents for your celebrant along with your NOIM form:

  • evidence of your date and place of birth
  • and if you have been married before, identity and the end of any previous marriagesfor each party.

Both of you will also be required to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. When you sign this Declaration, you are stating that you believe that you are of marriageable age, and that there is no legal impediment to your marriage.

 

On the day of your wedding

Your chosen celebrant will make official your marriage and will also request you to sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate is signed by you, your partner, your celebrant and two witnesses who are over the age of 18 years of age.

After the signing, the celebrant will present to you a commemorative certificate as a record of your marriage.

 

After your wedding

Your marriage celebrant will register the marriage, with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State (or Territory) where your marriage took place. The celebrant is obliged to do this within fourteen days.

The certificate issued by the relevant Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is used for official purposes and you may apply for a copy of this certificate after your wedding.