Legal Requirements Process


Legal Requirements and the Marriage Process

Under the Marriage Act 1961 there are certain obligations that must be met prior to a marriage ceremony being solemnised.

Getting married in Australia and Marriage Equality 

On 9 December 2017, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 commenced. The Act changes the definition of marriage and provides for marriage equality in Australia. The right to marry in Australia is no longer determined by sex or gender. 




To be legally married in Australia, a person must:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give written notice, sign and have witnessed by both parties, of their intention (NOIM) to marry to their authorised celebrant, or relevant authority, within the required time frame – at least one month before the intended date of marriage and no more than 18 months in advance of the intended date of marriage.
  • If either party has been previously married, evidence of the termination must be provided in the form of a divorce certificate (if divorced) or a full death certificate (if widowed).  
  • There must be 2 witnesses at your marriage ceremony, both over the age of 18 years. 

Documents to be provided: 

The documents listed below MUST be produced before the marriage can take place. It is essential that you give yourself adequate time to acquire them prior to marriage.  All Certificates in a foreign language must be officially translated.

If born in Australia

  • Drivers Licence,
  • Current or expired passport (not cancelled)
  • Original Birth Certificates - please note that photocopies are not permitted.  You can obtain a birth certificate by completing an application form provided by Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages.

If born outside of Australia

Birth certificates are preferred, however a Marriage Celebrant can accept an overseas passport, from the country of birth, in lieu of the birth certificate.   If that person cannot produce their birth certificate or overseas passport, the Celebrant will take a Statutory Declaration with details of birth date, place and parents’ names together with an explanation as to why the birth certificate is not available

Persons previously married

An original copy of the Decree Absolute or Divorce Certificate must be produced. The date on the Decree Absolute must be a minimum one month and one day prior to the date of marriage. When a previous marriage has been annulled, documented evidence must be produced


An original copy of the Death Certificate of the previous spouse must be produced.

No Legal Impediment

Both parties will be required to sign a declaration under the Marriage Act 1961, stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between yourself and your partner.  This declaration will be provided by your Marriage Celebrant and will be signed prior at the meeting prior to the wedding ceremony.