Difference between an abridged and unabridged marriage certificate | Legal Wedding Advice


What is the difference between an abridged and unabridged certificate and which one should we apply for?

On the day of your wedding you will receive a manual handwritten marriage certificate from your marriage officer; it is then advised to apply for your abridged or unabridged certificates from Home Affairs.

An abridged certificate contains both your personal details such as full name and ID number as well as the date of the marriage. By default you will receive an abridged certificate. You would need to apply specially for an unabridged marriage certificate.

The unabridged certificate, also known as a full marriage certificate, contains more detailed information. This is the most formal certificate and is required if you plan to travel extensively, emigrate or obtain a foreign passport. Additionally if one or both of you are not South African the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country. Your unabridged marriage certificate is usable in most circumstances both locally and internationally and is generally a better document to have.

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