Since the commencement of Part 6 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 in ovember 2007, the registration procedure for marriage is the same whether you are marrying in a Registry Office or by religious or secular ceremony.
If you are getting married by civil ceremony in a Registry Office or other approved place, you should approach the Registrar of Civil Marriages for the district in which you intend to marry for information on how to proceed. If you are getting married by religious or secular ceremony, you should approach the authorities of the body concerned for advice on how to proceed.
Since November 2007, a couple getting married are required to give notification in person of their intention to marry to a Registrar at least 3 months before the intended date of their marriage. The notification can be given to any Registrar.
If there is no impediment to your marriage, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) which gives you permission to marry. Read more about notification requirements here.
You should give the MRF to whomever will be solemnising your marriage before the marriage ceremony. Immediately after the marriage ceremony the MRF should be signed by you and your spouse, the two witnesses and the person solemnising the marriage.
If you get married by civil ceremony, the Registrar who solemnised the marriage will register the marriage with the information on the MRF as soon as possible after the ceremony. If you get married by religious or secular ceremony, you should give the MRF within one month to a Registrar, for the marriage to be registered. It does not have to be returned to the Registrar who issued it.
Under Section 50 of the Civil Registration Act 2004, if the completed MRF is not returned to a Registrar within 56 days of the intended date of marriage recorded on the MRF, the Registrar can serve a notice on you requiring you to return the MRF within 14 days of receiving the notice. If you do not comply with this requirement, the Registrar can serve a notice on you requiring you to attend on a particular date at the office of the Registrar (or other place given in the notice) with the completed MRF. If you are unable to give the MRF to the Registrar when you meet, you have a further 14 days to give it.
You cannot get your civil marriage certificate until the marriage is registered.
Marriages of Irish citizens abroad are registered in the country where they occur. The General Register Office (central civil repository for records relating to births, deaths and marriages in Ireland) has no function in the registration of marriages of Irish citizen(s) that take place abroad, or in advising on such marriages. Marriages that take place outside the State are not normally registered in Ireland, except in very specific circumstances laid down in Section 2 of the Marriages Act 1972. This means only marriages consisting solely of a religious ceremony, conducted in the département of Hautes Pyrénées, France before 1973 between couples where both or either partner was an Irish citizen on the day of the marriage had to be registered in Ireland. All other marriages that take place abroad do not need to be registered in Ireland.
Your foreign marriage certificate will usually be accepted for official purposes in Ireland where you need to show evidence that you are married. If the certificate is in a foreign language, you must provide an official translation or a translation from a recognised translation agency.
There is no fee charged for the registration of a marriage, or for the correction of errors on a marriage certificate. Fees are charged for copies of certificates.
A certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence it is for social welfare purposes is required, such as a note from the Department of Social Protection.
The fees charged for a certificate are as follows:
To obtain a copy of your marriage certificate you should contact any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, specifying the exact date and place of the marriage and the names of the bride and groom.
An application form for a copy of a marriage certificate is available here.
You can also apply online for a copy of a certificate.
If you got married in Ireland (whether by civil, secular or religious ceremony) you can get a copy of your Marriage Certificate from any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. You can apply online for a copy or get a copy from
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.