What’s the difference between an abridged and unabridged certificate and do we need either?

An abridged certificate is a certificate printed by Home Affairs which contains both your personal details such as full names and ID numbers as well as the date of the marriage. I would suggest that you get this, as it is generally more acceptable than just the manual certificate.

The unabridged certificate which is known as a full marriage certificate, is a more formal certificate and contains more detailed information and is also printed by Home Affairs. This is required if you plan to travel extensively or emigrate. If one or both of you are not South Africans, the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country.

For ultimate proof of your marriage, you need the unabridged marriage certificate and you can use this in all circumstances To obtain this certificate can take up to 12 weeks. I can obtain this on your behalf should you require this, but I must be informed before I submit your legal documents to Home Affairs.

Note that you can only apply for these certificates once your marriage has been registered at Home Affairs.

You have to specifically apply for this certificate should you require one of the documents.

I can assist you in obtaining any of these documents should you require them, at the following costs:

  • Obtaining an abridged marriage certificate: R350.00.
  • Obtaining an unabridged marriage certificate: R800.00 (includes registered mailing cost to your door).
  • BI-130 : Application for an unabridged marriage certificate


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