how to become a marriage officer in south africa?

the_jus

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#1
does anyone know how to become a marriage officer in south africa?

what do i need, what does it cost, how long does it take etc?

i think it'll be cool to marry people.
 

LazyLion

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#4
does anyone know how to become a marriage officer in south africa?

what do i need, what does it cost, how long does it take etc?

i think it'll be cool to marry people.
It's not that hard, the tricky part is getting your organisation to sponsor you (write a letter on your behalf).
If you belong to a group of churches or a denomination, then ask your head of the group to write the letter and address it to Home Affairs.
He will request that Home Affairs appoint you as a Marriage Officer so that they will have someone in their group who can conduct marriages.

Then once they have sent that letter Home Affairs will call you in and give you a copy of the marriage act and their procedures which you have to memorise.
They will schedule a test date and you have to score more than 80% on the test.

Once that is complete they will issue you with a letter of appointment and a book of Register certificates and Marriage certificates.
You can then have a stamp made up with your name and organisation.

Just one thing to note. According to the marriage act, marriage officers are NOT allowed to charge for their services.
So if you are hoping to get this in order to make a living, you can forget about that part! ;)
 

LazyLion

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#6
Then what you're just allowed to cover your costs?

http://www.marriageofficer.co.za/costs
The Marriage Act of 1961 prohibits any Marriage Officer from demanding or receiving any gifts or remuneration for performing his civil duties.
So yeah, that guy is in violation of the law as it currently stands.
There is a proposal in the 2009 draft amendment to change this particular part of the law, but it has not been accepted yet.
You can recover any associated costs, travel, food, lodging, etc. But you cannot charge for the actual ceremony or filling out of forms.
It is a well know fact that many ministers violate this law, even Home Affairs officials. The fact that they are not prosecuted only speaks of improper enforcement.
But the law is very clear on that point.
 

the_jus

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Mar 3, 2011
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#7
thanks garyvdh,

Do you need to belong to a church or denomination in order to become a Marriage officer?

Thanks, i guess my next step is to phone home affairs and find out.

btw, if you're a marriage officer, does that make you a commissioner of oaths as well?
 

LazyLion

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#8
thanks garyvdh,
Do you need to belong to a church or denomination in order to become a Marriage officer?
Thanks, i guess my next step is to phone home affairs and find out.
In the old days, it was almost impossible to become one without belonging to a recognised body. But these days, who knows?
Your best bet is to ask them.

btw, if you're a marriage officer, does that make you a commissioner of oaths as well?
Yes, all marriage officers are ex officio (by virtue of office) also Commissioners of Oaths.
 

AniV

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#9
If you have to belong to a church or organisation of some sort, then how do athiests become marriage officers?
And how do athiests get married if there are no non-religious marriage officers to marry them?
 

LazyLion

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#10
how do athiests get married if there are no non-religious marriage officers to marry them?
You make an appointment at Home Affairs and get married there. But book early as the waiting list can be quite long.
Most Marriage Officers will also have no problem with performing just the civil part of the service for you.
It is in our mutual interests to see people get married. The religious part is reserved for those that wish it so... but it is not required for everybody.

The basic civil part simply requires that the marriage officer ensures that there are no legal prohibitions against the marriage, and then he pronounces them married.
The rest is up to you. You can decide if you want vows, rings or not.
 

GreyBush

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#11
Very informative thread this, I wondered why they say donations are welcome.

In your opinion what is a decent donation? She will be driving about 30km's.
 

AniV

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#12
Not all athiests want to get married at Home Affairs...
My question was more about how a person goes about becoming a marriage officer if they're an athiest.

For the record, I'm already married.
 

LazyLion

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#13
Very informative thread this, I wondered why they say donations are welcome.

In your opinion what is a decent donation? She will be driving about 30km's.
Anywhere from R300 for a very basic ceremony to R1000 if the time investment involves several hours of her time.
At least that seems logical to me.

I've heard of some Marriage Officers demanding more than R3000 for a ceremony and I think those guys should be throw in jail... as the act says.
 

LazyLion

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#14
Not all athiests want to get married at Home Affairs...
My question was more about how a person goes about becoming a marriage officer if they're an athiest.

For the record, I'm already married.
It doesn't have to be at Home Affairs. It can basically be in any building... including a home.
If you have further questions about how to become a marriage officer for your particular group, I suggest you contact Home Affairs.
 

Bernie

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#15
The Marriage Act of 1961 prohibits any Marriage Officer from demanding or receiving any gifts or remuneration for performing his civil duties.
So yeah, that guy is in violation of the law as it currently stands.
There is a proposal in the 2009 draft amendment to change this particular part of the law, but it has not been accepted yet.
You can recover any associated costs, travel, food, lodging, etc. But you cannot charge for the actual ceremony or filling out of forms.
It is a well know fact that many ministers violate this law, even Home Affairs officials. The fact that they are not prosecuted only speaks of improper enforcement.
But the law is very clear on that point.
LOL! - Ahhh, now I understand why our marriage officer was very reluctant to take the money I wanted to give her for marrying us. I practically had to force her to take it as a donation etc. I never knew this and she never once mentioned that the law actually prohibited this. good to know - Thank you.
 

GreyBush

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#16
Anywhere from R300 for a very basic ceremony to R1000 if the time investment involves several hours of her time.
At least that seems logical to me.

I've heard of some Marriage Officers demanding more than R3000 for a ceremony and I think those guys should be throw in jail... as the act says.
Thanks thats what I had in mind, hard to tell with wedding and marriage services... there are a lot of people trying to cash in on your big day.
 
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