Federal Marriage Registries are the most recognized and acceptable legal wedding ceremonies both international and National. Although, there exist State and Local Government marriage registries that perform the same function of joining couples together. However, many people prefer Federal marriage registries because of traveling purposes as many countries require marriage certificate as evidence of the relationship between two couples.

There are two Federal marriage Registries in Nigeria, the Federal Marriage Registry, Lagos and the Federal Marriage Registry, Abuja. Both are under the Federal Ministry of Interior.


There are two types of marriage contractable at the Federal marriage Registry;
1. Local marriage which involves two Nigerians resident in Nigeria.
2. Special Marriage which involves a Nigerian and a foreigner or two Nigerians resident outside Nigeria or one of which is resident outside Nigeria.


An applicant for special marriage is required to complete and submit the following;
1. Application for special marriage
2. Marriage Application Automation form
3. Particulars for special marriage license
4. After 21 days, go back to the registry and obtain an Affidavit on application for certificate form.
5. Fill the certificate of Bachelorhood and Spinsterhood. However, if any of the proposed spouse has been previously married, he/she will present an ” Affidavit of Marriage ” instead. If you or your spouse has kids, an affidavit stating the number of children should be presented.
6. Pay the appropriate fees for the above forms/certificate.
9. Fill the Application for special marriage licence.
8. Submit the following documents;
a. State of Origin for Nigerians
b. Birth Certificate or Affidavit of Declaration of Age.
c. Divorce papers ( divorcee only)
d. International Passport Data page (Photocopy in colour)
e. Visa page (Photocopy in Colour)
f. Entry page stamped (photocopy in colour)
g. Passport photograph (Two each)
I. Widower/ Widow death certificate (Widows only).
9. Notify the registry of your proposed wedding/ interview date.

1. Fill the notice of marriage form which must be attached with a copy of your passport photographs.
2. Go back to the registry after 22 days and obtain an Affidavit on Application for certificate form.
3. Fill the certificate of Bachelorhood and Spinsterhood.
4. Fill Affidavit of Marriage if any of the proposed spouse is previously married.
5. Fill Affidavit of Number of Children if any or the proposed couples have children.
6. Pay the appropriate Registration fees and forms.
7 Submit the following documents;
a. State of Origin
b. Birth certificate or Affidavit of Age Declaration
c. Divorce Papers (Divorcee only)
d. Passport Photographs (Two each)
e. Widower/Widow certificate ( Widows only)
8. Fill the Application for Marriage licence
9. Notify the registry of your proposed wedding/ interview date.


Wedding at the Registry can be booked for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The proposed couples shall pay 1000 Naira if the Wedding date falls either on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday while 3000 Naira is for Saturday.


Interview is generally schedule for Tuesday. However, the couples can fix interview and wedding same day.


The proposed couples shall come with the following on the wedding day;
1. A token of wedding which includes Ring, Quran r Bible
2. Two Witnesses, one from each side of the spouse
3. Food, Drinks, Refreshment, Photographer (Optional)
4. Dress properly.
For Female, you can dress either with Shirt and Suit, Wedding gown, Native attire with head covering.
For Male: Trousers and Suit, Shirt and Tie, Native attire with cap.

NOTE: You can engage a Legal Practitioner to perfect your registration process at the marriage registry or you do same personally.

By: Miracle Akusobi, Esq.

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