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How To Check Marriage Status Online In South Africa?

Quick Summary

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa provides online and SMS services to check marital status. By using the Track & Trace service on their website or sending an SMS with the letter M followed by the ID number to 32551, individuals can easily verify their marital status. It is important to understand the legal requirements and consequences of marriage in South Africa and ensure all necessary documents are provided when getting married or registering a marriage.


Marriage is a significant milestone in many people’s lives, and it is important to ensure that your marital status is accurately recorded. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs manages the solemnization and registration of marriages. Whether you are planning to get married or simply want to check your current marital status, there are online services available for this purpose.

In this blog post, we will explore how you can conveniently check your marriage status online in South Africa. We will provide step-by-step instructions on using the Track & Trace service offered by the Department of Home Affairs website as well as an alternative method through SMS. Additionally, we’ll discuss some frequently asked questions related to checking marriage statuses.

By understanding these processes and requirements outlined by the government authorities responsible for managing marriages in South Africa, individuals can have peace of mind knowing their marital information is accurate and up-to-date.

Stay tuned for more detailed information on how you can easily verify your own or someone else’s marriage status from anywhere at any time!

The Department of Home Affairs and Marriage in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs plays a crucial role in managing marriages in South Africa. They are responsible for the solemnization and registration of civil marriages, customary marriages, and civil unions.

Civil Marriages

Civil marriages are governed by the Marriage Act, which outlines the legal requirements for getting married under South African law. These types of marriages can take place at offices of the Department or at churches authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.

Customary Marriages

Customary marriages are recognized through the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act. For these types of unions to be considered valid, they must have been entered into before November 15th, 2000. If entered into after this date, certain requirements must be met according to customary law.

Civil Unions

Civil unions fall under the Civil Union Act. They provide an alternative form of recognition for couples who do not wish to marry under traditional marriage laws. Couples entering into a civil union must be 18 years or older and may not already be married in terms of any other Act. These unions can be transacted by designated officers employed by the Department of Home Affairs and Magistrates’ Courts.

It is important to understand that each type has its own set of rules, and it is crucial to comply with them when getting married or registering a marriage. By following these regulations, you ensure that your union will be recognized legally and in accordance with South African law.

Checking Marital Status Online

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa offers a convenient online facility for individuals to check their marital status. This service is part of the Track & Trace system, which allows users to track various applications and statuses related to the Department.

Steps to Check Marital Status Online

  1. Visit the official website of the Department of Home Affairs at www.dha.gov.za.
  2. Navigate to the “Track & Trace” section on their homepage.
  3. Look for an option specifically labeled as “Verify Marital Status.”
  4. Click on this option to access the relevant page or form where you can enter your information.
  5. Provide either your ID number or passport number (if applicable) in order for them to verify your details accurately.
  6. Submit by clicking on the ‘Submit’ button.
  7. The system will then process your request and display whether you are married or not.

It’s important that you have all necessary identification documents readily available when using this service since accurate input is crucial for obtaining correct results regarding marriage status.

Please note that while checking marital status online through Track & Trace is generally straightforward, there may be instances where technical difficulties arise due to maintenance work being carried out on the website.

Checking Marital Status via SMS

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa provides a convenient service for individuals to check their marital status using an SMS. This service is especially useful when you need quick access to your marriage information without having to visit the department’s offices.


  1. Open the messaging app on your mobile phone.
  2. Compose a new message.
  3. In the recipient field, enter “32551”.
  4. In the message body, type the letter M followed by your ID number (e.g., M 1234567890123).
  5. Send the message.

Please note that there is a charge associated with this service which will be deducted from your airtime or added to your monthly bill depending on your mobile network provider and plan.

Within moments of sending this text message, you should receive a reply confirming whether you are married or not along with details about when and where it took place if applicable.

It’s important to keep in mind that while checking one’s own marital status through this method is straightforward, it cannot be used for checking someone else’s marital status as personal identification numbers must match those registered within official records held by The Department of Home Affairs.

By utilizing this simple yet effective SMS-based system provided by The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa, you can easily verify and confirm any doubts regarding yours’ or another person’s current martial standing at any time.

Legal Requirements and Consequences of Marriage in South Africa

In order to ensure that your marriage is legally recognized in South Africa, it is important to understand the legal requirements and consequences associated with getting married. Here are some key points you need to know:

Legal Requirements for a Valid Marriage:

  • Marriages in South Africa are governed by different acts depending on the type of marriage. Civil marriages fall under the Marriage Act, customary marriages under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, and civil unions under the Civil Union Act.
  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old or have obtained parental consent if they are minors.
  • The couple must not already be married according to any other act or custom law.
  • Certain categories of people may not marry each other, such as close relatives.

Consequences of Marriage:

When entering into a valid marriage in South Africa, there are certain legal consequences that come into effect unless otherwise specified through an ante-nuptial contract (ANC). By default, all civil marriages without an ANC will automatically follow what is known as “in community” property regime. This means that both spouses share equal ownership over assets acquired before or during their marriage.

If couples wish for a different property regime where individual ownership remains separate even after marrying (“out-of-community”), they should consult with an attorney prior to getting married so that appropriate arrangements can be made through drafting an ANC.

Necessary Documents and Forms:

To get legally married or register your existing union within one of these three frameworks mentioned above (civil marriage/customary/union), specific documents need to be provided:

  1. Identity Documents: On the day of your wedding ceremony/registering process at Home Affairs offices/churches/traditional leaders’ premises/courts etc., both partners must present their original identity documents along with copies thereof.
  2. Completed Forms: Depending on various factors like nationality/residency status/etc., additional forms might also be required. For example, foreign nationals marrying South African citizens need to complete the BI-31 Form.
  3. Consent Forms: If any of the individuals getting married are minors or have been previously divorced/widowed, relevant consent forms (such as DHA-32 for minors) and supporting documents must also be provided.

It is crucial to ensure that all necessary documentation is in order before proceeding with your marriage ceremony or registration process. Failure to comply with these legal requirements may result in complications down the line and could potentially invalidate your union.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney if you have specific questions about legalities surrounding marriages in South Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Can I check the marital status of someone else?

No, you cannot check the marital status of someone else online. The Department of Home Affairs’ online facility and SMS service are designed for individuals to check their own marital status only. Checking another person’s marital status without their consent would be a violation of privacy.

Question 2: How long does it take for the marital status to be updated after a marriage?

The exact timeframe for updating the marital status after a marriage can vary depending on various factors such as administrative processes and workload at the Department of Home Affairs. Generally, it is recommended to allow some time (usually within a few weeks) for your new marital status information to reflect in official records.

Question 3: What should I do if there is an error in my marital status?

If you notice any errors or discrepancies in your marital status, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs immediately to rectify the problem. You can visit your local Home Affairs office or contact their call center at 0800 60 11 90 for assistance. Provide the necessary documentation and information to support your claim, and they will guide you on how to update and revise your marital status to ensure it is correctly recorded.

Question 4: Can I check the marital status of a foreign national?

Yes, the online facility provided by the Department of Home Affairs allows you to check the marital status of foreign nationals as well. However, it is important to note that some additional requirements may apply. Foreign nationals planning to marry in South Africa must comply with stricter rules implemented by the Department to safeguard against fraudulent marriages. These include booking an interview with an immigration officer, two weeks prior to the ceremony, and answering questions about their relationship and immigration status. Valid passports and visas are also required for foreign nationals planning to wed in South Africa.

Question 5: How can I verify the living status of a person?

To verify the living status of a person, you will need to contact your local Home Affairs office or use their online facility. The Department of Home Affairs provides services for verifying various statuses, including marital status and living status. By providing the necessary information such as ID number or passport number, they can assist in confirming whether an individual is alive according to official records.

Question 6: Can I check the status of my ID document or passport application online?

Yes, you can check the progress/status of your ID document or passport application online using the Track & Trace service provided by the Department of Home Affairs. Simply visit the department’s website, navigate to the “Track & Trace Your Status” section, and follow the guidelines provided. Enter the relevant information, such as your reference number or ID/passport number, to obtain an update on the status of your application. It is important to note that some applications may take longer to process than others; however, the Track & Trace service will provide you with the most up-to-date information available. If you encounter any difficulties accessing the site, it is suggested to contact the Department directly for further assistance.


  1. https://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/marriage-certificates
  2. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/check-your-marital-status
  3. https://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/minister-of-home-affairs/28-track-trace/78-track-trace-your-status

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