If you are not getting married in NSW
What the legal requirements are if you get married in an Australian state or territory other than NSW, or if you get married overseas.
In Australia, marriages are registered in the state or territory in which they take place.
If you are not getting married in NSW, the legal requirements may be different. The specific requirements will depend on where you are getting married.
If you’re getting married interstate
You can find out more about the legal requirements from the registry in the state or territory where you plan to get married:
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
- Australian Capital Territory
You can also check the requirements with your marriage celebrant.
If you’re getting married overseas
Check the legal requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country where you intend to get married.
You may need to prove that you are not currently married. Types of documentation can include a:
- single status certificate issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
- certificate of no impediment to marriage issued by either the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or from the Australian embassy or consulate in the country you're getting married
- certificate showing a previous marriage has ended, including a divorce certificate or your spouse’s death certificate
Check in advance which type of documentation is required, as it can differ between countries.
In some situations, marriages of defence personnel can be solemnised overseas by a defence force chaplain or an authorised officer. These marriages need to be registered in Canberra by the Registrar of Overseas Marriages, ACT Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Recognition of overseas marriages
Overseas marriages cannot be registered in Australia. However, the marriage will usually be legally recognised in Australia, if:
- it’s legally recognised in the country you were married
- it would be considered legal if the marriage had taken place in Australia
You’ll need to have:
- registered your marriage in the country where it took place
- have evidence of the marriage, such as a marriage certificate and any other supporting documents
If your marriage is not legally recognised in Australia
If your overseas marriage is not legally recognised in Australia, you'll generally need to:
- provide a statutory declaration relating to the validity of the marriage
- have a marriage ceremony in Australia, the same as if you were not already married
However, your Australian marriage certificate will reference the date and location of your previous ceremony held overseas.
A celebrant will be able to guide you through this process and what documentation you’ll need to provide.
You may also consider getting legal advice.