What is it? It is the registration of your marriage,
and the subsequent secure keeping of the record of
Why does your marriage
need to be registered?
There are a couple of reasons why you marriage
needs to be registered
- It is the law
The Marriage Act, 1961 requires that every
authorised celebrant (and that includes clergy
and marriage officers located in Registry
Offices and Courthouses) must submit the
details of your marriage, including all
relevant paperwork, to Births, Deaths, and
Marriages, within 14 days of your marriage
ceremony taking place
- Only registered marriages are recognised
Unless there is an official record of your
marriage, as far as government is concerned,
it didn't happen.
Who is responsible for
the registration of your marriage
There is dual responsibility. Your celebrant is
responsible for submitting your marriage details
and paperwork to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in
the state or territory in which you were married.
Births, Deaths, and Marriage is responsible for
- checking all the paperwork
- confirming that it is correct and that you
were free to marry (so BDM may check records
of your birth, and of how any previous
- Registering your marriage by including the
details in the Register of Births Deaths and
Who is responsible for
maintaining and keeping the record of your
The government of the state or territory is
ultimately responsible. Births, Deaths, and
Marriages in the state or territory in which you
were married is the bureaucratic entity that does
this on behalf of the government.
How long will the record
of your marriage be kept?
For ever! It is an important legal record. Which
means that you can apply for and, for a small fee,
get an official certificate that proves your
marriage has been registered, even years from now.
Who can see the record
of your marriage?
There are strict privacy rules around who can
access your record of marriage during the first 75
years after the date of your wedding. As per
government protocols, details may be shared with
courts and certain other legal entities. After 75
years it becomes a historical record which anyone
can apply to access.
Who pays for all of
What you pay your celebrant will cover all the
legal paperwork requirements for your marriage,
including the submission of your marriage details
and paperwork to enable your marriage to be
registered. The cost of staff and resources for
that registration, and for maintenance and storage
of all records of all marriages that take place in
Queensland (or any other state or territory in
Australia), is the responsibility of the
government. So, while there is no direct cost to
you, collectively as a society we all pay for it.
Thanks for reading!