What is it? It is the registration of your marriage,
and the subsequent keeping of the record of your
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.
And that entity 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
Again, Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the state
or territory in which you were married.
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, for 75 years after
the date of your wedding. As per government
protocols, details may be shared with courts and
certain other legal entities.
Who pays for all of
What you pay your celebrant will cover all legal
paperwork requirements, 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, is the
responsibility of the government. So, while there
is no direct cost to you, collectively as a
society we all pay for it.