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Home > China > Registration Of Marriage
Registration Of Marriage China
REGULATIONS ON MARRIAGE REGISTRATION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
(Approved by the State Council on December 31, 1985 and promulgated by the Civil Affairs Ministry on March 15, 1986)
 
 
Chapter I. General Principles
Article 1. These regulations are formulated, in accordance with the Marriage Law and other relevant laws, to ensure marriage based on free choice of partners, on monogamy, and on equal rights for the sexes; improve the administration of marriage registration; protect the lawful rights and interests of the parties to a marriage; and deal with violations of law in regard to marriage.
 
Article 2. Chinese citizens who marry, divorce or remarry within the national boundaries of China shall register in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.
 
Registration for marriage between a Chinese citizen and a foreign national; between an overseas Chinese and a domestic citizen; and between a resident of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions and an inland resident shall be handled in accordance with relevant regulations.
 
Article 3. The lawful rights and interests of the parties registering their marriage in accordance with law are protected by law.
 
Article 4. The State Council Civil Affairs Department is in charge of marriage registrations nationwide.
 
Civil affairs departments under people's governments at the county level or higher are responsible for marriage registration in their respective administrative regions.
 
Chapter II. Marriage Registration Administrative Office
Article 5. In urban areas, the marriage registration administrative office is the neighborhood office or, in districts directly under the city government or cities not divided into districts, it is the city people's government civil affairs department; in rural areas, it is the village, nationality village or town people's government.
 
Article 6. The functions of the marriage registration administrative office are as follows:
  1. to handle marriage registration;
  2. to issue marriage certificates;
  3. to handle, in accordance with law, violations in respect of marriage; and
  4. to publicize laws governing marriage and promote civilized marriage customs.
Article 7. Marriage registration personnel at a marriage registration administrative office shall undergo vocational training by the civil affairs department of the people's government at the county level or higher and be issued marriage registration credentials after passing examinations.
 
Chapter III. Marriage Registration
Article 8. The parties applying for marriage registration shall truthfully produce relevant documents and proof noted in these regulations to the marriage registration administrative office; they shall not hide the facts.
 
In processing marriage registrations, a marriage registration administrative office shall not ask the parties to produce documents and proof other than those noted in these regulations.
 
Article 9. The parties to a marriage must file in person marriage registration with the marriage registration administrative office in the locality where one party of the marriage has residency registration. They shall produce the following documents and proof when filing the application:
  1. residency papers;
  2. resident identity cards;
  3. certificates of marital status issued by their units, village committees or neighborhood committees.
If one or both parties are divorced, divorce certificate(s) shall be produced.
 
In localities requiring physical checkups prior to marriage, the parties to a marriage shall undergo remarriage physical checkups at designated medical or health care facilities and produce the remarriage physical checkup papers at the marriage registration administrative office.
 
Article 10. Where possible, a system of remarriage physical checkups shall be instituted. The civil affairs and public health administrative departments of the people's governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government shall submit proposals regarding the specific areas for implementing such a system to the people's government at the corresponding level for approval.
 
Article 11. The marriage registration administrative office shall examine the marriage registration filed by the parties; it shall promptly register their marriage and issue them the marriage certificate if the conditions of marriage are met. Where the party or parties divorced before, the divorce certificate(s) shall be revoked. The relationship of husband and wife is established when the parties acquire a marriage certificate.
 
Article 12. The marriage registration administrative office shall reject the application for marriage registration if any of the following situations apply:
  1. where one or both parties have not reached the legal age for marriage;
  2. the marriage is not based on the willingness of the parties;
  3. one or both parties are already married;
  4. where the man and woman are lineal or collateral relatives by blood (up to the third degree of relationship);
  5. where one party is suffering from disease(s) that by law would not allow them to marry or require a delay to marriage.
Article 13. Where the parties to a marriage are unable to obtain the needed documents because of interference from their units or other individuals, the marriage registration administrative office, after clearly establishing that the parties meet the requirements for marriage with an investigation, shall accept the registration.
 
Article 14. The parties filing for divorce shall apply for divorce registration in person with the marriage registration administrative office in the locality where one party of the marriage has residency registration. They shall produce the following documents and proofs when filing the application:
  1. residency papers;
  2. resident identity cards;
  3. reference letters from their unit, village committee or neighborhood committee;
  4. a divorce agreement; and
  5. the marriage certificate.

Article 15. The divorce agreement shall clearly state the desire of both parties for a divorce, the care of children, financial assistance if one party has maintenance difficulties, the disposal of property and debts, and other relevant matters. The contents of the agreement shall be favorable to the protection of the rights and interests of women and children.

Article 16. The marriage registration administrative office shall examine the parties' application for divorce and, where the conditions for divorce are met, register the divorce, issue the divorce certificate and nullify the marriage within a month of receipt of the application. The relationship of husband and wife is terminated when the parties acquire a divorce certificate.
 
Article 17. Where a party of a divorce fails to fulfil the obligations listed in the divorce agreement, the other party may file a suit with the people's court.
 
Article 18. The marriage registration administrative office shall not accept the application for divorce if any of the following situations apply:
  1. one party insists on divorce;
  2. both parties insist on divorce but have not reached an agreement on the care of children, financial assistance to the party that has maintenance difficulties, the disposal of property and debts, or other matters;
  3. one or both parties have only limited or lost civil capacity; or
  4. the parties did not register their marriage.
Article 19. The parties of a divorce who have resumed husband-and-wife relations shall apply, in person, to the marriage registration administrative office in the locality where one party of the marriage has residency registration for a registration of remarriage. The marriage registration administrative office shall handle the application for remarriage registration in accordance with the procedures for marriage registration, except that the remarriage physical checkup is not required.
 
Article 20. If the marriage registration administrative office rejects an application for marriage registration, it shall explain in writing the reasons for the rejection.
 
Chapter IV. Marriage Registration Archives and Certificates of Marriage Relationship
Article 21. The marriage registration administrative office shall set up an archive of marriage registrations. Procedures for the administration of the marriage registration archives shall be formulated by the State Council Civil Affairs Department in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Archives Law.
 
Article 22. Where the parties lost or damaged the marriage or divorce certificate, they may use the certificate of marriage status issued by their work unit, village committee, or neighborhood committee and apply for a re-issuance of the marriage certificate from the marriage registration administrative office at which they registered their marriage registration.
 
Article 23. The marriage registration administrative office shall examine the certificate of marriage status submitted by the parties and issue, in accordance with the marriage registration archives, a certificate of husband-and-wife relations to the party whose marriage certificate is lost or damaged or a certificate of the annulment of husband-and-wife relations to the party whose certificate of divorce is lost or damaged.
 
The certificate of husband-and-wife relations and the certificate of the annulment of husband-and-wife relations have the same legal effect as the marriage and divorce certificates.
 
Chapter V. Supervision and Administration
Article 24. The marriage relations of citizens who have not reached the legal marriage age but live together as husband and wife and those parties who meet the requirements for marriage and live as husband and wife but have not applied for marriage registration are invalid and not protected by law.
 
Article 25. Where the parties obtained marriage registration by fraud, the marriage registration administrative office shall revoke their marriage registration, shall declare to the parties of the marriage or remarriage that their marriage relations are invalid and take back their marriage certificate. To the parties of divorce, it shall declare to them the annulment of marriage relations is invalid and take back their certificate of divorce. The parties in question shall be fined 200 yuan or less.
 
Article 26. The marriage registration administrative office shall report the offence of remarriage by a married party concerned to a procuratorial organ even though his or her spouse has filed no suit.
 
Article 27. The marriage registration administrative office shall confiscate false documents issued by a unit or organization to a party applying for marriage registration and shall suggest that the unit or organization criticize, educate, or mete out administrative punishment to the personnel directly responsible for the matter.
 
Article 28. Where registration has been granted in violation of the provisions of Articles 12 and 18 of these regulations, the marriage registration administrative office shall mete out administrative punishment to the personnel in charge of marriage registration or remove them from their posts; it shall cancel the marriage registration by recalling the marriage certificate from the relevant party who failed to meet the requirements for marriage registration.
 
Article 29. The relevant party may file an appeal in accordance with a regulation on administrative appeal if he or she deems that his or her application has been rejected by the marriage registration administrative office even though he or she meets the marriage registration requirements or if the party concerned does not agree with the punishment. The party concerned may file a law suit in accordance with the law governing administrative procedure if it disagrees with the appeal decision.
 
Chapter VI. Supplementary Provisions
Article 30. The State Council Civil Affairs Department shall draw up a unified form of marriage registration certificate and certificates of marriage relationship in accordance with the provisions of these regulations, and the civil affairs departments of the people's governments of the provincial and autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government shall be responsible for printing them.
 
Article 31. To receive their marriage registration certificates and certificates of marriage relationship, the parties concerned shall pay a production fee, the amount of which shall be set by the State Council Civil Affairs Department in coordination with other relevant departments.
 
Article 32. The people's governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government may enact appropriate restrictive measures to check the marriage of people whose age is below the marriage age stipulated by the law.
 
Article 33. The people's governments of national autonomous areas may enact flexible or supplementary provisions in accordance with the principles of these regulations and in line with the specific conditions of marriage registration administration in their respective areas.
 
Article 34. These regulations shall come into effect on the day of promulgation. Simultaneously abolished shall be the "Procedures for Marriage Registration" approved by the State Council on December 31, 1985 and promulgated by the Civil Affairs Ministry on March 15, 1986.


 
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