How to check marital status

Checking one’s marital status in South Africa is an important process for various legal, financial, and personal reasons. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is the primary governmental body responsible for recording and providing information on marital status. Below, find a detailed guide on how to check marital status in South Africa, along with answers to the top 20 questions regarding marital status in the country.

How to Check Marital Status in South Africa

Online Verification:

  1. Visit the DHA Website: The Department of Home Affairs offers an online service to check your marital status.
  2. Register/Create an Account: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register and create an account on the DHA website.
  3. Log In and Navigate to Marital Status Section: Once logged in, navigate to the section dedicated to marital status verification.
  4. Enter Required Information: You may need to enter your South African ID number and other personal details.
  5. Submit and View Status: After submission, you should be able to view your current marital status.

SMS Service:

  1. Send an SMS: You can also check your marital status by sending an SMS to a number provided by the DHA.
  2. Receive Confirmation: After sending the SMS, you will receive a message indicating your marital status.

You can check your marital status via SMS:

Type the letter M and your ID number (e.g. M 5001010050080) and SMS it to 32551.

You can also use the SMS line to do the following checks:

• For your ID document application status: type ID then your ID number (e.g. ID 5001010050080).

• For your passport application status: type the letter P and then your ID number (e.g. P 5001010050080).

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• For your living status (whether official government records have you listed as either dead or alive): type the letter L and then your ID number (eg L 5001010050080).

• For a duplicate ID number: type the letter D then your ID number (e.g. D 5001010050080).

You’ll receive the status directly to your cellphone via SMS.

Contact your local Home Affairs office or the call centre at 0800 60 11 90 for more information.

In-Person Verification:

  1. Visit the Nearest DHA Office: If online or SMS options are not viable, you can visit a local Department of Home Affairs office.
  2. Provide Necessary Identification: Present your South African ID book/card.
  3. Request Marital Status Verification: A DHA official will assist you in checking your marital status.

Top 20 Questions about Marital Status in South Africa

  1. What information is needed to check marital status?
    Typically, your South African ID number and sometimes additional personal details.
  2. Is there a fee to check marital status?
    Checking marital status online or via SMS is usually free, but there may be nominal fees for certain services, especially for obtaining official documents.
  3. How can I correct errors in my marital status record?
    Contact the DHA directly; you may need to provide documentary evidence to correct any errors.
  4. Can I check someone else’s marital status?
    Due to privacy laws, you generally cannot check someone else’s marital status without their consent.
  5. How often should I check my marital status?
    It’s advisable to check your marital status after any major life event such as marriage, divorce, or annulment.
  6. What does it mean if my marital status is incorrect?
    An incorrect marital status could be an administrative error or a sign of identity theft.
  7. How long does it take to update marital status?
    Updates should be reflected soon after the DHA processes marriage or divorce documents, but it can take several weeks.
  8. Can I use my marital status for legal proceedings?
    Yes, proof of marital status can be used in legal matters including divorce, inheritance, and custody disputes.
  9. What should I do if I’m listed as married but I’m not?
    Immediately contact the DHA to rectify this as it could impact your legal and financial rights.
  10. How does marriage affect my tax status?
    Your marital status can affect your tax filings, especially if you’re married in community of property.
  11. Can foreigners check their marital status in South Africa?
    Yes, if the marriage was registered in South Africa.
  12. What documents are needed for a marital status change?
    Marriage or divorce certificates are typically required to update your status.
  13. How do I prove my marital status for immigration or visa applications?
    Obtain a marital status certificate from the DHA.
  14. Can I check marital status with a temporary ID?
    Yes, as long as the temporary ID has your ID number.
  15. Is online marital status checking secure?
    Yes, the DHA’s online services use secure protocols to protect personal information.
  16. What if my marital status is not updated after a divorce?
    Contact the DHA with a copy of your final decree of divorce to update your status.
  17. Does a customary marriage affect my marital status?
    Yes, customary marriages must be registered to be legally recognized and affect your marital status.
  18. Can a lawyer check my marital status on my behalf?
    With your consent and the necessary documents, a lawyer can request this information.
  19. How do I register a foreign marriage in South Africa?
    Foreign marriages can be registered at a DHA office by presenting the marriage certificate and other required documents.
  20. What impact does marital status have on property ownership?
    Depending on your type of marriage (in community of property, out of community, etc.), it can significantly affect property ownership and rights.
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For specific situations or more detailed guidance

, contacting the Department of Home Affairs directly or consulting with a legal professional in South Africa is advisable. They can provide personalized advice based on the latest regulations and procedures.