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How to Get Married in Kenya

A marriage in Africa is becoming more and more popular as more couples decide that exchanging vows while on safari or at a treetop lodge is the type of wedding ceremony that appeals.

In Kenya make sure you leave enough time to obtain your marriage licence before the ceremony, otherwise everything is quite straightforward.
Below are the legalities for marrying in Kenya, to help you plan your ideal wedding abroad.

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Kenya Marriage Law Requirements

What are the legal requirements to get married in Kenya?
Legal age for marriage is 21 years for both men and women. If women are between 16 and 20 years and men are between 18 and 20 years then parental consent is required.
Bride and Groom may not be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses are required
Same sex marriages are not permitted in Kenya.


How long do I have to be resident in Kenya before I can get married?
You will need to be in the country to apply for a Special Licence in person at the Registrar General in Nairobi and then approval can take up to approximately 4 days. For an ordinary marriage licence you have to give 21 days notice, which is why most non-residents opt for a Special Licence.
Proof of departure from the country e.g. Airline ticket, will help speed up the process.


Getting a marriage licence
You must take the papers mentioned below to the Registrar Office, Sheria House, Nairobi.


What legal papers do I need to take with me?
Passports and photocopies.
Full birth certificates and photocopies.
Your Tourist Card when you entered Kenya.
Certificate of Single Status which you can obtain from your home country.
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown, and a copy, and your former marriage certificate.
If you have changed your name then deed poll proof must be shown, stamped by a solicitor.


Please note: this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner in resort or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up to date details before you marry.


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Kenya Marriage Registrar's Office

 Registrar General
Sheria House
2nd Floor, Room 208
P.O. Box 30031
Tel: +254 020 227 461