Registration of customary marriages and validated marriages
(1) The Registrar shall maintain separate registers for the registration of customary marriages and validated marriages.
(2) The parties to a customary marriage or a validated marriage celebrated in Hong Kong before the appointed day may apply to the Registrar in the prescribed manner at any time for the registration of their marriage.
(3) The District Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine an application by a person claiming to be a party to a customary marriage or a validated marriage for a declaration that a customary marriage or validated marriage, as the case may be, subsists between that person and the other party to such marriage where-
(a) the other party disputes the existence of the marriage;
(b) the other party is unwilling to join in the application for the registration of the marriage under this section; or
(c) the whereabouts of the other party cannot after careful and reasonable inquiry be ascertained or it is for any other reason impracticable for such other party to be apprised of the application for the registration of the marriage under this section. (Replaced 62 of 1979 s. 3)
(4) One party to a customary marriage or a validated marriage celebrated in Hong Kong before the appointed day may-
(a) with the consent in writing of the other party to the marriage; or
(b) where the District Court has under subsection (3) declared the marriage to subsist,
apply to the Registrar in the prescribed manner at any time for the registration of the marriage.
(5) Where the Registrar is satisfied that-
(a) the particulars contained in any application under this section are true; and
(b) a form of marriage did take place between the parties named at the time and place and before the witnesses specified in the application; and
(c) the marriage constitutes either a valid customary marriage or a validated marriage,
he shall prepare a certificate of marriage in the prescribed form and the Registrar, and the applicants, or applicant as the case may be, and 2 witnesses to the marriage, shall thereupon sign duplicate certificates; but a certificate shall not be invalidated by the absence of signature by one or both witnesses if the Registrar is satisfied that one or both is or are not available, and cannot reasonably be made available, to sign and he records that he is so satisfied on the certificate.
(6) When a certificate is signed in accordance with subsection (5), the Registrar shall deliver one certificate to the applicants or applicant and the other certificate shall form part of the register which the Registrar is required to maintain under subsection (1).
(7) Where, on an application to the Registrar under this section, the Registrar is not satisfied with respect to the matters specified in subsection (5)(a), (b) and (c), a party to the marriage may apply to the District Court for a declaration that a customary marriage or a validated marriage, as the case may be, subsists between the parties, and the District Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any such application.