(Adopted by the State Council on January 12, 1994 and promulgated by Decree No.1 of the Ministry of Civil Affairs on February 1, 1994)
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Marriage Registration Authorities
Chapter III Registration of Marriage
Chapter IVMarriage Registration Archives and Marriage Relationship
Chapter VSupervision and Administration
Chapter VISupplementary Provisions
Article 1These Regulations are formulated in accordance with theMarriage Law and other relevant laws, with a view to guaranteeing theimplementation of the marriage system based on the freedom of marriage, onmonogamy and on equality between men and women, strengthening theadministration of marriage registration, protecting the legitimate rights andinterests of both parties in marriage and dealing with illegal marriagesaccording to law.
Article 2Marriage, divorce and resumption of marriage between Chinesecitizens within the territory of China must be entered into registrationaccording to the provisions of these Regulations.
The registration of marriage between Chinese citizens and foreigners,between overseas Chinese and domestic citizens, between residents who comefrom Hongkong, Macau and Taiwan and inland citizens shall respectively behandled according to the relevant provisions.
Article 3The legitimate rights and interests of parties having gonethrough marriage registration according to law shall be protected by law.
Article 4The civil affairs department under the State Council shall beresponsible for the control of marriage registration throughout the country.
Civil affairs departments under local people's governments at or above thecounty level shall be responsible for the control of marriage registrationwithin their respective administrative divisions.
Marriage Registration Authorities
Article 5Marriage registration authorities refer to urban subdistrictoffices or civil affairs departments under people's governments in municipaldistricts or in cities not divided into districts, and refer to people'sgovernments of townships, nationality townships and towns in rural areas.
Article 6The functions of marriage registration authorities are asfollows:
(1) handling marriage registration;
(2) making out marriage relationship certificates;
(3) dealing with illegal marriages according to law; and
(4) propagating marriage laws and advocating civilized marriage customs.
Article 7Marriage registrars of the marriage registration authoritiesshall receive vocational training organized by civil affairs departments underpeople's governments at or above the county level. If they pass thequalification examination, a marriage registrar certificate shall be issued tothem.
Registration of Marriage
Article 8Parties applying for marriage registration shall truthfullyprovide to marriage registration authorities relevant certificates anddocuments stipulated in these Regulations and shall not conceal the truth.
In handling marriage registration, marriage registration authorities shallnot require applicants to provide any certificate and document not stipulatedin these Regulations.
Article 9Both parties intending to get married must appear in person atthe marriage registration authority in the place where either of the partieshas his/her residence registration and apply for marriage registration. Onapplication, they shall hold the following certificates and documents:
(1) certificate of each applicant's residence registration;
(2) resident identity cards of each applicant; and
(3) marital status certification issued by each applicant's unit, villagers committee or residents committee.
A divorced person shall be required to hold his/her divorce certificate.
In places practising pre-marital health check-ups, parties applying formarriage registration must go to the designated medical care institution forpre-marital health check-ups and present the pre-marital health check-upreport to the marriage registration authority.
Article 10A system of pre-marital health check-ups shall be set up inplaces where the conditions have been fulfilled. Areas to be decided topractise pre-marital health check-ups shall be proposed by civil affairsdepartments and public health departments of people's governments inprovinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the CentralGovernment and be reported to the people's governments at the same level forapproval.
Article 11Marriage registration authorities shall examine applicationsfor marriage registration and shall promptly grant registration and issuemarriage certificates to those applicants who conform to the marriageconditions. For a divorced person, his/her divorce certificate shall berevoked. The husband-and-wife relationship shall be established as soon asthey acquire the marriage certificates.
Article 12If either of the parties applying for marriage registrationfalls under any of the following categories, the marriage registrationauthority shall not register their marriage.
(1) not reaching the legally marriageable age;
(2) not based upon willingness;
(3) already having a spouse;
(4) if the parties are lineal relatives by blood, or collateral relativesby blood up to the third degree of kinship; or
(5) suffering from a disease with which a person is prohibited frommarriage or postponed to be married as stipulated by law.
Article 13Where parties applying for marriage registration areinterfered with by their units or a third party and this enables them not toobtain the required documents, the marriage registration authority shall grantregistration after confirming that they really conform to the marriageconditions.
Article 14Both parties intending a divorce must appear in person at themarriage registration authority in the place where either of the parties hashis/her residence registration and apply for divorce registration. Onapplication, they shall hold the following certificates and documents:
(1) certificates of each applicant's resident registration;
(2) resident identity cards of each applicant;
(3) introduction letters issued by each applicant's unit, villagerscommittee or residents committee;
(4) the divorce agreement; and
(5) the marriage certificate.
Article 15A divorce agreement shall clearly contain matters agreed uponbetween both parties regarding their intentions of divorce, fostering ofchildren, economic aid for difficulties in living of the husband or the wifeand disposal of property and debts. The contents of such an agreement shall beconducive to the protection of legitimate rights and interests of women andchildren.
Article 16The marriage registration authority shall examine the divorceapplication submitted by the parties and shall, within one month from the dateof accepting the application, register the divorce, issue them a divorcecertificate and revoke their marriage certificates where the parties conformto the divorce conditions. The husband-and-wife relationship shall berescinded as soon as they acquire the divorce certificate.
Article 17If one divorced party fails to perform his/her duty accordingto the divorce agreement, the other party may bring a civil lawsuit before apeople's court.
Article 18If either of the parties applying for divorce registrationfalls under any of the following categories, the marriage registrationauthority shall not accept the application.
(1) if only one party requires a divorce;
(2) if both parties require a divorce, but fail to reach an agreementregarding matters such as fostering of children, economic aid for difficultiesin living of the husband or the wife and disposal of property and debts;
(3) if one party or both parties is or are a person(s) with limitedcapacity for civil conduct or with no capacity for civil conduct; or
(4) if they didn't go through marriage registration.
Article 19Both divorced parties intending to resume theirhusband-and-wife relationship must appear in person at the marriageregistration authority in the place where either of parties has his/herresidence registration and apply for the registration of resumption ofmarriage. The marriage registration authority shall handle the application forresumption of marriage submitted by the parties according to the procedure forregistration of marriage and the parties may omit pre-marital health check-ups.
Article 20Marriage registration authorities shall explain reasons inwriting for rejecting applications for marriage registration submitted byparties.
Marriage Registration Archives and Marriage RelationshipCertificates
Article 21Marriage registration authorities shall file marriageregistration archives. The measures for control of marriage registrationarchives shall be formulated in accordance with the relevant provisions of theArchives law by the civil affairs department under the State Council.
Article 22Parties who lose, damage or destroy marriage certificates ordivorce certificates may, on the strength of the marital status certificatesissued by their units, villagers committees or residence committees, apply tothe marriage registration authority with which they went through theirmarriage registration for making out a marriage relationship certificate.
Article 23The marriage registration authority shall examine parties'application for making out a marriage relationship certificate and shall,based upon the parties' marriage registration archives, make out a certificateof husband-and-wife relationship for the parties who lose, damage or destroymarriage certificates and a certificate of rescinding husband-and-wiferelationship for the parties who lose, damage or destroy divorce certificates.
The certificates of husband-and-wife relationship and the certificates ofrescinding husband-and-wife relationship shall have equal legal effect withthe marriage certificates and the divorce certificates.
Supervision and Administration
Article 24If citizens not reaching the legally marriageable age cohabitin the name of the husband and wife, or citizens conforming to the marriageconditions cohabit in the name of the husband and wife without marriageregistration, their marriage relationship shall be null and void and outsidethe protection of law.
Article 25If parties applying for marriage registration resort todeception and obtain marriage registration, the marriage registrationauthority shall withdraw the marriage registration and shall declare to theparties intending to get married or to resume their marriage that theirmarriage relationship is null and void, and recall the marriage certificates,and declare to the parties intending for divorce that the rescission ofmarriage relationship is null and void, and recall the divorce certificates.
Article 26If a party has a spouse and commits bigamy, but his/her spousedoesn't accuse him/her, the marriage registration authority shall expose thecase to the procuratorial organ.
Article 27If a unit or an organization issues a false certificate ordocument for the parties applying for marriage registration, the marriageregistration authority shall confiscate the certificate or document andpropose to the unit or organization for admonishing and criticizing or givingdisciplinary sanctions to persons directly responsible.
Article 28If any marriage registrar grants registration in violation ofthe provisions of Articles 12 and 18 in these Regulations, the marriageregistration authority shall give him disciplinary sanctions or disqualify himas a marriage registrar. The registration of marriage between parties not yetconforming to the conditions for marriage registration shall be withdrawn andthe marriage registration certificate revoked.
Article 29If any party thinks that he conforms to the marriageregistration conditions but the marriage registration authority refuses togrant registration to him, or if any party refuses to accept punishment, hemay apply for reconsideration according to the provisions of the Regulationson Administrative Reconsideration. If he refuses to accept the reconsiderationdecision, he may bring a lawsuit according to the provisions of theAdministrative Procedure Law.
Article 30For marriage registration certificates and marriagerelationship certificates mentioned in these Regulations, the civil affairsdepartment under the State Council shall decide their unified forms and civilaffairs departments of people's governments of provinces, autonomous regionsand municipalities directly under the Central Government shall print them.
Article 31Any party shall pay the costs for taking out the marriageregistration certificate and marriage relationship certificate. The coststandard shall be set by the civil affairs department under the State Councilin consultation with relevant departments.
Article 32People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions andmunicipalities directly under the Central Government may formulate properrestrictions upon marriages between persons below the legally marriageable age.
Article 33People's governments of national autonomous areas may, inaccordance with the principles of these Regulations and the actual practicesof the local nationalities with regard to the control of marriageregistration, formulate adaptive or supplementary provisions.
Article 34These Regulations shall come into effect on the date of itspromulgation. The Procedures for Marriage Registration, approved by the StateCouncil on December 31, 1985 and promulgated by the Ministry of Civil Affairson March 15, 1986, shall be invalidated on the same day.
Notice: In case of discrepancy, the original version in Chinese shall prevail.