Marriage Officer Registration

Register as a Marriage Officer

The South Africa Secular Society is approved by the Department of Home Affairs as a recognised non-profit organisation that can put forward members for legal certification as Marriage Officers.   

An officiant (or celebrant) performs secular humanist ceremonies for weddings, funerals, child naming, coming of age, and other rituals. Of these, a wedding is the only service for which the officiant must be registered; without registration, a marriage is not deemed legal.

SASS is registered by the DHA to designate members as Marriage Officers under the Civil Union Act, thus providing a secular avenue for non-religious South Africans to marry.

All SASS Marriage Officers conduct both heterosexual and same-sex marriages. In this way, SASS upholds South Africa’s secular Constitution and protects the rights of secular citizens.

Please read the following carefully before application:

  • All applicants must read the SASS Mission Statement and Ethos. Should your views, beliefs, or conscience not align, please do not apply, as you will not be accepted.
  • If you practice any religion, please do not apply: you will not be granted a panel interview, nor be accepted as a SASS member.
  • The process typically takes 9–12 months, and includes:
    • a panel interview (with presentation from the applicant),
    • study material on secularism,
    • study material required by the Department of Home Affairs for
    • the certification exam.
    • a successful second interview with SASS at the end of 6 months
    • Candidates are then put forward to the Department of Home Affairs to write the exam.  This requires a thorough understanding of the Civil Union Act 17  of 2006 with a minimum pass mark of 75%.
  • Applicants and designated SASS Marriage Officers are expected to attend SASS General Meetings, participate in SASS projects, and pay membership dues.