If you're going overseas to get married, you may need a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI). Authorities overseas may ask for a CNI to prove you're free to marry.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) can issue CNIs.
This page discusses:
Also see our page on getting married overseas, and read the Consular Services Charter.
How to find out if you need a CNI
You must ask an authority from your destination if you need a CNI. DFAT can't tell you about the rules and requirements of an overseas country. It’s your responsibility to find out what you need.
Contact your destination's embassy or consulate in Australia. Alternatively, if you have a contact in your destination helping you with your wedding plans, you could contact them.
- You may not need a CNI. Check if you must have a CNI to get married there.
- Authorities may accept other evidence that you're free to marry. Ask if you can use a 'Single Status Certificate' or a 'No Record Result Certificate' instead of a CNI. You can get these from your state of territory births, deaths and marriages registry.
- Some authorities only accept a CNI issued within their country. Ask if you must get it from the closest Australian embassy or consulate, or if you can get one in Australia before you go.
- You may also need to legalise the CNI. Ask if you need an apostille or authentication certificate on your CNI.
Other documents you may need
The overseas authority may also ask for other evidence or documentation from Australia. This could include your birth certificate, divorce certificate, or your deceased partner's death certificate.
- Ask for a comprehensive list of what else you need.
- Also ask if you need those documents legalised. If you do, see our page on documents in Australia or documents overseas.
You can get most documents from your local births, deaths and marriages registry.
How to apply for a CNI
1. Prepare your supporting documentation
To apply for a CNI, you and your partner need to provide supporting documentation. At least one person applying for the CNI must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- If an Australian citizen, a valid Australian passport.
- If an Australian permanent resident, a valid foreign passport with evidence of permanent residence in Australia.
- If a foreign citizen, a valid foreign passport or valid photo identification
- If divorced, a Divorce Certificate for the previous marriage.
- If widowed, the deceased partner's Death Certificate.
- If under 18 years of age, a copy of the judicial authorisation to marry. This must be issued by an Australian court of law.
Supporting documents can be originals, or certified true copies.
If the documents are not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation that's performed by a professional translator.
2. Complete the application form
Download and complete the application form for a certificate of no impediment to marriage (CNI).
- You can print it and fill it in, or complete it electronically
- Don't use an eSignature. You'll need an authorised witness to watch you physically sign it.
If you're applying in Australia, you'll also need to submit a document legalisation request form.
If the overseas authority told you to legalise the CNI or other documents, see our page on documents in Australia or documents overseas.
3. Sign the form in front of an authorised witness
Only sign the form in the presence of an authorised witness. They need to watch you sign it.
- In Australia, find a local authorised witness. This could be a Justice of the Peace. Or, an official from the Australian Passport Office can witness you sign it at your appointment.
- Overseas, a consular official can witness you sign it at your appointment.
4. Submit your form and supporting documents
The process to submit your form and documents depends whether you're in Australia or overseas. You can submit by mail or in person.
- See how to submit documents in Australia.
- See how to submit documents overseas.
These pages also detail how to submit any other supporting documents you need legalised.
5. Pay the fee
- In Australia or overseas, the CNI application fee is A$161.
- You must pay when you submit your application form.
- If you need to legalise your CNI or supporting documents, the fee is A$92 per document.
Our fees increase in line with the consumer price index on 1 January each year.
6. We'll process your application
We'll review your application. Our first step is to make sure it is complete.
If it's incomplete, we can't process it. If you submitted your application by mail, we'll send it back to you with a letter explaining what you need to do.
7. Once approved, we'll give you the CNI
We can mail it to you in your prepaid envelope. Or,you can pick it up in person from an Australian Passport Office, embassy or consulate.
For help, or more information about how to apply for a CNI:
- If you’re in Australia, email us at email@example.com
- contact your nearest Australian embassy or consulate if you're overseas.
- Read our general advice about getting married overseas.
- Read about forced marriage.