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Marriage Act 1949

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75 Offences relating to solemnization of marriages.E+W

(1)Any person who knowingly and wilfully—

F1(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)solemnizes a marriage according to the rites of the Church of England without banns of matrimony having been duly published (not being a marriage solemnized on the authority of a special licence, a common licence or [F2a marriage schedule]);

(c)solemnizes a marriage according to the said rites (not being a marriage by special licence [F3or a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act]) in any place other than a church or other building in which banns may be published;

(d)solemnizes a marriage according to the said rites falsely pretending to be in Holy Orders;

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

(2)Any person who knowingly and wilfully—

(a)solemnizes a marriage (not being a marriage by special licence, a marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or a marriage between two persons professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews) in any place other than—

(i)a church or other building in which marriages may be solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, or

(ii)the registered building [F4office [F5, approved premises] or person’s residence specified as the place where the marriage was to be solemnized] in the [F6notices of marriage and [F7(if so specified) in the marriage schedule]] required under Part III of this Act;

[F8(aa)solemnizes a marriage purporting to be in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act on premises that are not approved premises;]

(b)solemnizes a marriage in any such registered building as aforesaid (not being a marriage in the presence of an authorised person) in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the registered building is situated;

[F9(bb)solemnizes a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) [F10or 26B(6)] of this Act, otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England, in the absence of a registrar of the registration district in which the place where the marriage is solemnized is situated;]

(c)solemnizes a marriage in the office of a superintendent registrar in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the office is situated;

[F11(cc)solemnizes a marriage on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the premises are situated;]

(d)solemnizes a marriage on the authority of [F12a marriage schedule when none of the conditions in section 31(3) is met]; or

(e)solemnizes a marriage on the authority of [F13a marriage schedule] after the expiration of [F14the period which is, in relation to that marriage, the applicable period for the purposes of section 33 of this Act];

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

F15(2A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)A superintendent registrar who knowingly and wilfully—

[F16(a)issues a marriage schedule when none of the conditions in section 31(3) is met;]

(b)issues [F17a marriage schedule] after the expiration of [F18the period which is, in relation to that marriage, the applicable period for the purposes of section 33 of this Act];

(c)issues [F19a marriage schedule] the issue of which has been forbidden under section thirty of this Act by any person entitled to forbid the issue of [F20a marriage schedule]; or

(d)solemnizes or permits to be solemnized in his office [F21or, in the case of a marriage in pursuance of [F22section 26(1)(bb) or (dd)] [F23or 26B(6)] of this Act, in any other place] any marriage which is void by virtue of any of the provisions of Part III of this Act;

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

(4)No prosecution under this section shall be commenced after the expiration of three years from the commission of the offence.

(5)Any reference in subsection (2) of this section to a registered building shall be construed as including a reference to any chapel registered under section seventy [F24or 70A] of this Act.

Textual Amendments

F5Words in s. 75(2)(a)(ii) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 7(a); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

F6Words in s. 75(2)(a)(ii) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 30(1)(3)(a); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F8S. 75(2)(aa) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 7(b); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

F11S. 75(2)(cc) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 7(c);S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

F14Words in s. 75(2)(e) substituted (1.10.1997) by S.I. 1997/986, art. 2(4)

F16S. 75(3)(a) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(d), Sch. 1 para. 44(5)(a) (with Sch. 2)

F17Words in s. 75(3)(b) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(d), Sch. 1 para. 44(5)(b) (with Sch. 2)

F18Words in s. 75(3)(b) substituted (1.10.1997) by S.I. 1997/986, art. 2(4)

F19Words in s. 75(3)(c) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(d), Sch. 1 para. 44(5)(c)(i) (with Sch. 2)

F20Words in s. 75(3)(c) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(d), Sch. 1 para. 44(5)(c)(ii) (with Sch. 2)

F22Words in s. 75(3)(d) substituted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 7(d)S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

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