Question: Dear lawyer, if the marriage certificate does not have the signatures of the couple, is the relationship between the two recognized by law? Is their child's birth registration recognized?


On behalf of the Board of Directors of Dragon Law Firm,

Master of Laws/ Lawyer Bui Thi Mai responded to the reader's letter as follows:

Pursuant to Clause 7, Article 4 of the 2014 Law on Cicil Status, it is stipulated as follows:

7. Marriage certificate means a document issued by a competent state agency to the male and female partners upon marriage registration; a marriage certificate contains basic information specified in Clause 2, Article 17 of this Law”.

Pursuant to Clause 2, Article 17 of the 2014 Law on Cicil Status, it is specified as follows:

2. A marriage certificate must contain the following information:

a/ Family name, middle name and first name; birthdate; ethnicity; citizenship; place of residence; information about personal identity papers of male and female partners;

b/ Date of marriage registration;

c/ Signatures or fingerprints of male and female partners and certification of the civil status registration agency”.

Pursuant to Article 18 of the 2014 Law on Cicil Status:

Article 18. Marriage registration procedures

1. The male and female partners shall submit the marriage registration declaration, made according to a set form to the civil status registration agency and must be both present at the time of marriage registration.

2. Immediately after receiving complete papers specified in Clause 1 of this Article, if seeing that the marriage conditions are fully met in accordance with the Law on Marriage and Family, the justice and civil status officer shall record the marriage in the civil status book and together with the male and female partners sign in the civil status book. The male and female partners shall both sign the marriage certificate; the justice and civil status officer shall report to the chairperson of the commune-level People’s Committee to organize the handover of the marriage certificate to the couple.

In case of necessity to verify the marriage conditions of the male and female partners, the time limit for settlement is 5 working days”.

Thus, the signing of the Marriage Certificate by both men and women is a mandatory procedure in registering marriage. If a man and a woman do not sign the Marriage Certificate, they will not be recognized by law as husband and wife.

Regarding birth registration for children, it will be based on the following regulations:

Clause 6, Article 4 Law on Civil Status 2014: “6. Birth certificate means a document granted by a competent state agency to an individual upon birth registration; a birth certificate contains basic personal information specified in Clause 1, Article 14 of this Law”.

Point b, Clause 1, Article 14 Law on Civil Status 2014 provides Birth registration contents: “b/ Information of the parents of the person whose birth is registered: full name, middle name and first name; year of birth; ethnicity; citizenship; and place of residence;

Pursuant to Article 39 of the Civil Code 2015:

Article 39. Personal rights in marriage and families

1. Each individual has the right to marry or divorce, the right to equality between husband and wife, the right to acknowledge father, mother or child, the right to adopt children and be adopted in marriage relation, parent-children relation and relations between family’s members.

All children, of the same parents, regardless of their parents’ marriage status, have the same rights and obligations to their parents.

2. Each individual exercises his/her personal rights in marriage and families as prescribed in this Code, the Law on marriage and families and relevant laws”.

Therefore, even if the law does not recognize the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, both parties agree to place the parents' names on the child's birth certificate when the child is born, and the birth certificate remains valid according to regulations.

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