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Out-of-towners' marriage registration, divorce filings to start in June

By Li Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-19

China will allow out-of-towners to register for marriage or file for divorce starting in June in a number of provinces, municipalities and provincial capitals, Ministry of Civil Affairs officials said Wednesday.

Marriage registration authorities in the provinces of Liaoning, Shandong, Guangdong, and Sichuan, and the municipality of Chongqing, will start to handle such applications in the two years starting June 1, said Wang Jinhua, head of the ministry's Social Affairs Department, at a news conference in Beijing.

He added that applicants without local hukou, or household registration documents, will be allowed to file for marriage certificates in East China's Jiangsu and Central China's Henan provinces, and in cities of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, and Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, during the same period. Non-local couples there still need to travel home to file for divorce.

Ministry figures showed marriage registration authorities handle about 40 million marriage or divorce applications annually.

The recently unveiled seventh national Census data showed that 493 million Chinese do not live in their native provinces, creating difficulties for marriage registrations. And more than 70 percent of out-of-towners are aged between 15 and 35.