Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia began an experimental phase of an electronic marriage registration process in its capital city of Riyadh. At the time, the Saudi Ministry of Justice explained that the aim of the platform was to allow the ministry to be more efficient and to have more automated services available to the general public. This week, the new online system is being rolled out across the Kingdom, following the successful registration of 75,000 contracts in Riyadh, marking another key move towards the digitalization of government services and entities in Saudi Arabia
The new system is hosted on www.ezawaj.sa, giving people full access to the digital version of all the required documents and paperwork they need to register their marriage. It also allows anyone to fill their respective data directly on the portal and offers a range of legal services.
According to various local reports, the ministry has explained that the new system is designed to be easy and stress-free, ensuring that couples-to-be can register for their marriage from the safety of their home – a key advantage given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and can do so in no time at all. The portal is also seen as a key step towards improving the rights of women in the Kingdom, as it ensures that any bride-to-be is a willing participant in the upcoming marriage as her direct approval will be needed.
The previous manual process not only required the couple to go to a court to register the marriage contract, they also had to visit medical centers to get the results of tests needed before marriage and to the Interior Ministry’s Agency of Civil Affairs to officially document the event. According to Saudi Gazette and Gulf News, with this new platform, the Ministry of Justice is now linked to various governmental institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the Agency of Civil Affairs, the National Information Centre and the eGovernment Programme (Yesser).