Shanghai will implement cross-district marriage and divorce registration citywide from December, local civil affairs authorities announced on Monday.
In addition to having marriage or divorce registration in the districts where their Shanghai hukou, or household registration, is based, people can alternatively do it at centers in all other districts under the new practice, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.
The trial was launched in Huangpu, Xuhui, Jing'an, Putuo, Minhang and Songjiang districts in September and was expanded to Changning and Fengxian districts in mid October.
As of Sunday, 3,785 couples drew their marriage certificates with cross-district registrations, accounting for 23.12 percent of the total, according to the bureau.
The figure was 1,846 for those divorcing under the trial, accounting for 15.42 percent of the total.
In the past, local lovebirds who seek to tie the knot could not select the registration centers at which to get married. Instead, they had to visit those in the districts where their Shanghai hukou is based.
In Shanghai, many people's residents and hukou address are not the same, making it inconvenient for their marriage or divorce registration. Also, marriage registration centers in the city vary in their environment, with some providing personalized services in issuing certificates.
As more people move around within the city, there's a growing demand for cross-district marriage and divorce registration, with residents hoping to have it carried out in their working or living districts.
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The reform aims to tackle the demand for couples to register their marriage near their residences or workplace.
The cross-district service will target only Chinese mainland citizens, and will be expanded gradually to everyone when conditions have solidified, the bureau said.
Reservations are currently needed for marriage and divorce registration services in the city. They can be made on Shanghai's one-stop government affairs service portal (https://zwdt.sh.gov.cn/govPortals/index.do), the Suishenban app, the WeChat account of Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau and the Alipay app.