To get the marriage certificate, we first consulted the local Civil Affairs Bureau for what kind of documentation we need. Back in 2007, there was a change for the ID card in China, i.e. the second generation issued throughout the country. However, neither Yunxia nor I changed it, we were concerned whether the 'old' ID card can be used or not. Another concern was that neither of our Household Registration is not in my hometown. For me, my Household Registration is still in Beijing after graduation in 2004. For her, it is in Sanmenxia, Henan province where she worked there for half year.
After talking with the staff in the Civil Affairs Bureau, they told us that the first generation ID card can be used for the marriage purpose as long as it is not expired. We then need the Household Registration card to get the certificate either in Beijing or Sanmenxia. Fortunately, both of our cards are valid, we decided to go to Sanmenxia to get her Household Registration card first. It turned out that getting her Household Registration card in Sanmenxia was easy. Since it is my first time to be there, we also took one day to visit a local park in Sanmenxia, which is big and pretty.
One day after we come back from Sanmenxia, we took our wedding glamour photos in a local studio in my hometown. Starting from 8am, we ended in 5pm in the afternoon. One hour later, still with the make ups on our faces, we hopped on the train to Beijing.
We arrived at Beijing the next morning and took a short break in the afternoon. In the evening, we had dinner with one of my classmates from Peking University along with his wife. They also invited us to play Karaoky with them afterwards, it was very relaxing.
I went to Peking University police office to have my Household Registration card the next day and informed that the division to handle my card only opens on Monday and Thursday. Looked at my watch, it was Wednesday. One staff also told me that, in order to get my card, I have to get permission letter from my department. When I arrived at the department of physics, I found that they only opens on Tuesday and Thursday morning due to the summer vacation time.
At 9am on Thursday morning, I was waiting in front of the office door of the physics department. After telling her my purpose, the secretory told me that she was only responsible for putting a department stamp on the permission letter, however, the letter has to be written by the secretary in the office of student affair, who unfortunatly is not on duty recently. I asked her if she can contact her by cellphone, the secretary called her and found she caught a cold baddly and can only come to school next Thuesday. Comming outside of the department, I was very dispointed. I realised that even if I can get the letter by next Tuesday, I still have to wait on Thursday to get my card, that means we will ended up preparing for our wedding in less than seven days!
To avoid that loop, I decided to go to the university police office to seek chance. To my surprise, the lady told my that I can take my card for the marriage purpose with a valid photo ID card and return it to them once I get my certificate. So, I used my Cornell student ID card to borrow my Household Registration card.
Friday, August 14, we have our hair cut in the Silian Meifa and then took the ID picture in the Zhongguo Zhaoxiang guan in Wangfujing, then we went to the Haidian District Civil Affairs Bureau. After about 10 minutes, with 9 RMB, we finally got our precious marriage certificate!