Understanding Family Membership Certificates in India

by  Adv. Deepak Pandey  




4 mins


Family Member Certificate (FMC) in Kerala: A Streamlined Process

Family Membership Certificates (FMCs) play a crucial role in Kerala, acting as official proof of family composition. Let’s delve into everything you need to know about FMCs in the state.

Purposes of a Family Member Certificate

  • Establishing Inheritance Rights: This certificate is crucial for proving your legal claim to inherit property or assets left behind by a deceased family member who died intestate (without a will).
  • Claiming Benefits: It can be required to claim benefits like family pensions, gratuity payments, or insurance proceeds on behalf of the deceased.
  • Transferring Ownership: This certificate may be necessary to transfer ownership of utilities like land, gas connections, or electricity after the owner’s passing.
  • Legal Disputes: It can help prevent legal conflicts or litigation regarding property ownership within the family.

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Who Can Apply?

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Children (biological or adopted) of the deceased
  • Mother of the deceased (in some cases)

The head of the family, or a surviving member authorized to act on their behalf, typically initiates the application process.

Required Documents to apply for Family Member Certificate

  • Application form (obtained from the local tehsildar office)
  • Election/Voter ID card
  • Ration card
  • Identity proof (PAN card, Aadhaar card, etc.)
  • Date of birth certificates (e.g., 10th standard certificate)
  • Death certificate of the deceased (if applicable)
  • Proof of residence (voter ID, utility bill)
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Completed application and bond paper attested by a gazetted officer
  • Copy of the completed application

Information Needed:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • Names and dates of birth of all surviving family members
  • Relationship of each member to the deceased
  • Occupation of each family member

Application Process of Family Member Certificates


  1. Visit the local municipal office in your jurisdiction.
  2. Submit the application form, required documents, and any applicable fees.
  3. The authorities will provide a record number for reference.
  4. Village administrative officers (VAOs) and revenue inspectors (RIs) will conduct verification.
  5. Upon verification, officials submit reports to the tehsildar for approval.
  6. If approved, the applicant receives the certificate within six days.
  7. In complex cases, legal assistance from the district civil court might be necessary.

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  1. Register on the eDistrict Kerala portal (https://edistrict.kerala.gov.in/).
  2. Select “Certificates” and choose “Family Membership Certificate.”
  3. Enter the required information and upload supporting documents.
  4. Make the payment and download the acknowledgement receipt.
  5. The department will process the application.
  6. Upon approval, you’ll receive an SMS notification and can download the certificate.

Processing Time and Validity

FMCs typically take six days to be issued and are valid for three years from the date of issuance. Renewals follow the same application process.

Tracking Application Status

  • Visit the Kerala E-district portal (https://edistrict.kerala.gov.in/).
  • Click on “Track Application” and select “CERTIFICATE SERVICES” followed by “Family Membership.”
  • Enter the application number and submit.

Application Fees

  • General: Rs. 18 (Akshaya Service Charge) + Rs. 7 (State Service Charge) + Rs. 3 per page (scanning/printing)
  • SC/ST Families: Rs. 10 + Rs. 2 per page (scanning/printing)
  • BPL Families: Rs. 20

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In conclusion, obtaining a Family Membership Certificate in Kerala is a straightforward process that can be done offline or online. Having this document readily available can prove invaluable in inheritance matters, legal proceedings, and other situations where establishing your family composition is essential. Remember, the certificate’s validity is limited, so plan to renew it every three years to ensure its continued usefulness. By familiarizing yourself with the application process and the purposes of this certificate, you can navigate these important matters with greater ease.

Frequently Asked Questions about Family Membership Certificates (FMCs)

Q1. Who can apply for a Family Membership Certificate in Kerala?

Ans 1. The spouse, children (biological or adopted) of the deceased, and sometimes the mother of the deceased can apply for an FMC. Typically, the head of the family or an authorized surviving member initiates the process.

Q2. What documents do I need to apply for an FMC?

Ans 2. You’ll need an application form (obtained from the tehsildar office), ID proofs (Voter ID, Aadhaar card, etc.), ration card, proof of residence, death certificate (if applicable), date of birth certificates, passport photos, and a completed application attested by a gazetted officer.

Q3. What information do I need to provide on the application form?

Ans 3. The form requires your full name, names and birthdates of all surviving family members, their relationship to the deceased, and their occupations.

Q4. Can I apply for an FMC online?

Ans 4. Yes! You can register and apply for an FMC online through the eDistrict Kerala portal (https://edistrict.kerala.gov.in/).

Q5. How long does it take to get an FMC?

Ans 5. The processing time is usually around six days after a complete application is submitted.

Q6. How long is a Family Membership Certificate valid for?

Ans 6. FMCs are valid for three years from the date of issuance. You can renew them by following the same application process.

Q7. What are the main purposes of a Family Membership Certificate?

Ans 7. FMCs serve several purposes: establishing family ties for inheritance (especially without a will), supporting the validity of a will, and verifying family member status for legal and official matters.

Q8. How can I track the status of my FMC application?

Ans 8. You can track your application status on the eDistrict Kerala portal by clicking “Track Application,” selecting “CERTIFICATE SERVICES” and “Family Membership,” and entering your application number.

Q9. Are there any fee differences for applying for an FMC?

Ans 9. Yes, there are slight variations. The general fee is Rs. 18 (Akshaya Service Charge) + Rs. 7 (State Service Charge) + Rs. 3 per page (scanning/printing). SC/ST families pay Rs. 10 + Rs. 2 per page, and BPL families pay Rs. 20.

Q10. What happens if my case is complex and requires legal assistance?

Ans 10. While the application process is generally straightforward, in complex situations involving inheritance disputes, seeking legal help from the district civil court might be necessary.

Navigating the intricacies of Kerala's FMC application process can be confusing. Our team has extensive experience handling Family Member Certificate applications in Kerala. We'll guide you through every step, ensuring a successful outcome. Get started with a risk-free consultation today!

Adv. Deepak Pandey

Adv. Deepak Pandey


5 | 150+ User Reviews

Deepak Pandey offers legal consultancy and advisory services with a keen emphasis on ethical and professional conduct to achieve favourable results. He has 5 years of experience in handling legal cases. As a result of his strong communication skills, Deepak is able to present his clients' cases with clarity and persuasion.

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