Amid the post-wedding celebrations and spending time together as newlyweds, make sure to add “marriage registration” to your to-do list. And if you intend to travel abroad immediately after the wedding, you may want to register earlier in order to apply for spouse visa. Hence, it is one process that you must not overlook and delay. As a result, the law enforcing agencies recommend early registration of marriages. It will ensure that the marriage stands valid under the laws prevalent in India. Hence, don’t delay your marriage registration process any further. Here is all that you may want to know about marriage registration in Chennai.
Why Should I Register My Marriage?
A marriage certificate is a vital legal document. Not only does it gives legal recognition to the relationship, but also offers security to both the partners. Likewise, you will require it as a proof of marriage and for various documentation post-wedding such as:
- Obtaining partner visas for husband/wife
- Adding spouse name in passport, bank account, aadhar card etc
- Changing your maiden name
- To enable a spouse in claiming life insurance return etc in case of demise of the insurer or depositor without any nominee
Pre-requisite Conditions For Registering A Marriage In Chennai
In Tamil Nadu, you can register your marriage under Tamil Nadu Marriage Act, 2009, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Special Marriage Act, 1954 or the Christian Marriage Act, 1872. All of them are legally valid. The Act under which you will register your marriage depends on your religion and time duration since your wedding date. In order to constitute a legitimate marriage under the above-mentioned Acts you have to meet the below conditions:
- The groom and bride must have completed 21 years and 18 years of age respectively
- Consent for the marriage must be free and voluntary
- Neither the groom or the bride should have a spouse living at the time of marriage
- Marriage must be solemnized in the presence of a person licensed to grant a certificate and at least two reliable witnesses.
Which Marriage Act Is Applicable To Me?
Any new marriage (less than 150 days from the date of marriage), is applicable for registration under Tamil Nadu Marriage Act (same or inter-religion).
A marriage which is more than 150 days old, can be registered only under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act depending on your religion.
The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable when both, the husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs. In cases where either the partners belong to religions other than Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, the Special Marriage Act is applicable. Simply put, the Special Marriage Act is for inter-religion marriages. Similarly, all the Christian marriages solemnized in Tamilnadu can apply for the marriage certificate under the Christian Marriage Act.
How Can I Register My Marriage In Chennai?
- Identify the registrar or sub-registrar office in Chennai that you qualify for. Click here to find the registrar office that you are eligible to apply. You can apply only to the registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage was solemnised or either of the spouses has resided for at least six months.
- You can apply either in person at the registrar office or online. Please note that you can only submit the application form online. To complete the registration procedure, you have to visit the registrar office on the appointment date.
- On the day of the appointment, the officials will verify your documents.
- Upon successful verification of documents and witness, you can proceed to complete the marriage registration process that day itself.
- Under the Special Marriage Act, both partners have to give a 30-day notice to the sub-registrar/s under whose jurisdiction each of them has resided. The copy of this notice is displayed on the registrar’s office for 30 days. If there is no objection to the marriage during this notice period, the marriage is then registered.
- Under the Christian Marriage Act, the church will submit the marriage extract to the Inspector General (IG) of registration through the respective district registrar office. The couples will get a reference number and dispatch number from the Church. They have to use it to apply for a marriage certificate at the IG office at 100, Santhome High Road, Chennai 28.
What Is The Procedure For Court/Civil Marriage In Chennai?
Some couples who wish to apply for spouse visa and travel soon after the wedding, opt for a court/civil marriage in order to complete the marriage registration early. Typically, this is done after the engagement and before the actual wedding rituals and ceremony. Hence, you have enough time to get the partner/spouse visa processed for migration.
For a court marriage between two Indian nationals or between an Indian and foreigner in Tamil Nadu, the procedure is as below:
- The couple must notify about the intended marriage to the registrar
- Either the bride or groom or both must have compulsorily resided in Chennai for at least thirty days immediately after the notice is given
- The registrar would put up the notice at the office during this period
- If no objection is raised by anyone during the notice period, the marriage is formalized at the registrar office in the presence of three witnesses
The following documents are required for court marriage:
- Duly filled and signed marriage application form by both the partners
- Proof of age like birth certificate/aadhar card/passport/school or college certificate (the groom must be 21 years and bride must be 18 years at the time of wedding)
- Proof of address like aadhar card/passport/driving licence/ ration card
- Passport size photographs of the individuals
- Copies of passports with valid visas (in case of marriage between Indian and foreigner)
- Proof of stay or report from the responsible SHO
- Death certificate or divorce decree (if applicable)
- Address proof (aadhar card/passport/ration card) and ID card (aadhar card /passport/ driving licence) of the three witnesses
How Long Does It Take To Register A Marriage?
The time duration for registration depends on the status of your marriage:
- For a marriage less than 150 days old: Irrespective of whether it is a same-religion or inter-religion marriage, you can register it on the same day under Tamil Nadu Marriage Act.
- For a marriage more than 150 days old: Hindu’s can register their marriage in one day under Hindu Marriage Act. In the case of other religions, registration is possible only under the Special Marriage Act and it takes at least 30 days to complete the registration process.
What Are The Documents Required For Registering Marriage?
Documents required for registering after the marriage:
- Duly filled application form signed by both husband and wife. Click below to download the application form:
- Proof of address of both partners such as Aadhar card/passport/driving licence/ ration card
- Proof of date of birth of both partners such as birth certificate/aadhar card/passport/school or college certificate (the groom must be 21 years and bride must be 18 years at the time of wedding)
- Separate affidavits from both partners in a prescribed format. Click here to download sample affidavit format.
- Individual passport-sized photographs of both the partners
- If the marriage was performed at a religious place, a certificate from the priest is needed to solemnize the marriage
- One wedding photograph of the couple
- Wedding invitation card stating the name of both husband and wife, venue, and date of marriage
- Certificate of conversion, if applicable
- Copy of divorce decree, if applicable
- Death certificate of spouse, if either partner is a widow or widower
- If applying under the Christian Marriage Act, you also require the reference number, dispatch number and Church Certificate
Additionally, it is mandatory to bring two witnesses who were present at your wedding to complete the registration. The witness must have valid proof of residence(aadhar card/passport/ration card etc) and identity (aadhar card/passport/driving licence).
Can We Register A Marriage Anywhere In India?
No. In Tamil Nadu, you can register your marriage only if :
- Either the husband or wife has resided under the registrar’s jurisdiction for at least 6 months
- The marriage was solemnized in a place under the registrar’s jurisdiction
The above criteria are applicable in other states also if registering under the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act or the Christian Marriage Act.
Click here to find the registrar office that you are eligible to apply. You simply have to fill your address in the “Know Your Jurisdiction” section and click on the “Search” button.
Or you can inquire with the Chennai zone sub-registrar office at the below address:
O/o The Inspector General of Registration,
No.100, Santhome High Road,
Chennai 600 028,
Tamil Nadu, India.
How Can I Apply For A Marriage Certificate?
After registering your marriage (under a suitable marriage act) you can apply for your marriage certificate through one of the below :
- Registrar Office
- Online at http://www.tnreginet.net/english/smar.asp
- Common Service Centers (CSC) or e-Service centres available in the municipality/tehsil office in your area. Click here to find an e-service centre near you.
The marriage certificate will be issued by the Registration Department, Tamilnadu Government. It is valid not only in India but globally.
Hopefully, this guide will help you with your queries regarding the marriage registration process in Chennai.
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Also published on Medium.