How To Register Your Christian Marriage In Chennai? – All You Need To Know


Amid the post-Christian wedding celebrations and spending time together as newlyweds Christian couples, make sure to add “Christian Marriage registration” to your to-do list. And if you intend to travel abroad immediately after the Christian wedding, you may want to register earlier in order to apply for a 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 Christian Marriages. It will ensure that the Christian Marriage stands valid under the laws prevalent in Tamilnadu, India. Hence, don’t delay your Christian Marriage registration process any further.  Here is all that you may want to know about Christian Marriage registration in Chennai.

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Why Should I Register My Christian Marriage in Tamilnadu?

A Christian Marriage certificate issued by IG registration is a vital legal document. Not only does it gives legal recognition to the relationship, but also offers security to both the Christian partners. Likewise, you will require it as a proof of Christian Marriage and for various documentation post-Christian wedding such as:

  • Face legal proceedings
  • Obtaining a spouse visa 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 Christian Marriage In Tamilnadu

In Tamil Nadu, you can register your Christian Marriage under Christian Marriage Act, 1872,  the Tamilnadu Marriage Act, 2009 or the Special Christian Marriage Act, 1954 or the Christian. All of them are legally valid. The Act under which you will register your Christian Marriage depends on your time duration since your Christian wedding date. In order to constitute a legitimate Christian Marriage under the above-mentioned Acts you have to meet the below conditions:

  1. The groom and bride must have completed 21 years and 18 years of age respectively
  2. Consent for the Christian Marriage must be free and voluntary
  3. Neither the groom or the bride should have a spouse living at the time of Christian Marriage
  4. Christian Marriage must be solemnized in the presence of a priest licensed to grant a certificate and at least two reliable witnesses.

Which Marriage Act Is Applicable To Me?

Any new Christian Marriage (less than 150 days from the date of Marriage), is applicable for registration under Tamil Nadu Marriage Act (same or inter-religion).

A Christian Marriage which is more than 150 days old, can be registered  under the Christian Marriage Act or the Special Christian Marriage Act depending on your situation.

The Christian Marriage Act is applicable when both, the husband or wife are Catholic, CSI or any other Christian, the Special Christian Marriage Act is for inter-religion Christian Marriages. Similarly, all the Christian Marriages solemnized in Tamilnadu can apply for the Christian Marriage certificate under the Christian Marriage Act.

How Can I Register My Christian Marriage In sub registrar office Chennai?

  1. Identify the registrar or sub-registrar office in Chennai that you qualify for.  to find the registrar office that you are eligible to apply. You can apply only to the registrar under whose jurisdiction the Christian Marriage was solemnised in Tamilnadu
  2. 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.
  3. On the day of the appointment, the officials will verify your documents.
  4. Upon successful verification of documents and witness, you can proceed to complete the Christian Marriage registration process that day itself.

Tamil Nadu Government Portal For Online Christian Marriage Registration Application

  1. Under the Special Christian 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 Christian Marriage during this notice period, the Christian Marriage is then registered.
  2. Under the Christian Marriage Act, the church will submit the Christian 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 Christian Marriage certificate at the IG office at 100, Santhome High Road, Chennai 28.

What Is The Procedure For Civil Christian Marriage In Chennai?

Some couples who wish to apply for spouse visa and travel soon after the Christian wedding, opt for a court/civil Christian Marriage in order to complete the Christian Marriage registration early.  Typically, this is done after the engagement and before the actual Christian wedding rituals and ceremony. Hence, you have enough time to get the partner/spouse visa processed for migration.

For a court Christian 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 Christian 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 Christian Marriage is formalized at the registrar office in the presence of three witnesses

The following documents are required for court Christian Marriage:

  • Duly filled and signed Christian 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 Christian 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 Christian 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 Christian Marriage?

The time duration for registration depends on the status of your Christian Marriage:

  • For a Christian Marriage less than 150 days old: Irrespective of whether it is a same-religion or inter-religion Christian Marriage, you can register it on the same day under Tamil Nadu Christian Marriage Act.
  • For a Christian Marriage more than 150 days old: Hindu’s can register their Christian Marriage in one day under Hindu Christian Marriage Act.  In the case of other religions, registration is possible only under the Special Christian Marriage Act and it takes at least 30 days to complete the registration process.

What Are The Documents Required For Registering Christian Marriage?

Documents required for registering after the Christian Marriage:

  • Duly filled application form signed by both husband and wife.  Click below to download the application form:

 Hindu  Christian Marriage Registration Application Form

Special Christian Marriage Declaration By Groom And Bride

Special Christian Marriage Registration Application Form

Christian Marriage Certificate 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 Christian wedding)
  • Separate affidavits from both partners in a prescribed format to download sample affidavit format.
  • Individual passport-sized photographs of both the partners
  • If the Christian Marriage was performed at a religious place, a certificate from the priest is needed to solemnize the Christian Marriage
  • One Christian wedding photograph of the couple
  • Christian wedding invitation card stating the name of both husband and wife, venue, and date of Christian 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 Christian 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 Christian Marriage Anywhere In India?

No. In Tamil Nadu, you can register your Christian Marriage only if :

  • Either the husband or wife has resided under the registrar’s jurisdiction for at least 6 months
  • The Christian 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 Christian Marriage Act, Special Christian Marriage Act or the Christian Marriage Act.

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:

The Inspector General of Registration,
No.100, Santhome High Road,
Chennai 600 028,
Tamil Nadu, India.
Telephone: +91-44-24640160
FAX: +91-44-24642774

How Can I Apply For A Christian Marriage Certificate?

After registering your Christian Marriage (under a suitable Christian Marriage act) you can apply for your Christian Marriage certificate through one of the below :

  • Registrar Office
  • Online at // 
  • Common Service Centers (CSC) or e-Service centres available in the municipality/tehsil office in your area.   to find an e-service centre near you.

The Christian 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 Christian Marriage registration process in Chennai.

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