Registering a Marriage in Russia

Details of the preparation required to register a marriage in Russia…

In Moscow there is only one branch of the civil registry office, ZAGS (Zapis Aktov Grazhdanskogo Sostoyaniya / ?????????? ?????? ????? ???????????? ?????????) where all marriages of Russian and foreign citizens can be registered:

  • ZAGS
    At: 4th Wedding Palace, ul. Butyrskaya 17, Moscow, 127015
    Tel: (495) 685 19 60

Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday, 09.00-13.30 and 15.00-17.30. It is closed Sunday and Monday, and also on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Documents Required

Documents required for registering marriage are:

  • Completed joint application form, for a sample form (in Russian): Click here
  • Passports with registered visas, if applicable (the data page may need to be translated into Russian and certified by a Notary public)
  • If one party was married previously, proof of termination of the previous marriage is required, or a death certificate of the previous spouse
  • Proof of residence for foreign nationals
  • Receipt of payment of relevant fees (payable to any branch of the Sberbank, the Savings Bank of Russia)
  • A document confirming that there are no impediments to marriage – called a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) – from the local registry office in the country of origin or through an embassy or consulate in Russia. For more information on how to apply for a CNI, refer to the website of the embassy or consulate from the country of origin in Russia

The CNI must be presented in both Russian and the original language it was issued in, with the translated document certified by the consulate in the country of origin then certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia. The Russian registry office (ZAGS) only accepts the certificate for a period of up to 90 days from the date of issue.

All of the above documents must be submitted to ZAGS as originals, and with certified copies translated into Russian, usually also notarised. In some cases, certified translations of documents should have an apostille (a legally recognised certification of authenticity) attached. Apostilles are required for all documents, except passports, when one or both parties of the marriage is a citizen of one of a country that has signed the relevant Hague Convention.

For nationalities that are not eligible for this, all paperwork should be legally certified by a consular body of the country of origin then the appropriate Russian government department. To do this, all documents must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the issuing country, then legalised by the Russian Consulate in that country. Alternatively, they can first be certified by the foreign consulate of state in Russia and then legalised by the Department of Consular Service of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also in Russia.

After submitting all the paperwork, ZAGS normally schedules a civil service wedding 32 days after the date of registration.

  • For a more detailed explanation of the procedure required for British nationals: Click here
  • For information specific to US citizens: Click here