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Legal requirements for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Before booking your appointment to give notice, please read the following, as it is your responsibility to ensure that the legal formalities have been completed.

Subject to immigration control

If either of you is not a British, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, you may be subject to immigration control. You should read the information on legal requirements of marriage and civil partnership for foreign nationals.

Not subject to immigration control

Where you are both British, EEA or Swiss nationals, you are not subject to immigration control, and unless you are marrying in an Anglican church in England or Wales by banns or common licence, you must give your notices of marriage or civil partnership to the superintendent registrar for the district(s) in which you have lived for the proceeding eight nights immediately prior to giving your notices.


Where to give notice

When to give notice

  • You must both give your notices at least 28 days prior to your ceremony date and know where and when you are holding your ceremony.
  • Your notice is valid 12 months from the date of giving notice. If you change the date of your ceremony and it is more than one year from giving notice, you will need to give notice again.
  • If you change the venue for your ceremony, you will need to give notice again.

Cost

The cost for giving a notice of marriage or civil partnership is £35 per person or if your notice of marriage or civil partnership is referred to the Home office £47 for each person.

From 1 November 2017 there will be a charge for consideration of divorce/civil partnership dissolution documentation issued outside the British Isles (United Kingdom, Isle of Man or Channel Islands):

  • £50 if the documents can be cleared by the superintendent registrar at the local register office, or
  • £75 if the documents require referral to the General Register Office (GRO).

Documents you will need to bring

The documents you require are listed below. Please note photocopies are not acceptable.

Proof of your identity, age and nationality

  • a valid United Kingdom (UK) passport
  • a valid EEA or Swiss passport
  • a valid EEA or Swiss identity card.

British citizens only without a valid passport

If you do not hold a valid UK passport, you may provide your UK birth certificate with one of the following documents:

  • utility bill dated within three months of giving notice
  • bank/building society statement/passbook dated within one month of giving notice
  • council tax bill dated within 12 months of giving notice
  • mortgage statement dated within 12 months of giving notice
  • a current residential tenancy agreement
  • valid UK photo driving licence.

If you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate must be produced, together with the birth certificate or UK passport of your mother, or father where your parents are or have been married to each other, to prove your nationality.

If you have a certificate of naturalisation or registration from the Home Office confirming you are a British national, you should produce this with one of the documents listed above.

If you are currently using a different name to that shown on your birth certificate, certificate of naturalisation or registration from the Home Office, you will need to demonstrate your name change by providing your marriage/civil partnership certificate(s) or change of name document.

Proof of your residency

You will require one of the following documents as proof of your residency:

  • utility bill dated within three months of giving notice
  • bank or building society statement/passbook dated within one month of giving notice
  • council tax bill dated within 12 months of giving notice
  • valid UK driving licence.

If you have been married or in a civil partnership before

  • Death certificate of your former partner.
  • Your British Isles decree absolute or final order papers bearing the court's original stamp.
  • If your divorce took place outside of the British Isles, your divorce or final order papers. These vary from country to country and it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documents. If your divorce or final order papers are not in English, in addition to the original documents, you must provide a full translation including any stamps and signatures contained thereon. The translation must contain the name and address of the translator and be certified by them as a true and accurate translation.
  • Your previous marriage/civil partnership certificate(s) where your current name does not appear on the decree absolute, final order or death certificate.

Other documents

  • Any change of name documents for example deed poll or change of name deed.
  • Permission of your parents or guardians if you are under 18 years of age.

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