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How to licence premises for civil ceremonies

To hold civil ceremonies at premises in England or Wales, they must be approved by your local authority. You must be the proprietor or a trustee of the premises to apply for a licence to hold civil ceremonies.

What you need to know before you apply

Before making your application, please read and understand the information contained in the following:


How to apply

You can apply, pay and submit the necessary documentation online to licence your venue for a civil ceremony:

Apply to licence your venue (GOV.UK)

Alternatively, you can apply in writing by downloading the application for a licence for a civil ceremony venue (PDF).

Please attach the following documents to your application:

  • Planning certificate (if appropriate.)
  • Three sets of plans of the premises indicating the proposed ceremony room(s) and interview rooms.
  • List of names and address of company directors (if applicable).
  • Confirmation of Public Liability Insurance.
  • Seating plan for each room to show maximum number of people permitted seated theatre style.

Upon receipt of your application and the fee, we will respond to you within 28 working days and arrange to carry out an inspection of the premises. The whole process takes between six and eight weeks to complete.

If you have not heard from us within the stated period above, or have any queries concerns or complaints, please contact us via telephone or email: registration.licensing@surreycc.gov.uk

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Fees 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017

  • Standard fee for licence which includes one room: £2000. The fee covers administration, inspection and cost of public notice.
  • Cost for each additional room licensed: £220. This fee should be submitted with the application form.
  • Appeal and review fee (non refundable): £350. In the event of a licence application rejection or subsequent revocation.
  • Should you wish to make any changes to the licence once it has been issued, for example, a change of ownership or name, there will be an administration fee of £40 plus VAT.

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Additional information

  • Before a licence can be granted, your application plan will be available for public inspection and the premises to be licensed will be advertised in one local publication to allow for any objections. Objections must be received in writing by the local authority within 21 days of the notice of application appearing in the local newspaper. Any objections will be considered as soon as practicable after receipt
  • You should contact us on the telephone number or email address above, if there are any changes to your existing licence circumstances
  • Any complaints should be immediately directed to the Proper Officer for Registration. Should you not receive a response and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre
  • Please read our terms and conditions for granting a licence.
  • A summary of the regulations relating to this licence can be found on the Legislation.gov.uk website as follows: Marriages and Civil Partnership (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005.

If a licence is not to be granted the applicant will be notified in writing and the reasons for reaching the decision will be given.

If the applicant wishes to appeal against a decision not to licence a premise they must do so in writing to the Proper Officer for Registration within two weeks of the licensee's decision not to grant the licence. A further fee will be charged for any appeal made by the applicant. The address to write to is:The Proper Officer for Registration, c/o Pauline Allen, 81 Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9LN.


Current venue licence applications

You can view a list of the current venue licence applications we have received.

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Files available to download

  • Updated: 14 Dec 2016
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