Getting married or forming a civil partnership
Last updated 10 August 2023
1. Required documents for marriage and civil partnerships
To give notice of your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership, both of you must attend, in person, to the Superintendent Registrar of the Registration District in which you each live.
Immigration laws changed on the 1 July 2021 to reflect the changes brought about by Brexit.
All Register Offices in England and Wales are now a Designated Register Office. When one or both of you are subject to immigration control, notice of marriage or civil partnership will need to be given together at a district where either one or both of you live.
If you're subject to immigration control you're known as a non-relevant national.
A relevant national is:
- a British citizen
- an Irish citizen
- a person with EU settled status, pre-EU settled status or EU pending settled status (if you applied for EU settled status before 30 June 2021 and have a Certificate of Application to prove this)
When you give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership you need to provide certain documents to the Registrar in order to prove your nationality, identity, residency and marital status.
To prove your nationality and immigration status you'll need to provide:
- valid British passport
- birth certificate if born before 1 January 1983 in the UK
If you were born after the 1 January 1983 in the UK you'll need to provide your full birth certificate as well as your mother's birth certificate (providing they were born in the UK).
EU and foreign nationals
- valid passport
In addition to your passport you'll need to provide evidence of your immigration status:
- marriage or civil partnership visa
- proof of settled, pre-settled or pending EUSS status
The documents used to provide evidence of your nationality will usually also confirm your name, surname and date of birth. If either of you have used or been known by another name, you'll need to provide evidence of this name change. This could be a marriage or civil partnership certificate, deed poll certificate or change of name deed.
If a British birth certificate is used as evidence of nationality, you'll need to provide additional evidence to show your current name and surname being used. This could be a:
- utility bill from within the last 3 months
- bank or building society statement from within the last month. This includes a printed copy of an online statement if your full name and address are shown
- recent mortgage statement from within the last year
- current tenancy agreement
- valid driving licence
- current Council Tax bill
To prove your residency, we'll need to see:
- a utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date on which notice of marriage or civil partnership is given
- a bank or building society statement dated no more than one month before the date on which notice of marriage or civil partnership is given
- a council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date on which notice of marriage or civil partnership is given
- a mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date on which notice of marriage or civil partnership is given
- a valid driving licence card
If either of you have been married, or entered into a civil partnership before, you must provide a court-stamped copy of the decree absolute, final order or dissolution certificate. If the document has been sent to you electronically, you can provide a printed copy.
If any of your documents have been issued in a different name, for example, if you're using your maiden surname but your decree absolute was issued in your married name, you'll also need to provide evidence of this name change. This could be a marriage or civil partnership certificate, deed poll certificate or change of name deed.
If your divorce or dissolution was granted abroad, we'll need to see the original document issued by that country, together with a translation into English. There's an additional charge payable for a foreign divorce and it may need to be sent to the General Register Office for their approval.
If either of you are widowed, or a surviving civil partner, we'll need to see a certified copy of your former partner’s death certificate. Your marriage or civil partnership certificate may also be required in certain cases.