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Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership

Last updated 18 January 2016

In most cases it is a legal requirement that a notice of your intention to marry or have a civil partnership is placed before your ceremony.

There are different rules for religious ceremonies.

When do I give notice?

The notice period for all couples placing a notice of marriage or civil partnership is 28 clear days. This applies to all couples regardless of where they are getting married and includes those marrying abroad. If you are subject to immigration control, the Home Office may extend this period to 70 days.

You must know the ceremony venue at the time of giving notice.

How do I give notice?

You must give notice by appointment at the Registry Office.

Book an appointment to give notice of marriage

Help with completing online forms can be found below.

Please note:

Giving notice of marriage is the first step of your intention to marry.

This is not the date of your marriage/civil partnership ceremony.

Both parties to the marriage/civil partnership must each give notice in person.

You must know the ceremony venue at the time of giving notice.

On the day of your appointment

  • Allow time to park as it can be difficult to find a space in the area
  • Sign in at reception before your appointment
  • Bring the supporting documents with you

I don't speak English

If either of you do not speak English, you must bring an interpreter with you. This can be a family member or friend who has command of the English language.

You will not be able to interpret for each other and we can't arrange an interpreter for you.

What documents do I need?

You must both bring the following documents to prove your name, age and nationality:

  • Valid passport
  • British Birth certificate (if you were born after 1 January 1983 you must prove your parents' nationality with a passport or birth certificate)
  • EEA (European Economic Area) National identity card
  • Immigration status document
  • Couples subject to immigration control will be required to produce specified evidence of settled or permanent residence, a marriage or civil partnership visa or exemption from immigration control. Couples without these documents will be referred to the Home Office immigration section
  • Couples subject to immigration control will each be required to provide a passport sized photograph

You must also both bring one document to prove your address. This can include:

  • Utility bill (gas, water or electricity) dated within the last 3 months
  • Council Tax bill - most recent
  • Bank statement - dated within last month
  • Mortgage statement - dated within the last 12 months
  • Current Residential Tenancy Agreement
  • Valid UK Driving Licence
  • Letter from the owner or proprietor

If you’ve been divorced or widowed, please bring:

If any of these documents are not in English, a translation of the documents will be required. The translation must be signed by the translator with their contact details and they must certify that it is a true translation.​

You must bring originals, photocopies are not accepted.

How much does it cost?

Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership Fee

Giving notice at the Register Office

Couples subject to Immigration control

£35 per person

£47 per person
Attending a housebound person to give notice £47

Attending a detained person to give notice


Notice fees are non-refundable once booking has been made and confirmed unless in exceptional circumstances. Changes to bookings made within 24 hours of the appointment will be re-charged.

I am under 18

If you’re between 16 and 18 years old, your parents/guardians must give written consent by completing the consent to marriage form.

I am a European National

If either you or your partner is a European national, you must both:

  • Give notice in person - no one else can do it on your behalf
  • Go to your local register office (the borough in which you live) to give notice. If you both live in Waltham Forest, go to the Register Office at Grove Road

I am a Foreign National

If one of you is from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and are subject to immigration control, you must attend an appointment together at a designated office such as the Waltham Forest Register Office.

Read the GOV.UK guidance for more information about giving notice as a foreign national.

If you plan to hold your marriage or civil partnership in a different area, you should also contact the local register office for that area before you give notice, to ensure that officials will be available on the day.

Before you give notice, you should make sure that you are able to satisfy the laws concerning residency and immigration control.

Do I have to live in the UK before giving notice?

Yes, you both need to have lived in the area in which you wish to give notice for at least 7 full days (full day is 24 hours) immediately before giving notice. This applies to everyone, including those travelling from overseas for a marriage or civil partnership in England or Wales who are required to have 9 clear days residence.

I want to get married abroad

Use the GOV.UK tool to find out what you need to do to get married abroad.

What happens next?

Following your appointment, your notice will be displayed in a public folder in the Register Office for 28 clear days.

The 'certificates for marriage' will be issued and must be collected from the Register Office in the location of the ceremony venue.

If you are subject to immigration control, clearance must be given by the Home Office before the Certificates for Marriage can be issued.

  • Whoever is officiating at the ceremony (religious minister or a registrar) must have the certificate for marriage in advance. Your marriage cannot take place without them. Or;
  • The 'certificates for marriage' or 'schedule' are only valid for use in the stated venue, so it is vital that you are certain of the venue at the time of giving notice. If you change the venue, you will be required to give fresh notices
  • A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid for 12 months

Registrar General’s Licence

For information on a special licence for a marriage or civil partnership to take place elsewhere in the situation where one person is terminally or seriously ill, please contact the Register Office.

Further questions

If the information above has not answered your questions, you can complete an online enquiry form to contact the Registry Office.

Complete a Registrars enquiry form

Help with completing online forms

If you don't have access to a pc, why not visit a Library Plus branch where you can use a self-service pc to log your request/report. Staff are available to support you if you need it.​​​​​​​​​

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