Last updated: 9 May 2023
Before you can have a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, you need a marriage licence.
To get a marriage licence both persons must give notice at the Register Office.
You must make an appointment to give notice, which will take place at our Walthamstow or Leytonstone Libraries.
Timeframe for giving notice
If both of you are British or EU citizens you must give notice at least 28 days before the ceremony. This should be in the borough that each of you live in, and you do not need to attend the appointment together.
If one or both of you is a non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, you must give notice at least 70 days before the ceremony. You need to give notice in the borough where you live. If you live in separate boroughs, you can both go to either borough and must attend your appointment together.
If one or both of the couple is housebound or detained in prison, we can arrange to visit you.
Who can give notice for marriage in Waltham Forest
To give notice, couples must have:
- Lived in Waltham Forest for at least eight full days (one full day is 24 hours) before giving notice
- Nine consecutive days of residence in the borough if travelling from overseas for a marriage or civil partnership
- Confirmation of the ceremony venue when you give notice. If you change the venue, you will have to give a fresh notice with a second round of fees and waiting period
Please note, you cannot give notice to marry or enter into a marriage or Civil Partnership ceremony if you're under 18.
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 make sure officials will be there on the day.
Fees must be paid online when you book your appointment.
There is a non-refundable booking fee for each person wishing to give notice:
Prices (per person)
Monday to Friday
There is an additional fee if one or both of you are subject to immigration control which is £24 in total.
Divorces that have taken place in a foreign country require clearance from the General Register Office before your ceremony can take place. Please note this fee will be payable on the day of your notice appointment:
Prices (per person)
Divorce documents that can be cleared locally
Divorce documents sent to GRO for consideration and clearance
When you make your booking, you'll be asked for payment by debit or credit card. We do not accept cash.
It is important that you read the guidance prior to attending your appointment. You will be required to pay the fees again if you do not attend, produce incorrect or insufficient documents, or make changes to your booking within 24 hours before.
Documents required for your appointment if you are a British/EU citizen
You must both bring the following original documents to prove your name, age and nationality:
- Valid passport or
- Full British birth certificate (if you were born after 1 January 1983 you must prove your parents' nationality with their passport or long form birth certificate), and
Proof of address for each person is required. This must be one of the following:
- 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)
- Council/housing association tenancy agreement
- Valid UK Driving Licence
- Letter from the owner or proprietor
Documents required for your appointment if you are a British/EU citizen and wish to marry a non-EEA citizen, or someone subject to immigration control
You must both bring the following original documents:
- Proof of identity – valid passport
- Proof of address (as listed in previous section)
- A passport-sized picture each
- Proof of status/visa (evidence of settled or permanent residence, a marriage or civil partnership visa, or exemption from immigration control)
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.
Documents required for your appointment if you are divorced or widowed
You must bring the following documents:
- The decree absolute or final order
- The death certificate and/or marriage certificate of your former partner
Read the GOV.UK guidance on giving notice as a foreign national.
What happens after your appointment
After your appointment, your notice will be displayed in a public folder in the Register Office for 28 days.
The marriage licence will be issued to the district of where you will be getting married.
If you’re subject to immigration control, the Home Office must give clearance before the marriage licence can be issued.
A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid for 12 months.
If you don't have a computer or are unsure of how to book an appointment online, you can call us on 0208 496 3000 for support.
For all our services, please visit our Register Office webpage.
If you need a copy of a marriage certificate, read our copy certificate information for costs and how to apply.
To make a general enquiry to the Register Office, this can be done through My Account. You can contact us if you need a special licence for the marriage or civil partnership to take place elsewhere because one of the couple is seriously or terminally ill.
Use the GOV.UK tool to find out what you need to do to get married abroad.