What are the legal requirements to get married or form a civil partnership

Unless you are marrying in the Church of England by Banns or Common Licence you must give formal notice of your intention to marry.

Each party to the marriage must give their own notice of marriage in person to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which they live.

If one of the parties is subject to immigration control, you must attend together at a Register Office in the place where either one of you live. 

A notice is valid for 12 months and therefore you cannot give your notice until you are within 12 months of the date of your marriage or civil partnership.

You may to put a provisional booking in the diary more than 12 months prior to the date of your marriage. You must each have lived in any District in England or Wales for seven clear days before the date you give notice of marriage (this means the notice is given on the ninth day).

If you choose to marry outside the area of your residence, you should contact the Register Office where you want the marriage to take place to ensure you can be married on the date that you would like. You must then give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the district(s) where you live.

After you have both given your notices of marriages you must wait at least 28 clear days whilst the notices are displayed in the Register Office(s) before the schedule can be issued, this is the authority for your partnership formation or marriage to take place, if you are marrying in a religious building which has their own registrar (Authorised Person) you must give the schedule to the person officiating at your marriage.

Each of you will pay a fee for giving notice of marriage.

From 1 July 2021, persons who are not subject to immigration control are limited to:

  • a British citizen
  • an Irish citizen
  • a person who has been granted EU Settlement Status (EUSS), either settled or pre-settled, or has a pending application for that settled status submitted before 30 June 2021 where a decision on that application has not yet been taken by UKVI. You must bring proof of:
  • your EUSS share code, if you have one.
  • indefinite leave to remain (settled or pre-settled status or a pending application submitted before 30 June 2021)
  • right of abode
  • military or diplomatic exemption