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Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Before you get married or hold a civil partnership you must each give notice of your intention.

Where to give notice

Unless you are getting married in a Church of England church, the notice must be given to the superintendent registrar of the district(s) in which you live regardless of where, in England or Wales, you wish to be married. You must have lived in the district for a minimum of seven complete days before notice is given. The register office for South Gloucestershire is situated in the Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 9TR.

When to give notice

The notice may be given a maximum of 12 months before the date of your marriage or civil partnership. You need to wait 28 clear days from giving notice of marriage to the ceremony. If you or your partner are subject to immigration control this may be extended to 70 days.

Documents you need to show us

You need documents to confirm your current name, address, age and nationality. You must each bring with you:

For name, age and nationality:

  • a valid (current) passport if you are a British citizen, or a valid passport or EEA ID card if you are a national of a member country of the European Union
  • if you are British but do not have a current passport and were born before 01/01/1983 – your birth certificate
  • if you are British but do not have a current passport and were born after 31/12/1982 you must bring your full birth certificate (showing your parents details) together with your mother’s birth certificate and marriage certificate(s) if she has used more than one married name. Your father’s birth certificate and marriage certificate(s) may be acceptable if your parents were married at the time of your birth, or subsequently married and your birth was re-registered. Please call us to check if you are in any doubt

Proof of marital status: If you have been married or in a civil partnership previously you must bring proof of how your marriage or civil partnership ended. This might be a decree absolute (not a decree nisi) or decree of dissolution if you were divorced or a death certificate if your spouse has died. We can only accept original documents issued by the court or registrar.

If your decree absolute or decree of dissolution is in a different name from the name you are using currently, i.e. you have reverted to your maiden surname, then we must see your marriage or civil partnership certificate.

If you did not register the death of a late spouse, we must also see your marriage or civil partnership certificate.

If you have changed your name through any legal means, please bring proof. This might be a deed poll or statutory change of name document.

For proof of address, one of the following:

  • current council tax bill – dated within one year of your appointment
  • UK driving licence (full or provisional) – providing the name and address are correct and current
  • a utility bill (this does not include mobile phone bills) dated within three months of your appointment
  • a bank/building society statement dated within one month of your appointment.  Online bank statements are now acceptable, but you must provide a printed copy
  • a mortgage statement – dated within one year of your appointment

All documents should be originals and in English, or have been translated in to English and certified as true translations by the translator (a third party), together with their signature, name and address. For each divorce or dissolution granted outside of the British Isles fees are payable for consideration for clearance of the documents. When the documents can be cleared locally by the Superintendent Registrar the fee is £50; if the documents have to be referred to the General Register Office a fee of £75 is payable. General Register Office permission for the ceremony to proceed may not be completed within the waiting period, please consider this when booking the date for your ceremony.

The registration team can give you further advice when you make your appointment. Failure to produce all the necessary documents will mean that you will not be able to give your notice.

Marriage and civil partnership notice fees

The cost of giving a notice of intention to marry is £35 per person, payable at the time the notice is given by debit or credit card, cash or cheque. Each party must give their own notice in person to the superintendent registrar.

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Arranging a marriage or civil partnership in difficult circumstances

It may be possible to apply to be married or form a civil partnership quickly if there are exceptional circumstances. The fee for making an application for the Registrar General to consider waiving the usual 28 day waiting period is increasing to £60 per person from November 2017.  The exceptional circumstances are limited, so please contact us to discuss your particular situation.

Subject to immigration control

If you are planning to get married or have a civil partnership and one or both of you is subject to immigration control you will have to comply with some additional conditions.

Both of you will have to give your notices together at a Designated Register Office regardless of where you reside.

The nearest designated office is Bristol Register Office at the Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1JQ.

The minimum waiting period from giving notice to getting married is now 28 days for everyone, but possibly 70 days if you or your partner are subject to immigration control, so please ensure you allow plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

If you are a British citizen, a national of a country in the European Economic Area or you have a certificate of entitlement giving you right to abode in the UK in your passport, you will not be subject to immigration control and the additional conditions will not apply to you.

Getting married abroad

Some foreign countries require British citizens to provide a Certificate of no impediment before they can marry in that country.

Before booking an appointment to give notice for a Certificate of no impediment please check that you need one for the country where you intend to marry, if you need any other documents as well or if the documents required must be legalised before you leave the UK.

The most up to date information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad

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