Give notice of marriage or civil partnership

Where to give notice of a marriage or civil partnership, book an appointment and find out what to bring with you.

By law, notice to marry or register a civil partnership must be given at a registration office in the area where you live. This cannot be done less than 29 days or more than 12 months in advance of your ceremony.

Both parties have to give their own notices, preferably on the same day or, if not, as soon as possible. Your period of notice does not commence until both parties have given their notice.

Once given, your notices of marriage are displayed for 28 clear days on the public notice board at the Harrogate register office. The wedding cannot take place until after that time, unless there are special circumstances.

If either of you is a foreign national, there are further considerations and you should read the frequently asked question below.

Where to give notice and book an appointment

Both of you must have lived in England or Wales for a minimum of eight nights immediately before giving notice at the registration office.

Where you and your partner live Where to give notice
You both live in North Yorkshire. You should book an appointment together at a local registration office.
You live in North Yorkshire and your partner lives in a different area. You should book an appointment for yourself at a North Yorkshire registration office. Your partner will need to contact their local registration office to give notice separately at the office in their area.
You both live in North Yorkshire but are getting married or registering a civil partnership elsewhere in England or Wales. You should book an appointment at a North Yorkshire registration office.
You both live outside North Yorkshire and are getting married or registering a civil partnership here. You must give notice at a registration office in your area.

What to bring to the appointment

You will need to bring at least two documents to provide evidence of:

  • your name and surname, date of birth and nationality;
  • your place of residence;
  • if you had a previous marriage or civil partnership, a decree absolute, decree of nullity or dissolution order, or a death certificate together with a marriage or civil partnership certificate; and
  • a full translation of any foreign divorce / dissolution documents and the name and address of the translator (who cannot be your intended spouse).

Many couples bring their passport and photo driving licence to meet these requirements. See the frequently asked question below for a full list of acceptable documents.

All documents must be original. Photocopies are not acceptable. Any document which is in a foreign language must be accompanied by a complete English translation. From 1 November 2017 there will be an additional fee payable for consideration of divorce / civil partnership dissolution documents obtained outside the British Isles.

You will also need to pay a fee when giving notice of marriage or civil partnership.

Frequently asked questions

It is a legal requirement for each person to produce two documents - one from list one and another from list two, and also from lists three and four if they apply to you. The appointment will not proceed without these exact documents. All documents must be original and not photocopies.

List one - evidence of name, surname, date of birth and nationality

  • Valid British passport;
  • If born before 1/1/1983 * - UK birth certificate plus one document from list two, but not including the residency letter;
  • If born after 1/1/1983 * - Full UK birth certificate together with your mother's birth certificate or passport. Alternatively, you can bring your full birth certificate with your father's birth certificate or passport plus your parent's marriage certificate. Where parent's documents are in a different name to those on your birth certificate further documentation will be required to show the link of names;
  • Valid European Economic Area state or Switzerland - passport or identity card;
  • Certificate of registration as a British citizen *; or
  • Certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen *.

* If your name has changed since these documents were issued, we need to see evidence from list four to show the link of names.

List two - evidence of your place of residence

This document must show your current name and address.

  • Valid driving licence;
  • Council tax bill for current council tax year;
  • Utility bill no more than three months old;
  • Bank or building society statement / passbook no more than one month old;
  • Mortgage statement no more than one year old;
  • Current residential tenancy agreement; or
  • Letter from the owner or proprietor of the property where you have been residing plus one of the above in that person's name.

List three - evidence of ending of a previous marriage or civil partnership *

  • Decree absolute of divorce or nullity granted by a court in England or Wales;
  • Dissolution order or nullity of civil partnership granted by a court in England or Wales;
  • Documents confirming divorce or annulment granted by a court in any part of the British Islands and recognised in the UK;
  • Documents confirming dissolution or annulment of a civil partnership in the UK;
  • Documents confirming divorce or annulment from outside the British Isles and recognised in the UK;
  • Documents confirming divorce or annulment of civil partnership obtained outside the UK and recognised by the UK;
  • Death certificate of spouse or civil partner and the marriage / civil partnership certificate; or
  • Presumed death certificate of spouse or civil partner.

* If your name on your decree absolute / dissolution is different to the name you are using now, we need to see evidence from list four to show the link of names.

List four - evidence of change of name *

  • Deed poll (registered in the Supreme Court of Deeds at the Royal Courts of Justice);
  • Statutory declaration; or
  • Marriage certificate(s).

Where any evidence provided is not in English, a full translation must also be provided.

If you are from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland and subject to immigration control, you will need a visa to come to the UK to give notice and get married or form a civil partnership here. You can find more information about this process from the GOV.UK website.

In this situation, both parties must give notice in person at one of the specially designated registration offices in England and Wales. The nearest offices to North Yorkshire are in Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

The authorisation for your marriage or civil partnership to take place is valid only for the venue stated when you give notice.

If you change the venue after giving notice, both of you will need to give new notices stating the new venue. This requires another 28-day notice period and an additional fee.