Giving notice of civil marriage or civil partnership

To get married or enter a civil partnership in England and Wales, each person must give legal notice of intention, to the registrar in the district (county) where you live.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

If you live in North Yorkshire, but are holding your ceremony outside North Yorkshire, you should first check with the registrars in the area where your ceremony takes place before booking an appointment with us to give notice.


If you a marrying or having a civil partnership in a church or other religious building, you should check with the church whether you need to give notice to the registrar.

Legal notice of intention to marry or enter a civil partnership must be given at least 28 clear days, but a minimum or 30 is recommended, prior to the date of the marriage or civil partnership, and you will need to take specific documents with you to the appointment.

You will need to prove your identity, your date of birth, your place or residence and that you are free lawfully to marry or enter a civil partnership. If you are in any doubt find out which registration office you should attend from GOV.UK.

Each person must give their own notice, and have the correct documents. If you do not have the required documents, you will not be able to give notice. The documents you need to bring, when you give notice, and the fees you pay will depend on your own personal circumstances. Find out which documents you need to bring to your appointment.

There are different rules if you or your partner are a foreign national from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and are subject to immigration control. Further information is available for non-EEA nationals is available, if this applies.

Important information about giving notice

The legal requirement for giving notice is 28 clear days before a marriage or Civil Partnership can take place, however we require at least 30 days between giving notice and having your ceremony. 

The earliest you can give notice is 12 months prior to your ceremony. Notices are valid for one year, but we recommend your notice appointment is at least ten months before your ceremony.

If you live in North Yorkshire you can give notice at any of our registration offices by booking an appointment.

If you live in England or Wales but outside North Yorkshire you will need to contact your local registration office to make your appointment, as this must take place in the district where you live.

If you live outside England or Wales and you want to marry in North Yorkshire you must reside in England or Wales for 7 clear days before the date of the notice appointment. This does not include the date you arrive and the date of the notice. Both of you must be resident at the same time, for the 7 day period, before giving notice.

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 or dissolution documents and the name and address of the translator (who cannot be your intended spouse).

Find out which documents you need to bring to your appointment.

Many couples bring their passport and photo driving license to meet these requirements.

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. There will be an additional fee payable for consideration of divorce or civil partnership dissolution documents obtained outside the British Isles.

All parties giving a notice of marriage or civil partnership must bring specific documents to their appointment. All documents must be originals and not photocopies.

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

It is a legal requirement for all people giving Notice to produce at least 2 documents: 1 from Section 1 and 1 from Section 2, plus any extra documents as applicable: you may also have to produce documents from Sections 3 or 4 if they apply, as follows:

1 – Evidence of name, surname, date of birth and nationality

One of the following original documents:

  • Valid Passport  - (in current date)
  • Valid national identity card (issued by an EEA state or Switzerland)
  • Certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British Citizen granted by the Secretary of State

     or if you do not have one of the above, then Birth Certificate as follows:

Born in the UK before 1.1.1983 – UK birth certificate and:

  • 1 other piece of evidence from section 2 to confirm current use of name on birth certificate (but not the letter to confirm residency)
  • if your current name is different to the one on your birth certificate, then you must  also provide documents as evidence to link your names e.g. marriage certificate, change of name deed or statutory declaration

Born in the UK on or after 1.1.1983 – Full UK birth certificate showing parent’s details and:

  • 1 other piece of evidence from Section 2 to establish current usage of name on birth certificate (but not the letter of residency)
  • if your current name is different to the one on your birth certificate, then you must  also provide documents as evidence to link your names e.g. marriage certificate, change of name deed or statutory declaration

and

Evidence of either of parent’s British Citizenship or settled status at time of your birth:

  • if parent’s not married at the time of birth – mother’s UK birth certificate
  • if parents married at the time of birth, then either parent’s UK Birth certificate
  • UK Passport stating relevant parent as British Citizen or having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) at the time of birth. (also need marriage certificate if using Father’s documents)

2 - Evidence of place of residence

One of the following documents must be provided as evidence of the place of residence within England and Wales of a person giving notice, and must show your current name and address:

  • Utility bill dated no more than 3 months before date of notice is given
  • Bank or building society statement/passbook no more than 1 month before date of notice
  • Council tax bill for current council tax year
  • Mortgage statement no more than 1 year old
  • Current residential tenancy agreement
  • Valid driving licence (includes provisional licence)
  • Letter from the owner or proprietor of the property where you have been residing
  • plus one of the above documents in that person’s name

3 – Evidence of ending of a previous marriage or civil partnership

 

One of the following documents must be provided as evidence of the ending of a previous marriage or civil partnership of a person giving notice of 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 Islands and recognised in the UK - additional fees apply. View registration service fees.
  • Documents confirming divorce or annulment of civil partnership obtained outside the UK and recognised by the UK - additional fees apply. View registration service fees.
  • Death certificate of spouse or civil partner + marriage/civil partnership certificate (if not named on Death Certificate)
  • Presumed death certificate of spouse or civil partner

4 – Evidence of Change of Name Links

  • 'Registered’ Deed Poll (3 stamps: in the Supreme Court of Deeds, Royal Courts of Justice)
  • 'Unregistered’ Deed Polls/Statutory Declaration
  • Marriage Certificate

There is a fee for each person giving notice. View registration service fees.

If you have any ceremony fees to pay you can also do this at your notice appointment. Ceremony fees must be paid 3 months prior to your ceremony.

Card payment is preferred. We do not accept cheque payments.

Terms and Conditions of payment

If you change the venue of your ceremony after giving notice, you will need to give notice again and pay the fee again. It is your responsibility to ensure that you bring all the correct documentation and information required to give notice.

If you can’t make your appointment please contact us to re-schedule. Please do this as soon as you can in order to free up the appointment for someone else.

If you are getting married or entering into civil partnership in Scotland or Northern Ireland please contact the ceremonies team for advice at ceremonies@northyorks.gov.uk or 01609 780780.

If you are getting married or entering into civil partnership outside the UK visit GOV.UK marriage abroad page for information and guidance.

If you need a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI), and you live in North Yorkshire please contact us for advice at ceremonies@northyorks.gov.uk or 01609 780780.

Each countries requirements are different so, in the first instance, you must contact the government of the country in which you wish to marry in order to establish exactly what their requirements are.

You can use the Getting Married abroad tool on GOV.UK to find out who you need to contact in order to confirm requirements.

Some countries will request a Certificate of No Impediment. These can only be provided for British nationals via the register office in the district in which you live.  

You must find out, from the authorities in the country in which you wish to marry, how long the certificate is valid for in that country, as it must be valid on the day of the wedding.  

These certificates vary in the length of time they are valid for, which can sometimes only be a few months. Certain countries require that certificates be no older than 2 or 3 months at the time of your wedding.

You should also find out if they require you to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office once the certificate has been collected from the register office in the district where you live.

Once you have this information you should contact your local Register Office to arrange an appointment. You should plan ahead as there can be a wait for appointments.

You will need to know at least the town and country where the marriage is taking place along with any unusual spellings.

When one or more parties to a marriage or civil partnership are subject to immigration control, the parties must give notice together at a designated register office. North Yorkshire does not have any designated offices. View a list of designated offices in England and Wales.

If you are a non-EEA national, in some circumstances the notice period may be extended to 70 days.

Fees are charged across England and Wales for the consideration of divorces, civil partnership dissolutions and nullities obtained outside of the British Isles. British Isles means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The fee will depend upon nationality and country of the divorce, dissolution or nullity. View registration service fees. The consideration is for whether the foreign divorce, dissolution or nullity documents are acceptable for giving notice.

Fees are taken at the time of the notice appointment, are in addition to the statutory notice fees, and are charged regardless of the outcome.

Some foreign divorces will need to be referred to the General Register Office. It can take up to 6 weeks for a decision, and we advise that this possible delay should be factored into your plans.

Any document in a foreign script must be accompanied by a full translation of all wording, stamps and signatures. The translation can be undertaken by anyone other than the parties to the Marriage or civil partnership. The translator must add their name and address, and certify that it is a true and accurate translation.

If under 18 years, a signed consent form is required. Forms are available prior to notice from all registration offices, and must be brought with other documents to the notice appointment.

Booking your appointment

All parties giving notice of marriage or civil partnerships must bring specific documents to their appointment. All documents must be originals and not photocopied.

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

Book an appointment