Legal formalities

Legal requirements for the registration of civil partnerships.

Civil partnership ceremony

Giving notice of civil partnership

You will need to give notice of your civil partnership in your local registration district. If you and your partner live in different areas, you will both need to give notice in your own district (unless one or both of you is subject to immigration control).

In order to give notice of civil partnership in a registration office, you must have lived in that district for a minimum of seven days immediately before you give your notice. The day of arrival does not count and notice cannot be given until the ninth day (for example, if your arrival day is Tuesday, notice cannot be given until the following Wednesday).

The earliest date the notice of civil partnership can be given is 12 months before the registration or ceremony. Normally 28 clear days' notice is required (for example, if you give notice on 1 May, your ceremony may take place on or after 30 May) In some cases the Notice period may be extended to 70 days.

A nationally set fee is payable for each notice of civil partnership. This is not refundable.

Booking an appointment

If you live in Oxfordshire you will need to make an appointment to attend a registration office to give notice.

Alternatively, please call 0845 129 5900 to make an appointment. If you live outside Oxfordshire, please contact your local register office for advice.

Documentation

As with all legal events, you will be asked to produce documentation, including the following:

Proof of identity

British citizens, born before 1 January 1983

  • A current valid passport OR
  • Birth certificate and photo ID, OR
  • Naturalisation certificate and photo ID

British citizens, born after 1 January 1983

Please produce one of the following:

  • A current valid passport OR
  • Naturalisation certificate and photo ID, OR
  • Full birth certificate and photo ID together with evidence of your parents' nationality (passport or birth certificate)

EEA Nationals

  • Current passport OR
  • National photo ID card

Foreign Nationals

If you are a foreign national, in addition to proof of full name, age, nationality and address you will also need to provide evidence of your settled status in England and Wales. If you are unable to provide this, you will be referred to the Home office and the waiting period for your marriage may be extended to 70 days. You will also be required to provide a photograph for you and your partner.

Acceptable documents are listed below:-

  • Current valid passport or
  • Valid  Home Office Travel Document

Proof of Settled Status

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter or
  • Current EEA residence permit with Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter or
  • Civil Partnership visa

If you do not have or cannot provide evidence of settled status in England and Wales then please ring 0845 129 5900.

Proof of residence

You need to provide one of the following dated within the last three months:

  • Council tax bill (current year)
  • Household bill (dated within last three months)
  • Bank statement(dated within last month)
  • Valid UK driving licence
  • A letter signed by someone able to confirm you residence over previous 7 days.

If you've been in a civil partnership or marriage before

If you have been in a previous marriage or civil partnership, you will need to bring with you one of the following types of documentary evidence to show that the union has ended and that you are now free to register a civil partnership:

  • a Decree Absolute (following divorce) or
  • a dissolution certificate (from a previous civil partnership) or
  • a death certificate (if your former civil partner or spouse has died).

All divorce or dissolution documents must have the original stamp of the issuing court. Some overseas divorce/dissolution documents may have to be referred to the General Register Office for clearance (with a certified translation if appropriate) and may take longer than the minimum 15 days' clear notice.

If you're under 18 or have changed your name

If one or both of you are under the age of 18 years, or have changed your names, you will need to provide one or both of the following documents:

  • Evidence of change of name (deed poll / statutory declaration).
  • Consent, if under 18 years of age and not previously married or in a civil partnership.

Original or certified copies of documents are needed. Photocopies are not acceptable.

Interpreters

All registrations and ceremonies are conducted in English, so if either one of you cannot speak or understand English then you must provide an interpreter. Please discuss with the registrar who takes your notice of civil partnership, to be sure the legal requirements are met.

Witnesses

You will need two people to be your witnesses; friends or relatives are fine but they must be over the age of 16 and able to understand the English language.

Foreign nationals

If you are subject to immigration control, you will also be required to give notice of civil partnership to a registrar at one of 75 designated register offices in England and Wales. You must attend the register office together (in Scotland and Northern Ireland, all register offices are designated, and notice of civil partnership is normally given by post).

For detailed information about this, visit the Home Office website.

Last reviewed
13 January 2015
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