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Convert a Civil Partnership to Marriage

Changes in the law mean you can now convert a civil partnership into marriage in England and Wales. This guide explains the full process, the costs involved, and eligibility for converting abroad.

Convert to Marriage in England (or Wales)

There are several places that you can convert your civil partnership into a marriage. In most cases, it would take place at:

As a rule, you would receive a marriage certificate after converting a civil union to married. But, they would date it to the original formation of the civil partnership.

Note: Different rules apply when changing a civil partnership into a marriage in Scotland. The law does not allow this type of conversion in Northern Ireland.

Cost to Convert a Civil Partnership to a Marriage

There are several different fees to pay depending on the choice of registration, including:

  • The marriage certificate: £11
  • Converting a civil partnership: £45
  • Making an appointment for a ceremony: £27 (optional)

Note: As with most traditional marriage ceremonies the cost of each wedding ceremony varies by venue.

Signing the ‘Conversion into Marriage’ Declaration

Part of the official process includes the need to sign a ‘conversion into marriage’ declaration. You should make an appointment with the superintendent registrar for this purpose. You will find a registrar located at your nearest register office.

The register office will confirm what form of identification to provide. But, you will need to take some ID and your original civil partnership certificate.

Converting and Holding a Wedding Ceremony

If you hold a ceremony at an approved registered venue you will need to book a date for the occasion. You and your partner can also hold the ceremony at a venue where same sex couples can get married, such as:

  • A religious building registered for the marriage of same sex couples.
  • Premises where a ceremony according to the Jewish faith or the Society of Friends will follow immediately after the conversion.

Witnesses are not required but you can invite you family and friends to attend. The person conducting the ceremony can help you choose the wording for the big day.

You both need to sign the ‘conversion into marriage’ declaration in the company of the superintendent registrar. They will also sign the declaration.

Convert a Civil Partnership to Marriage Abroad

Having a United Kingdom civil partnership means you may convert it overseas into a marriage. But, only certain countries allow it. The date of your marriage certificate would match the formation date of the civil partnership.

Eligibility Criteria

As a rule, you can convert a civil partnership to marriage abroad if all these apply:

  • You have lived in the overseas country for at least 28 days.
  • The civil partnership took place under the laws of England and Wales (or Scotland).
  • Either you or your partner has British citizenship.

Overseas Countries Where You Can Convert

The local British embassy or consulate will confirm whether you qualify and tell you how to book an appointment. A list of countries that allow the conversion include:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Vietnam

Required Documentation and Cost

Besides having both of your passports you will also need:

  • Proof of residency for the country you choose to convert in (e.g. a letter from an employer or a bank statement)
  • The original civil partnership certificate

There will be several fees to pay, including:

  • Converting a civil partnership £150 (check with the embassy or consulate).
  • The marriage certificate £50 (usually paid in local currency).

Converting a Civil Partnership into a Marriage in United Kingdom