The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Give Notice

Giving Notice at a Local Register Office

As a rule, you will need to give notice at your local register office. Check through a list of documents that you will need to take with you to the register office.

GIVING NOTICE: The register office requires a minimum of 28 days of notice. This rule applies for most marriages and civil partnerships.

You need to give certain details in the notice. They will need to know where you intend to get married or form a civil partnership.

The register office will then display your notice for 28 days. That means it will be available for public viewing during this period.

Giving notice at your local register office may also apply if you plan to get married abroad (or form a civil partnership). You should also check to see whether the overseas authority needs a 'certificate of no impediment'.

Even so, you must have lived in the registration district for at least the past seven (7) days to give notice at your local register office.

Note: You may need to search for a register office to make your appointment. Some of the rules differ for religious ceremonies.

Once you have given notice, there are time limits for getting married or registering a civil partnership. It must take place within one (1) year in England and Wales, or three (3) months in Scotland.

Rules for Foreign Nationals

The regulations change if one of the partners is a foreign national from outside of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. You or your partner will need a visa to enter the United Kingdom.

Required Documents for the Register Office

The register office will need some proof of your name, your age, and your nationality. Be prepared to take these documents to the register office:

You will also need some documentation that proves your address in the United Kingdom, such as:

Check with your local register office to see if you need any other documents. They may be necessary for people without a valid passport who were born after 1983.

Note: In some cases, you may need to supply a photo ID. Giving notice at your local register office costs £35 (each). The fee may be higher if a partner is from outside the EEA or Switzerland.

Previously Divorced or Widowed

You will need extra documents if you have been married before or formed a civil partnership. If so, you may need to:

Overseas Divorces and Annulments

As a general rule, England and Wales will recognise a divorce providing it was valid in the country where it took place.

Things change if the papers were granted outside the UK, Channel Islands, or Isle of Man. In this case, you would need to take the divorce or annulment documents to the register office with you.

The registrar office might need to contact the General Register Office (GRO). They may need to confirm whether the marriage or civil partnership can go ahead. It could incur an extra fee between £50 and £75.

UK Rules for Giving Notice at Your Local Register Office