Converting a civil partnership to a marriage

From Wednesday 10 December 2014 couples who registered their civil partnership in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnership to a marriage. This includes all civil partnerships registered according to the law of England and Wales (for example in a consulate or armed forces base overseas).

How do I convert my civil partnership to marriage?

There are two ways to convert a civil partnership into a marriage:

  • a simple administrative process called a 'standard conversion'
  • a two stage process where the conversion is followed by a ceremony

The standard conversion

This is a simple administrative process where you will both attend an appointment at any register office, and complete a declaration with details about you and your civil partner. The documents that you will need to produce include:

  • evidence of your name and date of birth - current passports or birth certificates
  • evidence of your address - recent council tax, utilities bill, or recent bank statement
  • an original civil partnership certificate

A legal declaration will then be drawn up for you to both sign along with the Superintendent Registrar.

If you wish you can choose to say the declaration wording aloud to one another before signing the conversion document. Your marriage is then registered and a marriage certificate will be issued.

This service is free of charge for all those who entered into a civil partnership In England and Wales before 29 March 2014 and wish to convert your civil partnership to a marriage before 10 December 2015. There is a charge of £4 for each marriage certificate ordered before the conversion.

A conversion followed by a ceremony

There are two stages to this type of conversion. The first part is where you will both attend an appointment at any register office or registration service point, and complete a declaration with details about you and your civil partner. The documents that you will need to produce include:

  • evidence of your name and date of birth - current passports or birth certificates
  • evidence of your address - recent council tax or utilities bill or recent bank statement
  • an original civil partnership certificate

The signing of the declaration can then be followed by a ceremony at venues where same sex couples are able to marry. For example:

  • Register Office
  • The Syrett Suite
  • other approved premises
  • religious buildings that are registered for the marriage of same sex couples
  • premises where a ceremony according to the Jewish faith of the Society of Friends is to immediately follow the conversion

Following the ceremony your marriage is registered, and a marriage certificate can then be issued. Your marriage certificate can either be collected or posted. There is a charge of £4.00 for each marriage certificate ordered before the conversion.

If you are in a civil partnership and are considering converting this to a marriage, please contact the register office for more guidance and information.

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