Giving notice - marriage and civil partnerships

When you have chosen and booked the venue and date of your wedding or civil partnership, you must arrange to give notice in the register office of the district in which you live.

Notice is not required if the ceremony is to be held in the Church of England, instead you must arrange with the church to have your banns read, unless one or both of you are subject to immigration control. If you are subject to immigration control, you must give notice at a designated register office.

It is not possible to give notice more than 12 months in advance of your ceremony. The notice is a legal statement which must be signed by you, you cannot ask a friend or relative to give notice for you.

Who is eligible?

You can get married or enter into a civil partnership if you are:

  • 16 or over (parental consent if under 18)
  • not already married or in civil partnership
  • not closely related

If you and your partner live in different districts, each of you must give notice in your own district. You must have been resident in the district for at least seven full days.

If either of you is subject to immigration control you will have to both give notice at a designated office, either in Reading or Slough. You can find out more on GOV.UK.

What do I need?

The original documents required will include:

  • current valid passport (preferable)
  • if you don't have a current valid passport, you will need to provide a full birth and parent's British birth certificate if you were born after 01/01/1983
  • if using your birth certificate only, we require sight of some other form of photo ID
  • if you were not born in the UK a current, valid passport or ID card is essential
  • recent proof of your current home address such as:
    • a bank statement dated in the last month
    • a utility bill dated within the last three months
    • a council tax statement dated within the last year
    • a mortgage statement dated within the last year
    • a photo driving licence
  • original divorce papers (if applicable)
  • if divorce is in a foreign language a translation is required
  • death certificate for former spouse (if applicable)
  • change of name papers (if applicable)
  • parental consent (if under 18)

Birth certificates are only required if you do not have a current valid passport.

Please be aware that failure to produce the required documents will result in the notice not being taken. The purpose of giving notice is to ensure that you are lawfully free to marry or form a civil partnership and to complete the preliminary legal documentation.

What happens next?

On completion of the notice, the details are put on the notice board for 28 full days and the ceremony cannot take place until after this time has elapsed. This is the legal period of time for an objection to be made. Objections can only be made if there is a legal reason that the ceremony cannot take place, and evidence must be produced.

On the 29th day a certificate for marriage will be issued, and this document is required for the marriage to take place. This is electronically sent to the office conducting the ceremony.

There are procedures in place to reduce the 28 day waiting period for someone who is seriously ill and not expected to recover. Please contact the register office for more information if required.

Please note: If either or both of the couple are subject to immigration control, the period could be extended to 70 days under certain circumstances. Please bear this change in mind when making arrangements for your ceremony and notice appointment.

If your ceremony is to be held in a different district, you must speak to the registrar in the appropriate district to discuss your ceremonial arrangements.

Book an appointment

Giving notice of intention to marry or form a Civil Partnership operates on an appointment only basis.

To book an appointment, please contact Customer Services on 01344 352000, between 8:30am and 4:45pm.

Your appointment booking can be made by credit or debit card and must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Fees

A fee is payable at the time of giving notice, currently £35 per person.

Please see our PDF file downloadcancellation and amendment fee terms and conditions (PDF, 97kb)

How to find us

Our appointments are held at Time Square, unless otherwise stated upon booking.

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