Giving notice of intention

Giving notice of intention involves attending an appointment at a register office where you will declare who you intend to marry or form a civil partnership with, where the ceremony will take place and that you are legally free to get married or form a civil partnership.

If you and your partner are both UK or European Economic Area (EEA) nationals (including Switzerland), then notice must be given to the local register office to where you each reside.

You will need to book an appointment to give notice of intention. Before you book, please make sure you have read through the guidance below.

In order to book your appointment, you must have already booked your ceremony venue and the attendance of the registrars.

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1. When to give notice

Before giving notice, you must both have established a residence at an address in England or Wales for at least 7 consecutive days immediately prior to giving notice (not including the first day you start living at the address or the day you go to give notice).

You must both give notice at least 29 days before the ceremony. In certain cases, depending on your immigration status, this may be extended to 71 days.

We advise that whenever possible you give notice at least 3 months prior to your ceremony.

2. Validity of notice

Your notice of marriage or civil partnership will be valid for twelve months from the date you give notice.

The notice is only valid for the ceremony location that you state at the time of giving notice. Therefore, if you subsequently decide to change the venue a new notice will need to be given and the notice period of 29 to 71 days will need to be completed again.

3. Foreign nationals

If you or your partner are foreign nationals from outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland, you must both attend a designated register office together to give notice.

However, if you are both exempt from immigration controls in the UK (eg you have right of abode, diplomatic status or are serving in HM Forces) then notice must instead be given at your local register office. You must both make a declaration of your immigration status at the time of giving notice.

If either of you has a limited visa (eg a work, student or tourist visa) then you will automatically be referred to the Home Office for further investigation which may result in your notice period being extended to 71 days.

It is strongly recommended that non-EEA nationals (subject to immigration controls) planning to enter the UK to get married, first get a marriage or civil partnership entry clearance visa before travelling. The visa is valid for 6 months and can be used for the giving of your notices and for the ceremony itself.

If you don't have the correct visa, it may be harder to enter the country when you arrive in the UK for the ceremony.

Further details can be found at GOV.UK.

4. Required documents

You must to attend in person and bring supporting documents with you. All documents must be valid originals. Expired documents or photocopies are not accepted. You are responsible for supplying the correct documents at the appointment and ensuring that you have allowed enough time to fulfil all of the requirements.

Information and documents that must be provided at your notice appointment

Passport

Valid passport proving your identity and nationality

Proof of address

Please bring one of the following for each person giving notice:

  • utility bill for services received at the property, eg gas, electric, water, landline, cable or broadband (not mobile phone bills) - must be dated within three months of the date on which notice is given
  • bank or building society statement or passbook - must be dated within one month of the date on which notice is given
  • Council Tax bill - must be dated within one year of the date on which notice is given
  • mortgage statement - must be dated within one year of the date on which notice is given
  • current residential tenancy agreement
  • valid UK, Community or British driving licence
  • letter from the owner or proprietor (“X”) of the address which is the applicant’s place of residence that confirms it is the applicant’s place of residence, states that X is the owner or proprietor, states X's name and address, and is signed and dated by X within one month of the date on which notice is given
  • letter from tenant of property proving residence, if supported by proof of address for tenant

​If either party is referred to the Home Office and their usual place of residence is different to the address provided for the purpose of giving notice, then proof of their usual address (even if overseas) will be required. If this applies, please contact Westminster Register Office.

 

Proof of immigration status

If either of you are nationals from outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland, you will need to bring evidence of your immigration status with you to your appointment, e.g. visa stamp in passport, Biometric residence card etc.

Passport size photographs

If either of you are within the Home Office referral scheme (ie you are a non UK, EEA or Swiss national and possess a limited visa), you will both be required to bring one passport sized photo with you to the appointment.

Additionally, if either of you obtained a marriage or civil partnership entry clearance visa for the purposes of marrying or having a civil partnership in this country, you will both be required to bring one passport sized photo with you to the appointment.

Previous marriage or civil partnership dissolved or annulled

A UK decree absolute with the original court stamp or original final foreign divorce documents must be brought to the appointment, with a signed and dated third party translation provided if the document is not in English.

Please note: A foreign divorce may require clearance from the registrar general. If this is the case, the registrar general may request additional information or documentation once your notice has been taken. Please be advised your ceremony cannot go ahead without this clearance being granted.

Widow, widower or surviving civil partner

A certificate of death relating to the deceased partner must be provided.

You must also provide the related marriage or civil partnership certificate.

Name change

If your name has been changed by deed poll, you must provide deed poll documents.

If your name has been changed but not by deed poll, you must provide evidence of your former or other names e.g. name change documents, prior divorce document or other evidence of a former name.

Under 18 at the time of giving notice

If either of you is under 18 at the time of giving notice, you must provide your full birth certificate, with a signed and dated third party translation provided if the document is not in English.

Parental consent must be provided in the form of a letter or a Form 55 completed by all relevant parties.

For more information, please contact the register office before your appointment.

 

5. Fees

There is a non-refundable fee of £35 per person for giving notice.

However, if either of you fall within the Home Office referral scheme then the fee will be £47 per person.

6. Book appointment

You will need to book an appointment to give notice of intention. There is no drop-in service for giving notice.

Book online


Last updated: 1 February 2017
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