3. Giving notice at your local register office

For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 16 days’ notice at your local register office.

You may also need to give notice here if you plan to marry abroad. Ask the overseas authority if you’ll need a ‘certificate of no impediment’.

Your notice will be publicly displayed in the register office for 15 days.

Contact your local register office to make an appointment.

You can only give notice at a register office if you have lived in the registration district for at least the past 7 days.

There are different rules for religious ceremonies.

Foreign nationals

You and your partner must go to a ‘designated’ register office if either of you aren’t from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and are subject to immigration control.

The process is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You’ll need to apply for one of the following if you aren’t already in the UK:

  • a visa to come here as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner if your partner is a British citizen or settled in the UK and you intend to remain in the UK
  • an EEA family permit if you’re from outside the EEA and the person you’re marrying is from the EEA or Switzerland but not the UK
  • a Marriage Visitor visa if you and your partner are from outside the EEA or Switzerland, you want to come to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership, and you and your partner intend to leave the country within 6 months

You must get married or register your civil partnership within 1 year, or 3 months if you’re in Scotland.

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