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Register Office Services during coronavirus

Visit our frequently asked questions page for information about how Registry Office services are affected by the pandemic.

Give notice of your marriage or civil partnership

You may have a marriage or civil partnership in any register office or an approved venue of your choice in England or Wales. It's important to establish where you'd like to have your ceremony first before starting the process of giving notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership.

You must contact the Register Office at least three months, but no more than 12 months before you intend to marry. 

Southwark has many licensed venues for civil ceremonies.

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. If you decide to change the venue, a new notice must be given and the notice waiting period of 28 to 70 days will need to be completed again.

Every couple is subject to the standard 28 day waiting period. Couples who are ‘in scope’ may have their waiting period extended to 70 days by the Home Office.

The Immigration Act 2014 defines ‘in scope’ as those who are non EEA nationals without a valid visa for the purpose of marriage or civil partnership. This applies to both parties, even if one is an EEA national.   

It's very important to allow plenty of time to complete this legal process of giving notice before the ceremony is due to take place. Further information can be obtained from the GOV.UK website.

If both parties wishing to enter into a marriage or Civil Partnership are British or an EEA national, you need to give notice in the borough in which you reside. You both need to attend an interview with the superintendent registrar either together or separately. Please note the 28 days waiting period must be completed by both of you. At the interview, we'll need information about yourself and your partner, as well as the venue of the marriage or civil partnership.

If either or both of you are a non-EEA national, you'll need to give notice together at a designated register office, of which Southwark is one. 

Documents required when giving notice

You'll need to provide the below evidence at the time of your appointment. All documents provided must be originals. Scanned or photocopied documents are not acceptable. 

For documents issued in a foreign language, we'll need to see the original and a full English translation.

In order to give notice of marriage, both parties will be required to produce one piece of evidence each.

Your name, date of birth and nationality:

  • valid UK passport
  • birth certificate (British Citizens only - if born before 1 January 1983, they must provide their original UK certificate, plus another piece of specified evidence to establish current name (in case of name change since birth)
  • if born on or after 1 January 1983, they must provide a naturalisation/registration certificate or evidence (birth certificate or passport) of British nationality of your parent
  • valid EEA passport
  • valid EEA ID card
  • valid non-EEA passport
  • valid Home Office travel documents
  • valid Home Office residence permit

Important notice if your passport is currently retained by the Home Office. If you've sent off your passport for a visa application, you can request to have it returned by completing this form.

Alternatively, it's your responsibility to contact your caseworker to request for a certified copy of the passport to be emailed to registrars@southwark.gov.uk. You must confirm that this is a copy issued by them.

Evidence of your place of residence includes:

  • utility bills (not older than 3 months); includes gas, electricity, water, telephone, but not mobile
  • bank/building society statement (not older than 1 month from the date of your appointment)
  • most recent Council Tax bill (current year only)
  • valid UK driving licence
  • tenancy agreement

If one or both parties wishing to marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales and one or both of you are not resident in this country, then you must first establish a residency of seven clear days within a district in England or Wales. The day of your arrival will not be counted as part of your residency. The first day of your residency begins at 00:00 hours on the day after your arrival. An example of this is:

  • if you arrive at 4pm Monday 15 February, your first day of residence would commence at 00:00 hours on Tuesday 16 February and you have to reside within one registration district for the next seven days; on the eighth day you'll be free to give notice in the Register Office for the borough in which you've established that residency

As you or your partner would only have arrived in England or Wales recently, we'll accept a letter from the person that you have been residing with as proof of address. The letter should state the date you arrived and the name, address and contact telephone number of the person who is vouching for your residence.

If you've recently moved to the borough from another district you should also establish a clear 7 day residency. Proof of address would be a tenancy agreement, mortgage statement or letter from the person responsibly for the property confirming the date of your arrival and the name, address and contact telephone number of the person who is vouching for your residence.

Evidence of change of name

  • original Deed Poll/change of name certificate

Evidence of dissolution of previous marriage or civil partnership

  • original divorce certificate (translation of originals required for foreign divorces in foreign languages); please note that if the name on the divorce decree absolute or civil partnership dissolution does not match the name on the proof of identity, you'll need to provide either an original certified copy of your previous marriage/civil partnership certificate or a change of name deed to link the names
  • from 1 November 2017 additional charges will be made for the consideration of overseas divorce documents:
    • £50 - divorce obtained overseas that can be cleared locally
    • £75 - divorce obtained overseas that needs to be cleared by the General Register Office

Please note that only when a registrar sees the document can a decision be made as to whether it will cleared locally or cleared by the General Register Office.

  • if either of you is a widow/widower or surviving civil partner, we'll need to see a certified copy of your partner's death certificate and your marriage/civil partnership certificate

Photographic evidence

Those ‘in scope’ and those with fiancé/marriage visas must produce a passport size, passport quality photograph when giving notice. This is for both parties, even if one is British/an EEA national. If you don't bring these documents to the notice appointment we may not be able to see you and your appointment will have to be rescheduled.

If you're under 18 years of age, you'll need to complete consent required to the Marriage of a Minor Form 55 (pdf, 592kb). This form is also available from the Register Office.

You must bring all of the required documents with you to the appointment. Failure to do so will result in us being unable to take the notice and your appointment being re-booked. 

Please note this is a prescribed list of acceptable documents and we're unable to accept documents outside of this list. If you're unsure about the documents required, call us on 0207 525 7669 or email registrars@southwark.gov.uk

Changes for giving notice when getting married in a Church of England and Church in Wales

Church of England marriages for EEA citizens may find it is possible for your Vicar to call banns for your marriage. If the Vicar can’t but is still willing to marry you, he must complete this form and you must bring it to your appointment. If you fail to bring this form (pdf, 174kb) your notices will not be taken.

Church of England marriages involving non EEA nationals are now subject to civil preliminaries. Before this, you may have been able to have your banns of marriage read in church.

You will have to attend a Designated Register Office (DRO) or a non DRO dependent on immigration status.

Southwark Register office is a Designated Register Office (DRO), we are working in partnership with the Home Office and the General Register Office and will report any suspicions of a sham or forced marriage or other immigration offences. We use ID scan to verify documents presented at the Register Office.

Appointment

Book an appointment for a notice:

Book a notice of civil partnership appointment

Book a notice of marriage appointment

Notice and ceremony fees

The following changes are effective from 1 August 2019.

Notice fee (per person) £35 or £47 (depending on your immigration status).

Marriages and Civil Partnership taking place in The Garden Room, 34 Peckham Road or Southwark Register Office.

Ceremony at Southwark Register Office, Monday to Tuesday is £57.

  • ceremony times - 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, (4pm April to September only)

The basic ceremony at Southwark Register Office includes:

  • the exchange of the legal declarations (to be spoken after the registrar)
  • the exchange of rings and the signing of the register book
  • one certificate which will be posted to you after your ceremony
  • ceremony duration is approximately 20 minutes or less
  • only two guests allowed who will act as your witnesses, this includes a translator if one is required

Ceremony at The Garden Room 34 Peckham Road on Wednesdays is £165

  • Wednesday ceremony times - 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm (4pm April to September only)

The Wednesday ceremony at The Garden Room includes:

  • the exchange of the legal declarations (to be spoken after the registrar)
  • the exchange of rings and the signing of the register book
  • one certificate which will be posted to you after your ceremony
  • ceremony duration is approximately 20 minutes or less
  • no more than eight guests, not including the couple, but includes any children, translators and photographer

Ceremony at The Garden Room 34 Peckham Road Thursday to Saturday is £336

  • Thursday ceremony times - 11.20am, 2pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm
  • Friday ceremony times - 10am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 2pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm
  • Saturday ceremony times - 10am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 1pm, 1.40pm, 2.20pm, 3pm, 3.40pm

The Thursday to Friday ceremony includes:

  • the exchange of the legal declarations (to be spoken after the registrar)
  • the exchange of rings and the signing of the register book
  • one certificate which will be posted to you after your ceremony
  • ceremony duration is approximately 20 minutes or less
  • no more than eight guests, not including the couple, but includes any children, translators and photographer
All our fees are non-refundable and non-transferable

Attendance of the registrars at an approved building

  • Monday to Thursday £646, ceremonies are on the hour from 10am to 4pm (after 5pm £861)
  • Friday or Saturday £771, ceremonies are on the hour from 10am to 4pm (after 5pm £931)
  • Sunday/Bank Holiday £821, ceremonies are on the hour from 10am to 1am

Please contact the register office directly if you wish to have an approved venue ceremony on or after 5pm, Monday to Saturday only.

These charges must be paid by credit or debit card.

How to book the registrar for your ceremony

Please email the following details to registrars@southwark.gov.uk when enquiring about a ceremony in one of the approved venues within Southwark or The Garden Room, 34 Peckham Road (the only licensed space for marriage at Southwark Register Office):

  • full names of both parties
  • the nationalities of both parties
  • the date of notice appointment and name of the register office for both parties
  • the type of visa held by non UK / EEA nationals 
  • let us know if either party been through a divorce or dissolution of marriage outside the UK (please give details)
  • full addresses of both parties including the postcode
  • preferred date and time of ceremony
  • the name and address of your chosen licensed venue
  • are you enquiring about a Marriage or Civil Partnership ceremony (this question is simply administrative)
  • telephone numbers of both parties

All these details are required from each couple to successfully assist you in securing your marriage or Civil Partnership booking.

Getting married abroad

If you're planning a marriage or civil partnership abroad, a notice of intent may be needed to make sure it will be a legal ceremony.

Southwark Register office can offer a certificate of no impediment if you are a British National and live in Southwark.

We do advise that you contact the consulate or embassy of the country you wish to be married in to obtain information about their requirements. GOV.UK have a tool to help check the requirements to form a civil partnership or marry abroad.

Page last updated: 27 May 2021

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