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.
You should first establish where you'd like to have your ceremony before starting the process of giving notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. Southwark has many licensed venues for civil ceremonies.
You must contact the Register Office at least three months, but no more than 12 months before you intend to marry or form a civil partnership.
Your notice of marriage or civil partnership will be valid for twelve months from the date you give notice.
You must be over the age of 18
All documents provided must be originals. For documents issued in a foreign language, we will still need the original and a full English translation. Scanned or photocopied documents are not acceptable.
You must bring all of the required documents with you to the appointment. Failure to do so will result in your notice appointment being re-booked.
To get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales, you must both give notice in the borough in which you reside.
If you are subject to immigration control you must give notice together in either of the boroughs in which you reside.
Notice can only be given if you have lived for eight consecutive days prior to the date of giving 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 fresh notice and fee will be required and the notice waiting period of 28 or 70 days will need to be completed again.
Every couple is subject to the standard 28 days waiting period. Couples who are subject to immigration control may have the waiting period extended to 70 days by the Home Office.
It's important to allow plenty of time to complete this legal process of giving notice before the ceremony is due to take place.
Requirements to give notice
- reside in Southwark
- a British or Irish nationals
- have a European Union settled status (EUSS), pre-settled status, or have a pending EUSS application submitted before 1 June 2021
- you must provide the registrar with a unique 6-digit share code at your appointment. If you attend your appointment without a unique code your appointment cannot proceed and you will be required to rebook. You can obtain the unique code from the GOV.Uk website.
If you fall into any one of the categories above, you will not be subject to immigration control and your notice waiting period will remain at 28 days from the date of giving notice.
If at least one party is subject to immigration control you must give notice of marriage or civil partnership together in one of the respective boroughs in which you live. The Home Office may extend the notice waiting period from 28 days to 70 days in order to complete any investigation.
Documents required when giving notice
In order to give notice of marriage or civil partnership, both parties will be required to produce one piece of evidence from each relevant section below at the time of the notice appointment.
Proof of identity
- valid passport
- a UK birth certificate will be required if you were born in England or Wales before 1 January 1983. You must provide your birth certificate and additional evidence supporting the current usage of your name and surname
- if born on or after 1 January 1983 in England or Wales a birth certificate can be accepted accompanied by a certificate to show evidence of the British nationality of your parent(s) in form of a UK birth certificate
- valid Home Office travel documents
- valid Home Office Biometric residence permit (BRP)
- valid Home Office Biometric Immigration Document (BID)
- valid Home Office Biometric Residence Card (BRC)
- if your passport is currently retained by the Home Office, it's your responsibility to contact your caseworker or Home Office to request a certified copy of the passport. This must be emailed to email@example.com
Proof of address
- utility bills (no older than 3 months); includes gas, electricity, water, telephone, but not mobile
- bank/building society statement (no older than 1 month from the date of your appointment)
- most recent Council Tax bill (current year only)
- valid UK driving licence
- tenancy agreement or Mortgage statement
- If you or your partner only arrived in Southwark recently we will accept a letter from the owner or proprietor of the address
- The letter should state they are the owner or proprietor and their contact details
If you have changed your name
- original Deed Poll/change of name certificate
If you've been married or in a civil partnership before
- if either of you is a widow/widower or surviving civil partner, you’ll need to provide the death certificate of your late spouse or civil partner. If the death took place abroad, we may also need to see a marriage or civil partnership certificate.
- original final divorce document, if the divorce took place overseas we will need the original document and a full English translation.
An additional charge will be made for the consideration of each overseas divorce document submitted:
- £50 - divorce obtained overseas that can be cleared locally
- £75 - divorce obtained overseas that needs to be cleared by the General Register Office
Those subject to immigration control and those with fiancé/marriage visas must produce a passport quality size photograph when giving notice. This applies to both parties, even if one is a British/EEA national.
Giving notice when getting married in a Church of England and Church of Wales
Church of England and Church of Wales marriages please refer to the church for guidance.
Giving notice when getting married in religious approved venue
To marry in an approved religious venue it must be the usual place of worship for one or both of you or a religious approved venue in the borough you reside.
Applying to marry or form a civil partnership in England and Wales from overseas
If you want to travel to marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales, you should apply for the relevant visa. For more information come to the UK to get married on GOV.UK website.
Getting married abroad
If you are planning a marriage or civil partnership abroad, you may need to obtain a certificate of no impediment (CONI)
Our register office can only offer a certificate of no impediment if you are a British National and live in Southwark. Contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We advise that you contact the consulate or embassy of the country you wish to be married to obtain information about their requirements. GOV.UK website has a tool to help check the requirements to form a civil partnership or marry abroad.
Our register office is 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 scans to verify documents presented at the register office.
The notice fee (per person) is £35 or £47 (depending on your immigration status).
Page last updated: 19 September 2023