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Marriage & civil partnerships

Details of the procedure for registering a marriage or civil partnership

Wedding rings

The following sections explain the procedure for registering a marriage or civil partnership. If there is anything that you're not sure about please feel free to call the Register Office on 01642 729004.

The legal paperwork

You are free to get married or form a civil partnership at any venue within England or Wales which is licensed for civil ceremonies, regardless of where you live.  You can also have a civil partnership ceremony in a religious building, provided it has been licensed for this purpose.  However, before you are able to get married or form your civil partnership, both of you must give notice of marriage or civil partnership in the Registration District where you live.


Giving notice of marriage/civil partnership

If you wish to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you must each give formal 'Notice' to a Superintendent Registrar at least 16 days before the date of your ceremony. The notices will be displayed on the public notice boards of the register offices where they were given, for 15 clear days.

For a marriage: the Authorities for marriage will be issued on the 16th day and it is your responsibility to ensure that both of your Authorities are in the possession of the Registrar who attends on the day of your ceremony.

For a civil partnership: your schedule will be printed directly by the Registrar who will be attending on the day of your ceremony.

A notice is a legal document covered by the Perjury Act 1911. Both of you must give notice in person. A relative or friend cannot do this on your behalf nor can you give notice by telephone, fax or email. A notice is usually valid for 12 months, but only for the place of marriage given at the time of notice.

If both you and your partner are EU citizens then you will each need to give notice to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you reside. The minimum period of residence, required in the registration district, for giving notice is seven clear days.

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens then you will each need to give notice to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. Please see the section below 'Information for non-EU citizens' for further details.

It will cost £35.00 for each notice given and this fee is paid to the Superintendent Registrar at the time of giving notice.

Residents of Middlesbrough

If you are both EU citizens and both resident within Middlesbrough District, you will both need to give your Notices to a Superintendent Registrar at this office and this must be done at least 16 days before the date of your ceremony.

If only one of you is resident within Middlesbrough, the other party will need to give their Notice to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which they reside (or have resided for the preceding seven days).

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens then you will each need to give 'Notice of Marriage' to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. You will need to refer to 'Information for non-EU citizens' for further information on getting married.

When a Notice is given in this office, each of the parties resident will be required to provide the following documentary evidence to the Superintendent Registrar:

  • Evidence of identity - You will both need to produce a full birth certificate and a second piece of evidence such as a valid passport, driving licence or medical card
  • Confirmation of residence - A recently dated bank statement, utility bill or similar showing your current name and address
  • Previous divorce - If you are divorced in England and Wales, a decree absolute. If you were divorced elsewhere the final divorce document from the court. Foreign divorce documents may need to be referred on to the Registrar General. If necessary please supply a certified translation into English
  • Dissolution or annulment - Civil partnership dissolution or annulment if you have previously been in a civil partnership
  • Widowed - A death certificate of your previous civil partner or spouse. Your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate may also be needed in some cases
  • Change of name - Change of name deed or statutory declaration if you have changed your name
  • Your nationality - if you were born in the UK after 1.1.1983 and do not hold a UK passport, you may be required to provide additional evidence, such as your mother's birth certificate.

An appointment system is in operation at this office for Notices. We recommend that you telephone to make your appointment as soon as possible.

Residents of other registration districts

If you wish to get married or form a civil partnership here in Middlesbrough then you are free to do so, no matter where you live.

If you are both EU citizens, then you will need to give your notices to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you reside (or have resided for the preceding seven days) and this must be done at least 16 days before the date of your ceremony. The Notices will be displayed on the public Notice Boards of the register offices where the Notices were given for 15 clear days and only then can the 'Authorities' be issued. It is your responsibility to ensure that both of these authorities are in the possession of the Registrar who attends on the day of your ceremony as otherwise the ceremony cannot take place.

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens then you will each need to give 'Notice' to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. You will need to refer to the Information for non-EU citizens section for further details.

Information for non-EU citizens

If either you or your partner are non-European citizens, you must attend together to give notice of marriage or civil partnership at one of 76 designated register offices in England or Wales. Middlesbrough is a designated register office. Please contact the office to arrange an appointment on 01642 729004. It is advisable to arrange to give notice of marriage before booking a date for your ceremony.

Registration officers have a statutory duty to report any marriage or civil partnership they suspect has been arranged for the sole purpose of evading immigration controls.

If you are residing abroad

If one or both of you are not resident in this country (whether you are both EU citizens or if one or both of you are non-EU citizens) and you wish to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales, then you will have to establish a residency of seven clear days within a district in England or Wales. The day of your arrival in England or Wales does not count as part of your residency. The first day of your residency begins at 00:00 hours on the day after your arrival and you have to stay within one single registration district for the next seven days. On the ninth day after your arrival you will then be free to give Notice at a designated register office (for example, if you arrive on a Monday then you will be free to give Notice on the following Tuesday). You should both attend that register office, taking with you any relevant documents.

The Superintendent Registrar will interview you both and will verify your documents. The Notices will be displayed on the public Notice Boards of the register offices where the Notices were given for 15 clear days and only then can the 'Authorities/Schedule' be issued. (You do not have to remain in this country for the 15 days and may return and use the 'Authorities/Schedule' to get married or form a civil partnership up to a year after giving Notice). If you are unsure of any of the above information please speak with a member of the Register Office Team on 01642 729004 who will be able to assist you further.

In addition to the above, you will need to refer to the Information for non-EU citizens for further details.

Information that needs to be provided to the Superintendent Registrar

When you give your Notices you will need to prove your age, marital status, address and nationality. The preferred documents are a current passport, full birth certificate, identity card or Home Office Travel Document. If you are unable to produce any of the above documents you should contact your local register office to ascertain what other documents (if any) may be acceptable.

If you have been married before and are divorced, you will need to show a Decree Absolute of Divorce (or overseas equivalent) bearing the Court's official stamp. Photocopied documents are not acceptable.

If you have been through a civil partnership before and it has been dissolved, you will need to show your Dissolution documents (or overseas equivalent) bearing the Court's official stamp. Photocopied documents are not acceptable.

If you have been married before and your partner has died then you will need to produce a death certificate and your previous marriage certificate.

If you have been through a civil partnership before and your partner has died, then you will need to produce a death certificate and your previous civil partnership certificate.

If you have changed your name by deed poll, change of name deed or statutory declaration, the relevant documents will need to be shown.

If either of you is under 18 the Superintendent Registrar will need proof that your parents or legal guardian consent to the marriage or civil partnership. If your parents are divorced you will also need to produce the Court Order which gives custody to one or other parent. You will also need to produce a full copy of your birth certificate. You cannot marry or form a civil partnership if you are under the age of 16.

If either you or your partner are non-EU Citizens, then in addition to the above documents, you will need to refer to the section Information for non-EU citizens  for further details.

Further details about obtaining copies of your birth certificate or a marriage/civil partnership certificate can be found in the 'Applying for a certificate' pdf document located in the 'Downloads' section to the right of this screen. 

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