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Register a marriage or civil partnership

The following sections explain the procedure for registering a marriage or civil partnership. If you need more information please call the Register Office on 01642 729004.

To get married or form a civil partnership, you must:

  • be over 16
  • be free to marry (i.e. be single, divorced, or widowed - you can't already be married or in a civil partnership)
  • not be closely related

You're 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, providing it has been licensed for this purpose.

Before you're 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 want to get married or form a civil partnership, you must both give formal notice to a Superintendent Registrar at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony.

The notice is a legal document covered by the Perjury Act 1911. Both of you must give notice in person. You can't ask a relative or friend to give notice on your behalf, and you can't give notice by telephone, fax or email.

The notices will be displayed on the public notice boards of the register offices where they were given, for at least 28 days. They are usually valid for 12 months, but only for the place of marriage stated when you give notice.

If you and your partner are both EU citizens then you'll each need to give notice to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you reside. You should have been resident in the district where you give notice for at least seven days.

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens subject to immigration controls then you'll each need to give 'Notice of Marriage' to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. Please refer to the 'Information for non-EU citizens' section below for more information.

You'll each need to pay a £35 fee when you give notice. It may be more if you or your partner are a non-EU citizen.

The authorities for marriage or civil partnership schedule will normally be issued on the 29th day (except in certain circumstances if you're a non-EU citizen), and will be printed by the registration district where the marriage or civil partnership is to take place.


Residents of Middlesbrough

If you're both EU citizens and resident within Middlesbrough district, you'll both need to give your notices to a Superintendent Registrar at Middlesbrough Register Office. This must be done at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony.

If only one of you is resident in 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 past seven days).

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens subject to immigration controls then you'll each need to give 'Notice of Marriage' to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. Please refer to the 'Information for non-EU citizens' section below for further details.

An appointment system is in operation at Middlesbrough Register Office for notices. Please make your appointment as soon as possible, by calling 01642 729004.


Residents of other registration districts

If you want to get married or form a civil partnership in Middlesbrough then you're free to do so, no matter where you live.

If you're both EU citizens, you'll need to give your notices to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you reside (or have resided for the past seven days). This must be done at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony. The notices will be displayed for 28 days, on the public notice boards of the register offices where the notices were given.

If one or both of you are non-EU citizens subject to immigration controls then you'll each need to give 'Notice of Marriage' to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated register office. Please refer to the 'Information for non-EU citizens' section below for further details.

The authorities for marriage or civil partnership schedule will normally be issued on the 29th day (except in certain circumstances if you are a non-EU citizen) and will be printed by the registration district where the marriage or civil partnership is to take place.


Information for non-EU citizens

If either you or your partner are non-EU citizens subject to immigration controls, you must attend together to give notice of marriage or civil partnership at Middlesbrough Register Office. Please call 01642 729004 to arrange an appointment. You should arrange to give notice of marriage before booking a date for your ceremony.

All non-EU citizens subject to immigration controls are referred to the Home Office once their notice has been given (under the Marriage and civil partnership referral and investigation scheme).

The Home Office will decide whether they to investigate further before an authority to marry or a civil partnership schedule is issued after 28 days. If this is the case then the authority or schedule will not be issued until after 70 clear days.

Registration officers have a statutory duty to report any marriage or civil partnership they suspect is being used to evade immigration controls.


If you're residing abroad

If one or both of you are not resident in this country (whether you're both EU citizens, or 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'll need 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'll then be free to give notice at the appropriate register office. You should both attend that register office, bringing any relevant documents with you.

The Superintendent Registrar will interview you both and verify your documents. The notices will be displayed on the public notice boards of the register offices where the notices were given for 28 clear days and only then can the 'authorities/schedule' be issued. (You don't have to remain in this country for those 28 days; you may return and use the 'authorities/schedule' to get married or form a civil partnership up to a year after giving your notice).

If you're 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.


Information that needs to be provided to the Superintendent Registrar

In all cases each person giving notice must provide evidence of their:

  1. name and surname
  2. date of birth
  3. condition (marital status)
  4. place of residence
  5. nationality.

The following documents can be accepted as evidence:

  • Valid passport
  • UK birth certificate
  • Change of name deed poll
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Identity card
  • Medical card

This only applies if you've been married or in a civil partnership before.

  • Relevant divorce documents, e.g. decree absolute. Please note that foreign divorce documents may need to be referred to the General Register Office. Please provide a certified translation in English. Where you have reverted back to use your former name after divorce, you'll need to provide your marriage/civil partnership certificate as evidence of your former name.
  • Death certificate of spouse or civil partner. Where you have changed your name since the death or are not named on the death certificate (pre 2005), you'll need to also bring your marriage certificate.

At least one of the following must be provided:

  • Utility bill dated within 3 months
  • Bank statement dated within 1 month
  • Council Tax bill dated within 1 year
  • Mortgage statement dated within 1 year
  • Current tenancy agreement
  • Valid UK driving licence
  • Letter from owner or proprietor. This must show their name and state whether they are the owner or proprietor. It must also state that you have lived at the named address for at least the previous 7 days and must be signed and dated by them.
  • Valid passport
  • National ID card
  • Valid biometric immigration document
  • Valid travel document
  • UK full birth certificate. This is sufficient on its own if you were born before 1 January 1983. However if you were born on or after this date, your mother's full UK birth certificate is also required.

If either of you are 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'll need to produce the Court Order which gives custody to one or other parent. You'll also need to produce a full copy of your birth certificate.