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Marriage

How to give notice of a marriage or civil partnership

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We recommend that anyone attending the Register Office wear a face covering. You'll need to make an appointment in advance to register a marriage or civil partnership.

Giving notice to marry or form a civil partnership

You must sign a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This is known as 'giving notice'.

Giving notice involves attending an appointment at the register office, where you will declare:

  • who you intend to marry or form a civil partnership with
  • where the ceremony will take place
  • that you are legally free to get married or form a civil partnership

If you and your partner are both relevant nationals, you must give notice at the register office in the registration district (area) where you live. You'll both need to give notice separately if you live in different registration districts. You do not have to do this on the same day.

A relevant national is someone who is either British or Irish, or who has either 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or is awaiting the outcome of their EUSS application. A non-relevant national is anyone who does not fit those criteria.

You'll need to book an appointment to give notice. Before you book, please make sure you've read through all the information on this page.

When you give notice, you'll need to state the venue where the ceremony will be taking place. You should make a booking to reserve the venue as soon as possible (including booking the registrars in that district, if needed).

The law on where you can give notice changed on 1 July 2021. Before booking your appointment, please make sure that you're eligible to give notice here in Middlesbrough. You can check GOV.UK to find out more about eligibility.

Notice deadline and validity

When to give notice

You must both have lived at an address in England or Wales for at least 7 consecutive days immediately before giving notice (not including the first day you start living at the address, or the day you give notice).

Residency requirements include living in one place for those seven days. If you're travelling from abroad to establish residency so that you can attend your notice appointment, or if you're unsure about what this means or what documents you'll need to provide, please contact us in advance to check that you'll be able to fulfil the requirements to give notice. You can call us on 01642 729004.

You must both give notice at least 29 days before the ceremony. In certain cases, depending on your immigration status, this may be extended to 71 days.

We advise you give notice at least three months prior to your ceremony, if possible.

Validity of notice

Your notice of marriage or civil partnership will be valid for 12 months from the date you give notice.

When you give notice, you'll need to state the venue where the ceremony will be taking place. Your notice is only valid for a ceremony taking place at that location. If you decide to change your venue, you'll need to give notice again (at least 29 days before the ceremony).

Foreign nationals

If either you or your partner are non-relevant nationals, you must give notice together at the register office in the registration district (area) where one of you lives.

A relevant national is someone who is either British or Irish, or who has either 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or is awaiting the outcome of their EUSS application. A non-relevant national is anyone who does not fit those criteria.

However, if you're both exempt from immigration controls in the UK (for example, you have right of abode, diplomatic status, or are serving in HM Forces), you must give notice at your local register office. You must both make a declaration of your immigration status when you give notice.

The law on where you can give notice changed on 1 July 2021. Before booking your appointment, please make sure that you're eligible to give notice here in Middlesbrough. You can check GOV.UK to find out more about eligibility.

If you or your partner have a limited visa (for example, a work, student, or tourist visa), you'll automatically be referred to the Home Office for further investigation. This may result in your notice period being extended to 71 days.

We strongly recommend that non-relevant nationals who are subject to immigration controls and who are planning to enter the UK to get married, get a Marriage Visitor visa before travelling. The visa is valid for 6 months and can be used to enter the country to give notice and to enter the country for the ceremony itself.

If you do not have the right visa, it may be harder to enter the country when you arrive in the UK for the ceremony.

Required documents

You must bring your supporting documents with you when you give notice.

All documents must be valid (not expired) and originals (not photocopied). You cannot show your documents in digital form on your smartphone or tablet, and we will not accept expired documents or photocopies.

You're responsible for bringing the correct documents to your appointment, and making sure that you've left enough time to fulfil all of the requirements to give notice.

The following information and documents must be provided at your appointment.

Name, surname, and date of birth

For British citizens, a British passport is the usual document presented.

Where a British passport cannot be provided, a full UK birth certificate may be acceptable - please contact Middlesbrough Register Office for details.

Nationality

You'll need to provide a passport proving your identity and nationality. It must be valid (not expired), and the original document (not a photocopy).

Proof of address

Please bring one of the following for each person giving notice:

  • utility bill for services received at the property (for example, gas, electric, water, landline, cable or broadband, but not mobile phone bills) - this must be dated within three months of your appointment to give notice
  • bank or building society statement or passbook - must be dated within one month of your appointment to give notice
  • Council Tax bill - must be dated within one year of your appointment to give notice
  • mortgage statement - must be dated within one year of your appointment to give notice
  • current residential tenancy agreement
  • valid UK, Community or British driving licence
  • letter from the owner or proprietor ('X') of the address where the applicant has been living, which must:
    • confirm that the applicant has been living there for at least 7 full days directly before the date of the appointment to give notice (the 7 days does not including date of arrival or date of the appointment)
    • state the date of arrival
    • confirm that X is the owner or proprietor
    • include X's name and address
    • be signed and dated by X on the day of the appointment to give notice
  • letter from tenant ('Y') at the address where the applicant has been living, which must:
    • confirm that the applicant has been living there for at least 7 full days directly before the date of the appointment to give notice (the 7 days does not including date of arrival or date of the appointment)
    • state the date of arrival
    • state that Y is the tenant
    • state Y's name and address
    • be signed and dated by Y on the day of the appointment to give notice
    • be supported by proof of address for Y (from the list above)

Proof of immigration status

If you or your partner are non-relevant nationals, you'll need to bring evidence of your immigration status with you to your appointment - for example, a visa stamp in your passport, a Biometric residence card, etc.

A relevant national is someone who is either British or Irish, or who has either 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or is awaiting the outcome of their EUSS application. A non-relevant national is anyone who does not fit those criteria.

If you've made an application through the EU Settlement Scheme, and you have either 'settled status' or 'pre-settled status', or you're awaiting the outcome of your EUSS application, you'll need to bring your sharecode to the appointment so the registrar can verify your status. The code will need to be generated within 30 days of the appointment to give notice.

Passport-size photographs

If either of you are part of the Home Office referral scheme (someone who is a non-relevant national and who has a limited visa), you'll both need to bring one passport-sized photo with you to the appointment to give notice.

A relevant national is someone who is either British or Irish, or who has either 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or is awaiting the outcome of their EUSS application. A non-relevant national is anyone who does not fit those criteria.

Additionally, if either you or your partner got a Marriage Visitor visa for the purposes of marrying or forming a civil partnership in this country, you''ll both need to bring one passport-sized photo with you to the appointment to give notice.

Proof that a previous marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled

To prove that any previous marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled, you'll need to bring a UK decree absolute with the original court stamp, or original final foreign divorce documents to the appointment to give notice. If the document is not in English, you'll also need to bring a signed and dated third-party translation of the document. Third-party means someone else, like a professional translation company, must do the translation, you cannot just translate it yourself.

A foreign divorce may need clearance from the Registrar General. If this is the case, the Registrar General may ask for extra information or documents once you've given notice. If this happens, your ceremony cannot go ahead until you get clearance from the Registrar General.

Proof of being a widow, widower, or surviving civil partner

You'll need to provide the death certificate for your deceased partner, as well as the certificate proving your marriage or civil partnership.

Proof of name change

If you or your partner have changed your name by deed poll or change of name deed, you must provide the documents to prove this.

If your name has been changed but not by deed poll, you must provide evidence of your former or other names - for example, name change documents, prior divorce document, or other evidence of a former name.

If you're under 18 at the time of giving notice

If you or your partner are under 18 when you give notice, you must provide your full birth certificate. If the document is not in English, you'll also need to bring a signed and dated third-party translation of the document. Third-party means someone else, like a professional translation company, must do the translation, you cannot just translate it yourself.

Parental consent must be given in the form of a letter or a Form 55 (consent to the marriage of a minor) completed by all relevant parties.

For more information, please contact us before your appointment to give notice. You can call us on 01642 729004.

Fees

There is a non-refundable fee of £35 per person for giving notice. You may also have to pay extra fees, depending on your circumstances.

Circumstance Price (per person) Notes

Notice appointment

£35

 

If either person falls under the Home Office referral scheme

£12

If this is the case, you will both need to pay the additional fee when you attend the notice appointment.

Consideration of a foreign divorce by Middlesbrough Register Office

£50

A foreign divorce is one which took place 'outside the British Isles'.

We're able to accept some divorce paperwork, but it will depend on where the divorce took place. We'll explain more at your appointment to give notice.

Consideration of a foreign divorce by the General Register Office

£75

If we cannot accept the divorce paperwork, it will be sent to the General Register Office to be accepted. They may need more information from you before they can give clearance.

Book an appointment

If you've read and understood all the information on this page, you can call us on 01642 729004 to arrange an appointment to give notice.

If you need help, please call us on 01642 729004.

Marriage of British Subjects Facilities Acts (BSFA)

There will no longer be any provision to give notice to marry in countries which were formerly covered by these acts. Transitional arrangements will apply to couples who have already given notice to marry here or in one of the relevant countries after the implementation date.

When one or both parties lives outside England or Wales

It's possible to give notice for a marriage or civil partnership taking place within England and Wales, when one party is resident in England or Wales and the other party is:

  • in Scotland
  • in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or certain countries of the British Commonwealth under the Marriage of British Subjects (Facilities) Acts 1915 and 1916
  • at sea

Neither party to the marriage can be subject to immigration control. If either party are subject to immigration control they must give notice together, following the usual requirements.

There is no provision to give a notice when one party is resident in:

  • Northern Ireland
  • the Irish Republic

In these circumstances, both parties must have a residential qualification in England and Wales before they can give notice, and a resident in England and Wales for at least eight consecutive days before attending the appointment to give notice. Evidence of this will be needed at the appointment to give notice.

There is no provision for a notice to be given when both parties live in Scotland. At least one of the parties to the marriage has to have a qualifying residence within England or Wales before they can give notice. We also cannot accept notices issued in Scotland for both parties.

All appointments to give notice must take place in person, and there is no provision to give notice when neither party is resident in England or Wales.