Marriage and civil partnership law requires an in-person, face-to-face interview with a registrar to give notice, and so notice cannot be given by proxy, in writing, by video call, online or by any other method.
Your notice is publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days before the legal document which permits you to marry or form a civil partnership is issued. This is usually 29 days after the notice appointment.
By the time you give notice, you must have decided on the licenced venue you want to marry or form a civil partnership in. If you want to hold your ceremony in 2021, please book your notice appointment before you book the ceremony, as there are longer than usual waiting times for an appointment across the country due to Register Offices being closed during national lockdowns. See a list of the licenced venues in Islington and City of London.
You must also have decided whether you want to have a marriage or a civil partnership. Once the notice is given, it is only valid for the type of ceremony you have chosen, and you would need to give notice again to change this. If you would like more information on the differences between a marriage and a civil partnership, please visit gov.uk for the government's advice.
You may also need to give notice here if you plan to marry or form a civil partnership abroad. Please visit this page for more information.
There are different rules for religious marriages and civil partnerships, or if either you or your partner is not a British or Irish national; please see further down this page for information. EEA refers to countries of the European Economic Area (plus Switzerland for the purposes of giving notice of marriage or civil partnership).
When to give notice
For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 29 full days’ notice.
If either you or your partner is not a British or Irish national and doesn’t have Indefinite Leave to Remain, pre settled or settled status, or a marriage or civil partnership visa this may be extended to 71 days. This is because your case will be referred to the Home Office Referral Scheme under the Immigration Act 2014 and it requires extra time. The notice fee for those couples subject to referral will be £47 per person instead of £35.
We advise you to book your appointment as soon as possible, as many offices, including Islington have a large number of couples needing to give notice this spring and summer, leading to longer than usual waiting times for an appointment. If you are not able to give notice in time for your ceremony, unfortunately the ceremony will need to be rescheduled, as it can't take place without the notices. You can give notice up to a year in advance.
You can only give notice at a register office if you have lived in the registration district for at least the past seven days. For example, if you arrive on 1 June, the seven day period starts the following day, 2 June, and is complete on 8 June. You can then give notice on 9 June.
Where to give notice
If both of you have any of the following:
- British or Irish citizenship
- settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made before 30 June 2021, which you’re waiting for a decision on
You must give notice in the district where each of you live, even if this is not where you are holding your ceremony. Please book an appointment at our office if you live in Islington or the City of London. The City of London means the Square Mile and not London as an entire city, please view a map to check.
If you live in different registration districts you should give notice separately. You do not have to do this on the same day as each other.
If either of you or both of you are not in the above categories:
You must give notice together in the district where at least one of you lives, even if this is not where you are holding your ceremony. Please book an appointment at our office if at least one of you lives in Islington or the City of London. The City of London means the Square Mile and not London as an entire city, please view a map to check.
If your partner had already given notice separately before 1 July 2021, they will need to give notice again with you.
What you need to bring with you (all nationalities)
- Details of the final venue for your ceremony. If the venue changes after giving notice you will need to apply and pay for a new notice.
Various documentation. This is different depending on your circumstances and is listed below. You must each bring the following original documents to your notice appointment:
- the name and address of your marriage or civil partnership venue
- Your current valid passport
- Proof of addresswhich must be one of the following:
|Water, gas or electricity bill||Must be dated within the last three months|
|Bank statement||Must be dated within the last month. The bank statements must be the original statements posted to your home, or online statements you have printed. If you are bringing online statements, the registrar will ask to see the debit or credit card for that account, or to see the online banking app on your phone to confirm the account details|
|Council tax bill||Must be dated within the last year|
|Mortgage statement||Must be dated within the last year|
|Driving license||Must be valid and in date|
Other original documents you must bring, depending on your circumstances:
Divorced or dissolved civil partnership
Final divorce or dissolution document, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy. If you have been married or had a civil partnership more than once, we only need to see the divorce or dissolution documents from your last marriage or civil partnership.
Please see the table below for the additional costs for consideration of divorce/civil partnership dissolution documents. These fees are set by central government and are for consideration of the document. They do not guarantee the application will be successful.
|Fee||Place of divorce||Exceptions and notes|
No additional fee
|United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland),
Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
£50.00 per divorce that needs consideration
If your document does not
|£50.00 per divorce that needs consideration||
All USA (excluding Nevada
If either of the parties to the
|£75.00 per divorce that needs consideration||
All other countries,
In circumstances where your paperwork cannot legally be cleared locally, there is a requirement for certified copies of your divorce paperwork to be submitted to the General Register Office for clearance. The registration officer will submit this for you during your notice appointment. Please note that your marriage/ civil partnership will not be able to take place until the General Register Office has advised us that the paperwork you have supplied is sufficient to prove you are free to marry/form a civil partnership
Widowed or are a surviving civil partner
- spouse or civil partner's death certificate, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy
- marriage or civil partnership certificate, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy
- proof of name change.
- completed parental consent form. You can collect one from us before your notice appointment.
If you or your partner don’t speak English well
- if either or both of you cannot speak English, you will need to bring someone to the appointment who can interpret for the non-English speaking partner(s). Partners cannot interpret for each other. If you do not bring an interpreter when one is required we will be unable to take your notice and you will be required to book and pay for a new appointment.
What to bring with you if either you or your partner is not a British or Irish national
In addition to the usual documentation you will need to bring:
- If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be asked to show evidence of your status. Before your appointment, please request the six-digit code from the GOV.UK page at: View and prove your immigration status - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- If you have an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made before 30 June 2021, which you’re waiting for a decision on, please provide the letter from the Home Office confirming you have made this application
- If you are any other immigration status, you will be asked to show evidence of your immigration status such as your visa or biometric card
- Translated versions of any documents you are required to bring if they are not in English
- If either you or your partner is not a British or Irish national and doesn’t have Indefinite Leave to Remain, pre-settled or settled status, an pending application for pre-settled or settled status made before 30 June 2021, or a marriage or civil partnership visa, you will need to bring one Passport sized photo for each of you
What happens after the notice appointment?
The legal document which permits you to marry or form a civil partnership is usually issued 29 days after the notice appointment. All marriage and civil partnership documents will be automatically be issued by the office who will be conducting your ceremony. You will not be contacted about the notice after the appointment unless there is a problem with your notice
If you are getting married or forming a civil partnership in a religious building, please ask the registrar how your document will be delivered to the ceremony venue, as arrangements can vary.
Book to give notice in Islington
You will need to pay £35 per person when you book to give notice.
Provided you attend your appointment with the right documentation, this will be used to pay the statutory notice fee of £35 per person.
This payment is non-refundable in the event of cancellation, lateness or arriving with missing documents. You can amend your appointment date up to 48 hours in advance if needed.
Please note that we are currently working on a new booking system which reflects the change in the law on 1 July 2021, but this has not yet been launched. Please make sure you read this page carefully before you book to ensure you are booking in the right office and bringing the right documents.