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There are certain things that must be done before any civil or
non-conformist marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation can
take place. There is a requirement to give formal notice of the
intention to marry or form a civil partnership to the
Superintendent Registrar of the district(s) where the couple live.
This notice is a legal statement of the couple’s circumstances,
confirming that they are free to marry or form a civil partnership.
It is a requirement that each party gives a separate notice. A
fee is payable for each
notice and is non-refundable. The notice is valid for 12 months and
may be given up to a year ahead.
To give notice, certain conditions must be met. Parties must
have lived in the district for a minimum of seven days at the time
of giving notice. If they live in different districts, they will
each need to give notice in their own district, irrespective of the
district in which they choose to marry or form a civil
Before they do this, they must make provisional arrangements
with the district where they wish the marriage or civil partnership
formation to take place. After they have given notice, they must
wait at least 16 days before the marriage or civil partnership
formation can take place. (For example, if notice is given on 1
February, the marriage or civil partnership formation may take
place on or after 17 February). During this time, the notice will
be on public display in the office where it was given.
When giving notice to the Superintendent Registrar, the couple
will be asked to produce certain documents to confirm their
identity, age, nationality, marital status and address.
When making the booking to attend, the Ceremonies Team will give
details of exactly what documentation must be produced at the time
of giving notice. It is very important that these documents are
produced on the day of the appointment, otherwise the notice may
not be able to be given and a new appointment may needed. If you
will have any difficulty producing the documents requested, please
speak to a member of the Ceremonies Team as soon as possible and
definitely before attending to give notice.
Documents required for giving notice of intention to form a
civil partnership are the same as those for marriage.
Proving nationality can be complex but if a you are a British
national, the Superintendent Registrar will ask to see a current
British passport. If this can be produced, no other proof is
If you do not have a current British passport and do not have a
naturalisation document or registration certificate from the Home
Office, you will need to produce your birth certificate. If you
were born on or after 1 January 1983, this will need to be a full
birth certificate showing your parents’ details. Additionally, if
your mother is British, you will need to provide proof of this. Her
birth certificate showing she was born in the UK will be
If it is not possible to prove that your mother is British and
if your father was married to your mother at the time of your
birth, you will need to prove that he is British. To do this, you
will be asked to produce his birth certificate showing he was born
in the UK, together with their marriage certificate.
If not bringing a passport, you will also need two other
documents proving identity, in addition to your birth
You will also need proof of your address, which could be a
driving licence, household bill or an official letter.
If you have ever been married or ever entered into a civil
partnership, you will need proof of your marital status. If
divorced, you will need to produce your decree absolute. If the
marriage has been annulled you will need to produce the decree of
nullity. These documents must bear an original court seal. A
photocopy will not be acceptable unless it bears an original,
non-photocopied court seal.
If widowed, you will need to produce a death certificate which
is an original and not a photocopy. If your late spouse's death
certificate does not name you as the husband or wife, then it will
also be necessary to produce the marriage certificate.
Similarly, if you have previously formed a civil partnership,
evidence will be required to show how that civil partnership ended.
If the civil partner has died, a death certificate will be
required. If the civil partnership was dissolved, it will be
necessary to produce the final order of dissolution bearing an
If you need to obtain a decree absolute or final order of civil
partnership dissolution, these can be obtained from the court in
which the divorce or dissolution was granted or from:
The Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1V 6NP
Phone: 020 7947 6000 (main number) or 020
7947 7017 to request a search for a decree absolute or
If either person is subject to immigration control, the couple
will need to give their notice at a designated register office and
will need to meet other specific criteria. Details are available
from GOV.UK's Marriages and
Not all foreign nationals are subject to immigration
Please contact the register office if you need advice.
At the Medway Register Office we are committed to providing a
professional service of a high standard and we welcome your
comments. We invite you to complete a brief online
survey that will only take a few minutes of your time as your
feedback and views would be much appreciated.
We hope that our services are of the quality you expect but if
you are not happy with the standard of service that you receive,
the council operates a formal complaints procedure to look into
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