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Civil partnerships

Civil partnerships

A same sex couple can form a civil partnership in England and Wales if they are:

  • over 16 years of age (if they are under 18 they must have written parental consent to marry);
  • free to enter into a civil partnership, either single, divorced or widowed;
  • not closely related.   

In England and Wales, a civil partnership can take place at a register office or any venue approved by the local council, for example in a stately home or hotel.

A civil partnership can take place in certain religious buildings, if the building is approved for this.

There are legal preliminaries to complete before civil partnerships can take place in civil or religious buildings. These must be done within a specified time scale, otherwise the civil partnership cannot proceed.

You must first decide if you want the civil partnership to take place in a civil venue or a religious building.

A civil partnership in the Register Office or a civil approved venue

If you have chosen the Register Office or a civil venue you will need to:

  • Provisionally book a date and ceremony time with the venue
  • Contact the Register Office to confirm registrars are available to officiate at the ceremony
  • Pay the Register Office a booking fee of £25 to reserve a date and time 
  • Confirm the booking with the venue
  • Make an appointment so you can each give a legal notice of your intention to form a civil partnership. This notice has to be given in the district in which you live. If you live in different areas, you will have to attend different register offices. You have to attend in person and provide original documents proving your nationality, marital status and address. A fee is payable to give a notice.

The notices cannot be given more than 12 months before your ceremony date and must be given at least 28 days before.  

We will always try to accommodate your preferred ceremony date and time but once times have been allocated you may have to choose a different time. We carry out ceremonies across all of North Lincolnshire and have a wide range of venues to attend. Please book as soon as you can.

A civil partnership in a religious building that is not Church of England

If the civil partnership will take place in a religious building that is not Church of England you must make the arrangements with the minister or Register Office before giving a legal notice. 

A registrar of marriages from the district register office where the building is situated must be present to register the civil partnership unless the church has their own registrar (authorised person).

The legal notice of civil partnership must be given by each of you in the registration district where you normally live.

Examples of religious buildings that are not Church of England include:

  • Catholic Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Sikh Temple 

 A civil partnership in a Church of England or Church of Wales building

There is currently no provision for a civil partnership to be formed in a Church of England/Church in Wales.  

Immigration Act 2014

Please note that the introduction of the Immigration Act 2014 on 2 March 2015 requires all couples to give a minimum notice period of 28 days before a civil partnership can take place. If one or both parties is a non EEA national, with neither a visa or appropriate immigration status, they will be referred to Immigration Enforcement and the waiting period may be extended to 70 days. 

The nearest designated offices are at:

You must make an appointment to give notice of intent.

Each person is legally required to attend in person and give notice at their local register office. This takes the form of a private, individual interview. You must have lived in that district for at least seven full days.

This is a legal process and you will be asked to prove that you are able to enter into a civil partnership and sign declarations to that effect.

You must each pay the statutory notice fee when you attend the register office to give notice. This is £35 each.

The legal notice asks you to clearly state the name of the venue where your partnership is to take place. If this is in another district, please make sure you tell us the correct name as the civil partnership can only take place in the venue shown on the notice.

What documents are needed to give a notice of intent?

When you go to the register office, you are legally required to provide the following  proof of your name, age, nationality and address. You must take:

When you go to the register office, you are legally required to provide proof of your name, age, nationality and address. You must take:

  • A valid UK/EEA passport or valid EEA National Identity Card plus one of the following:
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence. 

If you do not have a valid passport or National Identity card and were born in the UK before 1 January 1983 you must provide:  

  • A full UK Birth certificate plus one of the following: 
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence.

If you do not have a valid passport or valid National Identity card and were born after 1 January 1983 you must provide:

  • A Full UK Birth certificate showing details of parents names, evidence of parent's nationality (Passport or Birth certificate), plus one of the following:
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of notice;current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence.  

If you've been married or in a civil partnership before, you need to take either the death certificate of your former partner, the decree absolute or final order of your divorce.

If you are divorced and the divorce was granted in a different country, we will check your overseas divorce documents and may have to get in touch with the General Register Office to confirm whether your marriage can go ahead. Please make sure you allow plenty of time for these checks to be made.

After giving the notice there is a minimum period of 28 full days before the authority for the marriage can be issued and the marriage can take place. If the notices are given on different dates the marriage cannot take place until after 28 clear days from the date when the later of the two notices was given.

Immigration Act 2014

The minimum notice of marriage period is 28 days. This is extended to 70 days for those who come into the scope of referral under the Immigration Act 2014. 

If you are a non-EEA national with neither a visa nor appropriate immigration status, you will be referred to Immigration Enforcement and will not be able to book a wedding date until your marriage authorities have been issued. 

The nearest designated offices are at:

There is no legal requirement for you to have a ceremony as the civil partnership is legally formed once you both sign the civil partnership schedule. 

You will both be interviewed before the ceremony. This is to check that all the legal information is correct. If you don't want to see each other we will interview you separately.

Your guests will be seated awaiting your entrance. You may choose to have music played as you walk in and also during the signing of the schedule. We have a selection to choose from or you may provide your own in CD format or as a playlist on your own iPod or MP3 player.

Most people do prefer to have a ceremony and we have a selection of ceremonies for you to choose from. Civil ceremonies can include readings, songs or music. They must not include anything that is religious, for example parts of religious services, hymns or readings from the Bible or other religious books. 

We are happy for you to write your own vows and we will discuss any other wording you want in the ceremony before the day.

You will need to have two witnesses at the ceremony. Witnesses are a personal choice, the only criteria is that they speak and understand English. Where there may be any language difficulties an interpreter should be arranged by the couple. The interpreter must act as one of the witnesses to the civil partnership.

Rings may be exchanged but are not a legal requirement.

Photographs may be taken by a professional photographer or friend whilst the rings are being exchanged, and after the ceremony. Video may be used with discretion.

If you are getting married at the Register Office, there is a small paved area available at the rear of the building where photographs can be taken and confetti thrown after the ceremony.

There are also a wide range of areas to choose from in Central Park. The gardens provide a stunning backdrop for your photographs.

Please note: If you are bringing an iPhone 5 (or later model) or new iPad, you will need to bring an adaptor with you.

Contact details

registrars@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 298555

Fax: 01724 296020

North Lincolnshire Registration Service 
Civic Centre 
Ashby Road 
Scunthorpe 
North Lincolnshire 
DN16 1AB

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm

Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Last updated: 08/02/2017
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