Frequently asked questions about giving notice of intention to marry

Should I book a ceremony before giving notice or give notice before booking a ceremony?

We recommend that you book the ceremony first, however, you can still give notice if you have decided on a venue but not confirmed a date for your ceremony. 

When you give notice you must state the venue in which your ceremony will take place and this cannot be changed afterwards. If you wish to change the venue or you have stated an incorrect venue, you will have to begin the process again and enter a new notice of intention.

By booking a ceremony before giving notice you have the assurance that you can secure your preferred date and time. 

Where do I give notice?

British, EEA and Swiss nationals can only give notice in their district of residence. If you live in different places you will need to go individually to your local register office. 

If either of you are non-EEA nationals, you must give notice together at a designated register office. Kensington and Chelsea is a designated register office. 
Please note, a non-EEA national with Right of Abode, Diplomatic or Military Exemption visas, you must give notice at the local register office in your district of residence.

Can I change the venue of my ceremony after giving notice of marriage/civil partnership?

No, the venue stated on your notice cannot be changed. If you change your venue after giving notice you will have to give a fresh notice, this time stating the name of the new venue.

What documents do I need to bring to my notice of marriage/civil partnership appointment?

It is mandatory to provide proof of current name, nationality and date of birth in the form of a passport. EEA nationals can provide a national ID card if they do have a passport. If you do not have either of these you should contact the Register Office for further information.

  • If you have previously been married or in a civil partnership you will need to provide proof that that you are free to marry/form a civil partnership again by providing legal copies of your Divorce/Dissolution documents or a Death certificate for your previous spouse. If your Divorce/Dissolution was granted in another country there will be a Statutory Fee of up to £75 for this document to be processed. Please note that this statutory fee applies to each foreign Divorce/Dissolution document presented for our consideration.
  • Any other documents a Register Office has requested you provide.
  • If any of your documents are in a language other than English you will need to provide a translation.

What documents will you accept for proof of address?

  • Valid UK photo Driving Licence
  • A utility bill dated within the last 3 months
  • A bank or building society statement dated within the last month
  • Your most recent Council Tax bill
  • A mortgage statement dated within the last 12 months
  • Current residential tenancy agreement

If you are not able to provide any of the above proofs of address you should contact for further details.

Do I need a marriage/ civil partnership visa to give notice as a non-EU citizen?

You may marry or form a civil partnership without a marriage visa however if you do not have the appropriate immigration status for marriage/civil partnership you will be referred to the Home Office. 

We advise that careful attention is paid to UK Visa and Immigration requirements detailed on the GOV.UK website.

How soon can I get married or register a civil partnership?

The standard notice period is 29 days. This is the earliest that you would be able to marry or register your civil partnership. If you have been referred to the Home Office, they may extend the notice to 71 days. The Home Office will notify you directly if this is the case. 

Are there any exceptions to the 29-day/71-day legal waiting period?

The only exception to these statutory waiting periods is where one party is seriously ill, not expected to recover, and is unable to be moved to a place licensed for marriages or civil partnerships. In these circumstances you should contact this Register Office for further details.

What happens if some of my details change after I have given notice?

Changes in your details are made immediately before your marriage or civil partnership ceremony. You do not need to inform us of minor changes to names, ages, occupations or address.

I am a UK National, resident in Kensington and Chelsea getting married abroad. Is there any documentation you can issue to me to present to a foreign authority?

  • If you are a British citizen, your partner is a foreign national and you are getting married abroad then you may sometimes be asked to provide a ‘Certificate of No Impediment’. The certificate is available 29 days after notice is given.
  • We are not able to issue this certificate for all countries. Before you contact us, you must check the GOV.UK website for eligibility.

  • These documents may only be issued to British citizens. If you are a foreign national living in England and Wales and need proof of freedom to marry, you must contact the General Register Office by calling 0300123 1837

  • You should also check with the foreign authorities as to how long they regard these documents to be valid for.

I am a non-UK National, resident in Kensington and Chelsea getting married abroad. Is there any documentation you can issue to me to present to a foreign authority?

We may only issue these documents for British citizens. If you are a foreign national living in England and Wales and need proof of freedom to marry, you can contact the General Register Office by calling 0300 123 1837 to request a ‘No Trace Letter’.

I live abroad and will be establishing residency in this country prior to getting married. Do I need to bring any documents from my country of domicile to present to the Registrars in this country?

If you are planning a ceremony at a venue in England and Wales you will be required to do all of your legal paperwork in this country regardless of your nationality or country of domicile. 

The only documents you will need to provide from another country will be your passport and, if relevant, your divorce/dissolution documents or death certificate of a previous spouse.

If I get married abroad, do I need to register this marriage in the UK?

No, if you have married according to the law of a foreign country it is not possible to register your marriage in the United Kingdom.

Will my marriage abroad be recognised in the UK?

If your marriage was regarded as being legal in the country in which it took place, it will be recognised as a legal marriage in the UK. We recommend that you purchase multiple copies of your foreign marriage certificate and keep them somewhere safe, as it can sometimes be difficult to obtain copies in the future.