Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership
Registering your intention to marry
You must give notice of your intention to marry before you can marry in a register office, approved premises, church or chapel in England or Wales (other than a Church of England where you may have banns called).
Arrange an appointment to give notice of intention
Telephone us on 020 8359 6400 to arrange an appointment to give notice of intention. We don't provide a drop-in service for giving notice. You will need to pay a notice fee at the time of booking. Bookings cannot be taken by proxy, appointments can only be booked directly by one of the partners to marriage or civil partnership.
If you need to cancel your appointment, this must be done 7 days before the notice appointment. If the appointment is not cancelled 7 days in advance the fee you have paid will not be refundable.
If you are a British citizen or a member of the European Union (EU), you must give the notice in the local authority where you have lived for at least the last 7 days.
If one or both of the couple is a foreign national (from outside of the EU), the notice of intent can be given in any designated register office.
Registering 'notice of intent' means arranging a face-to-face interview with our Registration team, stating who you are, where exactly the marriage will take place and giving your partner's full name, date of birth, age, profession and address.
You can arrange for your marriage or civil partnership to take place in any Register Office or Approved Venue in England and Wales. A complete list of venues in England and Wales is available on GOV.UK. Barnet has a number of approved premises.
Your notice of intent is valid for 1 year. From the 2nd March 2015 the period of notice will be 28 days from the date of registration. Couples subject to immigration control could have their notice period extended to 70 days if they are to be referred to the Immigration Enforcement Team.
You are therefore advised not to plan your marriage date until the 70 days have expired.
Documents to take to the register office
You’ll need to take proof of your name, age and nationality. For example your:
- valid passport
- birth certificate (UK Only)
- national identity card from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- certificate of registration
- certificate of naturalisation
- biometric residence card or permit
- travel document
The registrar also needs proof of your address, for example a:
- valid full UK driving licence
- gas, water or electricity bill from the last 3 months
- bank or building society statement from the last month
- council tax bill from the last 12 months
- mortgage statement from the last 12 months
- current tenancy agreement
- letter from your landlord confirming you live there and including your landlord’s name, address and their signature dated within the last 7 days
If you’ve been divorced or widowed
If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, you need to take either:
- a decree absolute or final order
- the death certificate of your former partner
A foreign divorce will usually be recognised in England and Wales if it was valid in the country where it took place.
The registrar 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.
If your foreign divorce can be cleared by the Registrar at the Register Office there will be a charge of £50, in cases where your divorce documents needs to be sent to the General Register Office for approval the fee is £75.
Abuse of immigration laws
We work with the UK Border Agency to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.
Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution. Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.
Same sex marriage will only be available to those who are not already in a legal relationship. Couples who are currently in a civil partnership will not be able to have a marriage ceremony at this stage.
If you're a foreign national
You need a visa to come to the UK to give notice, get married or enter a civil partnership if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and subject to immigration control. This includes people who don’t normally require visas for general visits.
Once in the UK (or if you’re already in the UK), you and your partner must give at least 28 days’ notice at a designated register office if one of you is from outside the EEA or Switzerland, and is subject to immigration control. Barnet is a designated register office.
You can only give notice if you’ve both lived in England and Wales for at least 7 days.
From 2 March 2015 you’ll have to give 29 days notice. The Home Office will be able to increase the notice to up to 70 days if they think your marriage isn’t genuine.
What to do if your ceremony is in a different borough from where you gave notice
Marriages and civil partnerships: your notice will sent electronically to the Register Office in the borough where your ceremony is taking place.
If your ceremony is in a church, chapel or other registered religious building, place of worship, your marriage authority must be collected by the minister of religion from the Register Office in the borough where the ceremony is taking place.
Getting married abroad
Contact the authorities or embassy of the country where you are getting married to find out about local marriage laws, including what documents you'll need. Contact details and further information are available on GOV.UK.
You may be asked to provide a certificate of no impediment (CONI) or a similar document to prove you’re allowed to marry.
You can normally get a CONI by giving a notice of marriage at your local register office. Please contact us for advice and to make an appointment. You will have to pay a notice fee at the time of booking.
If you need to cancel your appointment this must be done 7 days before the notice appointment. If the appointment is not cancelled 7 days in advance the fee you have paid will not be refundable.