A marriage or civil partnership is a legal contract between you and your partner. You will need to sign a legal statement to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This is called 'giving notice'. You will need to confirm the venue you have booked before you can give notice.
How to give notice
You need to book an appointment at your local register office to give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
You need to give notice at least 29 days before your ceremony or registration can take place. You can give notice up to 12 months in advance
You must have lived in the district where you are giving notice for at least 9 days. If you live in Brighton & Hove, your register office is Brighton Town Hall.
If you are both British or EEA / Swiss citizens with settled or pre-settled status
you must give notice at the register office in the district where you have lived for at least 9 days. You and your partner will need to give notice separately if you live in different registration districts. You do not have to do this on the same day. You can find your local register office on GOV.UK.
Notice must be given no later than 29 days before your marriage.
A person with settled or pre-settled status is required to share their status through the online EUSS status checker tool. You must request a share code no earlier than 28 days before your appointment to prove your immigration status.
If one or both of you is a non-EEA citizen, or an EEA / Swiss citizen without settled or pre-settled status
then you must give notice together at a register office in the district where one or both of you live. You should complete your notice at least 71 days before your ceremony. There will be an additional Home Office statutory referral fee of £24.
What you will need to bring to your appointment at Brighton Town Hall
When you attend your appointment to give notice of marriage or civil partnership, you must each bring the following documents with you:
- your valid, original passport
- your immigration status document (if applicable)
- a recent passport sized photograph each, if either of you is subject to immigration control
- your immigration status share code (if applicable)
Proof of address (one of the following for each person)
- a bank statement dated within the last month;
- a utility bill dated within the last three months;
- a council tax statement dated within the last year.
- a valid UK driving licence showing your current address
If either of you has been married or in a civil partnership before
- proof of how this ended e.g. your decree absolute of divorce or dissolution (or foreign equivalent); or death certificate of your former spouse and your last marriage / civil partnership certificate.
- there is a statutory fee of £75 for clearance of foreign divorces or dissolutions (payable at the appointment).
- all documents must be originals. Any documents not in English must be accompanied by a third party translation into English. The translator must have certified that it is an accurate translation of the original document seen by them.
All documents must be in hard copy. We can't accept any digital documents shown on a screen.
What happens at the appointment
To make sure that you are both legally free to marry or register a civil partnership, we will interview you separately. The appointment will last approximately half an hour. We will ask simple questions about yourself and each other.
Each person who does not speak English must attend the appointment with an interpreter. Your partner cannot translate for you.
The cost of giving notice
The statutory fee for giving notice is £35 per person, payable at the time of booking the appointment.
There is an additional Home Office statutory referral fee of £24 for those subject to immigration control.
Failure to attend the appointment or bring the required proof of identity and residency will result in a penalty charge.
If you are travelling from another country for the purpose of marriage or civil partnership
In order give notice to get married or have a civil partnership in England or Wales, you must you both be resident in England or Wales. There are no exceptions to this rule, even if you are a British citizen living abroad.
You will need to reside in a registration district in England or Wales for at least nine days before giving notice of intention to marry or enter into civil partnership. The date of arrival and the date of the notice do not count so this Your marriage or civil partnership can proceed 29 days after you give notice (sometimes 71 days if either of you is a non-EEA national).
Residency must be in one district for the whole duration of the 9 days immediately prior to notice being given
You must bring to your appointment all the required documents as stated above.
If you are travelling from overseas to establish eight days residence to give your notice
It may be difficult for you to obtain the usual proof of address. In these circumstances only, we can accept alternative evidence as proof of address:
- an official letter signed by the occupier of the property where you are residing, confirming that you have lived at the property for at least eight continuous days immediately before your appointment to give notice.
- the occupier can be a friend or family member whose property you are staying in
- they should confirm the address of the property as well as their name and contact details. The letter must be dated immediately prior to the appointment.
- we will also require one of the proofs of residence for them listed above to confirm they live at that address
- if you are staying in a hotel you can provide an official letter from the hotel manager or administrator. A provisional bill or invoice from the hotel can be accepted confirming your name and dates of stay.
In all cases we will require proof of your date of arrival such as a stamp in your passport or flight or other travel confirmation.
After you have given notice
you do not have to remain in the country. Your marriage authorities or civil partnership schedule is valid for one year from the date that you gave notice.
Registrars cannot give immigration advice.
Book your appointment
To book phone 01273 292 016 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.