Give notice

Nearly all couples must give notice before they can be married or form their civil partnership in England or Wales. Some people can give notice for a marriage or civil partnership abroad.

You and your partner must attend an appointment at a register office and show the required documents. The notice is a legal document and one must be signed by each person giving notice. Your notice must state where the ceremony will take place, so make sure that you can give the registrar the name and address of the venue. If you change your mind after the appointment, you will have to give notice (and pay) again.

When should I give notice?

  • for British/EEA couples and some others, the waiting period is 29 days from the notice date to your ceremony date
  • for couples where one or both are foreign nationals (without specified immigration status), the waiting period will be at least 29 days and may be extended to 71 days
  • we recommend that you give notice at least 3 months before your ceremony. If you don't, you may have to change the date of your ceremony
  • you can give notice up to 12 months before your ceremony date

Where do I give notice?

If you are British or EEA national and live in Hackney, you must give notice in Hackney. If you don't live in Hackney, you will give notice in the borough where you live.

If one or both of you are non-British/non-EEA national and you live in Hackney, you can give notice here as we are a designated register office. Whatever your nationality, you must have been resident at your addresses for at least the eight days just before the day of the notice appointment.

How do I make an appointment to give notice in Hackney?

Call 020 8356 3355 to make an appointment. At the time of booking, you will pay a non-refundable booking fee of £35 per person. If you attend your scheduled appointment, this booking fee will be used to cover the statutory notice fee of £35 per person.

What should we take to our notice appointment?

You must each bring the following to your notice appointment:

  • your current, valid passport
  • recent official proof of address, (utility bill, council tax bill, bank statement or driving licence)
  • the name and address of your marriage or civil partnership venue
  • cash or card to make a payment if booking a ceremony in Hackney

If either or both of you cannot speak English, you will need to bring someone who can interpret for the non-English speaking partner(s). Partners cannot interpret for each other.

If one or both of you is a foreign national (not British or EEA), you will need to pay an extra £12 each at your notice appointment. You will also need to bring a passport-sized photograph each. You do not need to make the extra payment or bring photos if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter.  If you hold a Marriage Visa(s) you will be required to bring photographs, but will not pay an additional fee.

Other original documents you must bring, depending on your circumstances:

Your circumstances

What to bring

Divorced or dissolved civil partnership

- final divorce or dissolution document
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- if documents are not in English, a full English translation by a third party, including translator's details and signature

Widowed or are a surviving civil partner 

- spouse or civil partner's death certificate
- marriage or civil partnership certificate

Changed name

- official proof of name change

Under 18 

- completed parental consent form; collect one from us before your notice appointment

What happens after the notice appointment?

Marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales

Marriage and civil partnership paperwork is usually issued 29 days after the notice appointment. If you are a couple where one or both of you is not British/EEA and doesn't have the appropriate immigration status, you will be referred to the Home Office - this could mean that your waiting period will be 71 days. When the marriage or civil partnership paperwork is issued, it will be sent directly to the register office of the borough where your ceremony is taking place. If you are getting married in a Hackney religious building, the minister may have to collect your marriage paperwork from Hackney register office.

If one of you has (or both of you have) a foreign divorce or civil partnership dissolution, this will be submitted to the General Register Office for clearance. It is likely to be at least 6 weeks before your paperwork can be issued. We advise you to give notice in plenty of time as the ceremony cannot go ahead until the divorce/dissolution has been cleared.

Marriage or civil partnership abroad

Your Certificate of Non-Impediment (CoNI) will usually be issued 29 days after the notice appointment.

If one of you has (or both of you have) a foreign divorce or civil partnership dissolution, this will be submitted to the General Register Office for clearance. It is likely to be at least 6 weeks before your CoNI can be issued. We advise you to give notice in plenty of time as we cannot issue the CoNI until the divorce/dissolution has been cleared.

We're getting married/forming our civil partnership in a religious building. What do we do?

Marriage in the Church of England or Church of Wales

Contact the minister of the church and ask whether you need to give notice. Most couples getting married in the Church of England or Church of Wales do not need to give notice at a register office. The Church of England and Church of Wales will not be conducting marriages for same sex couples.

If the minister asks you to give notice, you will need to make an appointment at your local register office, see where do I give notice?

If you have given notice to be married in a Church of England church in Hackney, the minister will need to collect your marriage authorities from Hackney register office before the ceremony can take place.

Marriage and civil partnership in another religious building

Find out about getting married or forming a civil partnership in another religious building (not Church of England or Church of Wales).

Can I give notice if I want to marry / form a civil partnership abroad?

First contact the relevant consulate or embassy for advice about the documents you need. If they tell you that you need a Certificate of Non-Impediment (CoNI), this can be issued (in some circumstances) by a register office. You should make a notice appointment to apply for a CoNI.

You may be able to give notice in Hackney for a CoNI if:

  • you are a British subject
  • you live in Hackney
  • your proposed spouse or civil partner is a foreign national
  • the marriage or civil partnership ceremony will be in a foreign country
  • you have lived in Hackney for at least the 8 full days before the day of your notice appointment

or:

  • you are two resident British subjects (some residence restrictions apply)
  • the marriage or civil partnership ceremony will be in a foreign country

CoNIs are usually issued 29 days after the notice appointment (but not at weekends). You may need to get an apostille stamp for your CoNI to get it legalised before you take it to the foreign authorities. You can get an apostille stamp from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation Office.

Sometimes we are unable to take a notice for people marrying or forming civil partnerships abroad. Please contact us for advice.

We cannot take a notice for two non-British subjects to get married or form a civil partnership in a foreign country.

See the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice on marriage and civil partnership ceremonies abroad.  

Page updated: 15/11/2016 16:04:44

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