Notice of marriage

There are certain actions that are required in law before you can marry (unless you are marrying in the Church of England or church in Wales by banns or common licence).

You both need to give your notice to marry or enter a civil partnership.

This means making a legal declaration that you are both free to marry/be civil partnered to each other and will require you to provide certain documents, for example, we will need to see your valid passports or full birth certificates as well as a document proving your address such as driving licence or recent utility bill. All required documents are listed at the bottom of this page.

Please review these lists to ensure what you bring to the appointment is valid and an accepted form of documentation.

Deadline to give notices of marriage or civil partnership

Notice of marriage or civil partnership legally needs to be given no less than 29 days and may be longer for people subject to immigration control.

We would recommend that notices of marriage or civil partnership should be given a minimum of 8 weeks before the ceremony.

You must have lived in the local authority registration service district where you are giving your notice for 9 days or more.

How to give notices of marriage or civil partnership

Both parties need to give their notices in the Registration Service where they live. Unless you are subject to immigration control whereby you will need to attend to give notice together. 

You need to book an appointment at a registration office to give notices.

If your marriage/civil partnership is booked within Northamptonshire and you live in the same registration district (North/West) to where you are getting married or forming a civil partnership, then you should book your notice appointment through your online account. However if this is not the case and your marriage/civil partnership is booked in a different registration district then you will need to approach your local registration service for an appointment.

Cost

There is a minimum fee of £35 each to give notices depending on when you want to book your appointment. Appointments are available on a Saturday subject to an additional fee. Please see our fees page for further information.

There is also an additional fee if you are subject to immigration control the registrar will advise you at your appointment if this is applicable to you.

Church marriages

If you are marring in a non-Anglican church, a marriage may take place in a registered building situated in a district in which neither party lives if it is the usual place of worship for one or both parties. Although there may be a registered building of the same denomination as the building proposed for the marriage, within the district(s) of residence, the parties have the right to be married in their usual place of worship.

The registrar does not need to see evidence that the building is:

  • the usual place of worship of either party but will question the parties giving notice and be
  • satisfied of the truth of the statement

If you are marrying in an Anglican church and it is not your usual place of worship, you will require a signed letter from the church to confirm they are happy to marry you.

If you are subject to immigration control and you are marrying in an Anglican church, you will need to have a signed letter from the church to confirm that if you were not subject to immigration control, you would be allowed to marry with banns.

Book an appointment

What you will need to bring to the appointment

There are specific documents the registrar will need to see at your appointment. If these documents are not available, you will not be able to give your notice. The documents are listed below:

  • Proof of nationality - a valid passport
  • If no passport is available then you could bring any of the following:
    • valid National ID card showing nationality, name and age

    • Home Office Naturalisation certificate

    • Home Office travel document

    • Biometric Residents permit

    • British birth certificates (only)
    • If you were born prior to 1 January 1983, your full or short birth certificate.

    • If you were born after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate which includes your parents' details plus either parent's birth certificate (short or long), if your parents were married at time of your birth. If your parents were unmarried at the time of your birth, then only your mother's birth certificate needs to be seen. If your parents were born outside the UK then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.

Proof of address: this can be a bank statement (dated within 1 month), utility bill (dated within 3 months), your most recent Council Tax bill or driving licence showing your name and address.

Previous marriages or Civil Partnerships

If your previous marriage or civil partnership ended because your spouse or civil partner died, please bring an original death certificate. 

If either party has been married or in a civil partnership before, you should bring your original decree absolute/final order or civil partnership dissolution/final order to the notice appointment, translated into English if necessary. If the divorce or civil partnership dissolution was obtained outside the British Isles there will be a consideration fee of up to £75. Please note that consideration does not guarantee that the document will be accepted.

Electronic copies issued by the court will be accepted as long as there is an original court stamp, and the document is a valid decree absolute/final order or civil partnership dissolution/final order.

Proof of Settled Status

Since immigration changes which came into effect 1 July 2021 any foreign nationals who have settled status or pre-settled status will need to provide their share code at the registration appointment.

View and prove your immigration status - GOV.UK

This enables you to give notice as a relevant national.

If you do not have settled or pre – settled status then you will need to give your notice under the designated office notice process below. 

If you, your partner, or both, are a non-UK or non – settled status citizen and wish to get married in England or Wales you will need to give your notice(s) at a designated office. In Northamptonshire the designated offices are in Northampton for West Northamptonshire and Kettering for North Northamptonshire.

The appointment must be no less than 29 days before the marriage ceremony. This may be extended by the Home Office to up to 70 days if either party is subject to immigration control. So we would recommend that you do not book your marriage/civil partnership any earlier than 70 days to allow for any investigation that may be required.

There are specific documents the registrar will need to see at your appointment. If these documents are not available, you will not be able to give your notice. The documents are listed below:

  • Proof of nationality - a valid passport
  • Recent passport sized photograph of each party to the marriage.
  • If no passport is available then you could bring any of the following:
    • valid National ID card showing nationality, name and age
    • Home Office Naturalisation certificate
    • Home Office travel document
    • Biometric Residents permit
    • British birth certificates (only)
      • If you were born prior to 1 January 1983, your full or short birth certificate.
      • If you were born after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate which includes your parents' details plus either parent's birth certificate (short or long), if your parents were married at time of your birth. If your parents were unmarried at the time of your birth, then only your mother's birth certificate needs to be seen. If your parents were born outside the UK then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.
  • Proof of address: this can be a bank statement (dated within 1 month), utility bill (dated within 3 months), your most recent Council Tax bill or driving licence showing your name and address.

Previous marriages

If your previous marriage or civil partnership ended because your spouse or civil partner died, please bring an original death certificate. 

If either party has been married or in a civil partnership before, you should bring your original decree absolute/final order or civil partnership dissolution/final order to the notice appointment, translated into English if necessary. If the divorce or civil partnership dissolution was obtained outside the British Isles there will be a consideration fee of up to £75. Please note that consideration does not guarantee that the document will be accepted.

Electronic copies issued by the court will be accepted as long as there is an original court stamp, and the document is a valid decree absolute/final order or civil partnership dissolution/final order.

Any name changes

If either party has been known by any other name before, proof will be required (change of name deed).

Please note that you need to demonstrate a clear link between all of the names on the documents, for example a marriage certificate or change of name deed if you have returned to your maiden name.

Proof of age

If you are under 18 you will need to bring proof of parental permission.

Translation

You must provide a translator if either of you cannot speak or understand English. You cannot translate for each other.