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Giving notice of marriage

If you want to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you must both give notice in person.

Notice must be given by appointment at the Register Office in the area where you have lived for at least the past seven days, regardless of where you plan to marry.

A Superintendent Registrar and Registrar, or an authorised person, needs to be present at all marriages/civil partnerships, except those at a church belonging to the Church in Wales or Church of England. It is therefore important that you make sure the Registrars are available before you confirm any other arrangements.

Where do we give notice?

If you live in Swansea,  you need to give notice at the Civic Centre. To make an appointment, or for any other advice on marriage please contact us on 01792 636188.

What is a notice of marriage?

The notice of marriage or civil partnership is a legal statement which you must sign. If you plan to be married in the Church in Wales or Church of England banns of marriage will be published. You should see your local vicar who will arrange for this.

A notice declares the names, age, marital status, address, occupation and nationality of the people intending to marry or form a civil partnership. It also notes the intended venue for the ceremony.

Notices are displayed on the public notice boards at the register office for 28 clear days. This means there must be 28 full days between the notice being displayed and the ceremony. Only then can the authorities for marriage or civil partnership schedule be issued. These must be collected from the register office and taken to whoever is officiating at the ceremony, be they a religious minister or a registrar, before the ceremony. Your marriage cannot happen without them.

The authorities for marriage or schedule are only valid for use in the venue declared, so it is vital that you are certain of the venue at the time of giving your notice. If you need to change the venue after giving your notice you will need to give fresh notices stating the new venue.

A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid for 12 months.

Are you subject to immigration control?

Any person who is subject to immigration control and wishes to marry/register a civil partnership in England or Wales must give their notice of marriage at a Register Office which has been appointed for the purpose. Swansea is one of the 75 appointed Register Offices in England and Wales. Both parties to the marriage must give notice together in this case.

Where one or both parties are subject to immigration control and do not have the relevant immigration status or marriage visa, a referral must be made to the Home Office. In those cases the notice period may be extended to 70 clear days.

How much does it cost?

The fee for the notice is £35 each payable to the Superintendent Registrar at the time of giving the notice of marriage.

If you or your partner are subject to immigration control the fee will be £47 each.

What documents will we need to have?

You will need to show us evidence of your name, age, nationality, condition and address. The most commonly accepted documents are:

Name, age and nationality

  • current passport
  • birth certificate if you were born before 31/12/1982 and don't have a current passport
  • birth certificate and evidence of your parent's nationalities if you were born after 1/1/1983 and don't have a current passport

Full name

  • valid driving licence

Condition

This is needed when you have been married or formed a legally recognised civil partnership before, either in this country or abroad. You should show evidence of how the marriage or civil partnership ended.

  • decree absolute of divorce
  • dissolution of civil partnership
  • death certificate of former husband, wife or civil partner

A decree nisi of divorce is not acceptable.

Current address

  • utility bill dated no more than three months before your appointment
  • bank statement dated no more than 1 month before your appointment
  • valid driving licence

The evidence you use should be the original documents. Photocopies or faxes are not acceptable.  If the document is in another language, we will need a translation into English.

If you cannot show us any of the above documents please contact us for advice on 01792 636188.