From December 2005, same-sex couples across the UK can have their relationships legally recognised. From then on, any couple that registers a civil partnership will have the same rights as a married couple in areas like tax, social security, inheritance and workplace benefits.
Who can register?
Two people who are:
•Of the same sex 16 or over (with consent if under 18)
•Not already married or in a civil partnership
•Not closely related (e.g. parent, sister, niece, uncle)
How do we register a Civil Partnership?
First of all you give notice of your intention to register to your local Register Office. Then after 28 clear days you can register your partnership by signing a civil partnership schedule in front of the registrar and your two witnesses. You will have to pay fees to give notice and to register.
Please visit our fees and charges page for further information.
Legal preliminaries to Civil Partnership
Before you can register your civil partnership in England or Wales, there are certain formalities that are required by law. Each partner will need to attend the Register Office in the district in which you have had your usual residence for the preceding seven clear days to inform them of your intention to register your partnership. This is called giving notice. Giving notice means declaring that you are free to register your partnership and requires you to provide certain documents. This notice may be given up to one year before the day of your civil partnership. Twenty-eight clear days must pass before the schedule can be issued and you are able to register your partnership. However you cannot register at a religious venue.
Documents to be produced
•Documents regarding any other civil partnership in this or any other country
•Evidence of name, age and nationality; when born before 1 January 1983, your valid passport or your valid identity card or your Full Birth Certificate
•Evidence of name, age and nationality; when born after 1 January 1983, your valid passport or your Full Birth Certificate and your Mother's Birth Certificate
•Home Office documentation where applicable
•If you have changed your name a Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration
•Death Certificate(s) of Wife, Husband or Civil Partner
•Documents regarding any previous marriage in this or any other country, if appropriate
•Completed Parent Consent(s) forms where applicable
•Proof of Address, i.e. Council Tax bill, rent book, utility bill or bank statement
How can I convert my civil partnership into a marriage?
If you are already civil partners and would like to convert your existing partnership into a marriage you can do this at any register office or approved premise in England or Wales. The statutory fee for a civil partnership to be converted into a marriage is £46.00. If you wish to follow the administrative conversion process with a marriage celebration ceremony the normal ceremony fees will apply.
Some same-sex overseas relationships will automatically be treated as civil partnerships in the UK. If you are already registered or married abroad you may not need to register again to be legally recognised as civil partners in the UK. Full details of overseas schemes which may be recognised in the UK can be found on the Women and Equality Unit's Civil Partnerships website.
You have to follow special procedures if you want a civil partnership with someone subject to immigration control (e.g. staying in the UK on a visa). For example, when you give notice, you’ll need to go together to a specially designated Register Office. For more information about immigration related issues, vist the Immigration and Nationality Bureau website or telephone 0870 606 7766.
Please visit our fees and charges page for details of our fees. Payments by cash, credit or debit card are accepted. You can also order copy certifcates online by using our Online Certificates page
It is possible to choose either a basic civil partnership registration or include a ceremony as part of the registration process. For further information see our Civil Partnership ceremonies page.
The Register Office
Telephone 0300 555 2847
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm
Wednesday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Closed Public Holidays