Give notice of a civil partnership

Before you enter into a civil partnership you need to make an appointment to give notice.  This is to state formally that you want to enter into a civil partnership and show proof that you are free to do so in this country.

If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English you should bring a friend or relative to interpret for you.  Couples giving notice may not interpret for each other.

How to book an appointment

You can check which documents you need to bring using our new online service

You can also find this information below.

Book an appointment

The documents you need to bring will vary according to your circumstances. You can download our checklist, which may help, but you will also need to refer to the full evidence list and the information below.

It’s important that you check the list of documents carefully. All documents must be originals and not photocopies. BOTH you and your partner will need to bring evidence.

We will not accept anything other than the documents listed below or in the full evidence list.

If you were born after 1983:

What you need to prove

In order to form a civil partnership in Norfolk, you need to provide proof of the following:

Full name/date of birth/nationality

You need to bring:

  • Current passport or
  • National ID card if issued by EEA state or Switzerland or
  • Full UK birth certificate with parents’ details (plus you must bring additional evidence)

In addition to your full UK birth certificate showing parent's details you must also bring:

  • One of your parents' birth certificates
  • Plus your parents' marriage certificate if bringing your father's birth certificate
  • And another piece of evidence to establish current usage of the name on the birth certificate. (This additional piece of evidence must be one of those listed below as proof of place of residence, but not a letter signed by the owner/proprietor/tenant of the property.)
  • If your current name is different to the name on your birth certificate then, in addition to providing evidence of use of your current name, you will also need a document to link your name on the birth certificate with your current name, eg marriage certificate/s, change of name deed or statutory declaration.

Your address

You must bring evidence as prescribed:

  • Current driving licence or 
  • Utility bill dated no more than three months before the date on which notice is given (this is for services received at the property eg gas/electric/water/landline telephone/cable/broadband but not a mobile phone bill) or
  • Bank statement dated within one month of the appointment or
  • Council tax bill dated within one year of the appointment or
  • Mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date on which notice is given or
  • Current residential tenancy agreement; must show the person's place of residence as the address to which the evidence was sent or
  • Letter signed by the owner/proprietor/tenant of the property (see full evidence list for precise requirements of such letters)

If subject to immigration control then proof of usual residence, wherever that may be, will also be required - such evidence must be as prescribed below.

Freedom to enter into a civil partnership (if previously married/in a civil partnership)

You need to bring:

  • (If previously married/in a civil partnership) Decree Absolute/civil partnership dissolution order, not your Decree Nisi (if document is not in English, you must bring an English translation) or
  • Death certificate (if document is not in English, you must bring an English translation)

Change of name

Please note: your current name, your name on your most recent divorce/dissolution/annulment document and your name on your birth certificate/passport/identity card might not match.  If any of these do not match you must provide linking documents such as marriage certificate/s, change of name deed or statutory declaration, to prove the link/s between these.

Similarly, if a person has ever changed their name or used a different one on an official document and they want this former name recorded they must bring linking evidence, as prescribed in the full evidence list (such as change of name deed/statutory declaration/marriage certificate) to prove they are the same person.

If you were born before 1 January 1983:

What you need to prove

In order to enter into a civil partnership in Norfolk, you need to provide proof of the following:

Full name/date of birth/nationality

You need to bring: 

  • Current Passport or
  • National ID card if issued by EEA or Switzerland or
  • UK Birth Certificate AND another piece of evidence to establish current usage of the name on the birth certificate. (This additional piece of evidence must be one of those listed below as proof of place of residence, but not a letter signed by the owner/proprietor/tenant of the property.)

If your current name is different to the name on your birth certificate then, in addition to providing evidence of use of your current name, you will also need a document to link your name on the birth certificate with your current name eg marriage certificate/s, change of name deed or statutory declaration.

Your address

You must bring evidence as prescribed in this link:

  • Current driving licence or
  • Utility bill dated no more than three months before the date on which notice is given (this is for services received at the property eg gas/electric/water/landline telephone/cable/broadband but not a mobile phone bill) or;

  • Bank statement dated within one month of the appointment or
  • Council tax bill dated within one year of the appointment
  • Mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date on which notice is given or
  • Current residential tenancy agreement; must show the person's place of residence as the address to which the evidence was sent or
  • Letter signed by the owner/proprietor/tenant of the property (see full evidence list for precise requirements of such letters)

If subject to immigration control proof of usual residence, wherever that may be, will also be required – such evidence must be as prescribed above.

Freedom to enter into a civil partnership (if previously married/in a civil partnership)

You need to bring:

  • (If previously married) Decree Absolute/civil partnership dissolution order, not your Decree Nisi (If document is not in English, you must bring an English translation) or
  • Death certificate (If document is not in English, you must bring an English translation)

Important information regarding Foreign Divorces/Civil Partnership Dissolutions/Nullities.

  • Please note - as of 1 November 2017 an additional fee of £50 or £75 will be charged for consideration of Foreign Divorces/Civil Partnership Dissolutions/Nullities.
  • Consideration of Foreign Divorces/Civil Partnership Dissolutions/Nullities may cause delays to the issue of Certificate to Marry/Schedule to Form a Civil Partnership.  Some foreign divorces will be referred to the General Register Office. It can take up to six weeks for a decision and we advise that this possible delay should be factored into your plans.

Change of name

Please note: your current name, your name on your most recent divorce/dissolution/annulment document and your name on your birth certificate/passport/ Identity card might not match. If any of these do not match you must provide linking documents such as marriage certificate/s, change of name deed or statutory declaration, to prove the link/s between these.

Similarly, if a person has ever changed their name or used a different one on an official document and they want this former name recorded they must bring linking evidence, as prescribed in the full evidence list (such as change of name deed/statutory declaration/marriage certificate) to prove they are the same person.

Additional information

Full Translations:
Any document in a foreign script must be accompanied by a full translation of all wording including stamps and signatures.  The translation can be undertaken by anyone other than the parties to the marriage/Civil Partnership. The translator must add their name and address and certify it is a true and accurate translation.

Members of visiting military forces are exempt from immigration control as long as they produce the necessary evidence of eligibility to be in this country, as prescribed in the full evidence list.

If under 18 years signed consent form/s, from all who have parental responsibility, are required – forms are available prior to notice from all registration offices.

Please note: failure to produce the correct documentation may result in your notice of marriage not being taken on the day.  If you do not have any of the documents as listed above please check our full evidence list.

When you give notice, you must have a fixed venue.  Changing your venue will mean having to give notice again.

Where you give notice depends on whether you or your partner are subject to immigration control or not.

Go to the ‘Am I subject to immigration control?’ section below if you are not sure if you or your partner are subject to immigration control.

When both my partner and I are not subject to immigration control

You must give notice in the district where you pay your Council Tax. 

If you both live in the same district, you and your partner can try to give notice together in that district.  In Norfolk we do try to offer double notice appointments to couples.

If you live in Norfolk, you can book an appointment online to attend any of our registration offices.  The appointment is approximately 30 minutes per partner.

Please note that card payments are our preferred method of payment. We only accept up to £50 in cash in our appointments.

If you live in England or Wales but outside of Norfolk, contact your local registration office for further information.

If you live outside of England or Wales and are marrying in Norfolk please email ceremonyenquiry@norfolk.gov.uk for more information. 

Notice can be given from one year to 28 clear days before the ceremony.  We recommend booking your notice appointment approximately 5-6 months beforehand, and please be aware that notice appointments can be booked up fairly quickly. The fee for giving notice is £35 each, paid when giving notice.  You will also need to pay any outstanding fees for your ceremony at the same time.

When my partner or I are subject to immigration control

If you are subject to immigration control (see section below) you must attend a designated registration office, which in Norfolk is the Norwich Register Office.

Notice can be given from one year to 70 clear days before the ceremony.  We recommend booking your notice appointment approximately 5-6 months beforehand, and please be aware that notice appointments can be booked up fairly quickly. Please see the table in the ‘When and how do I give notice and pay my fees?’ section below for how much your notice appointment will cost.  This fee is paid when giving notice. You will also need to pay any outstanding fees for your ceremony at the same time.

If you are not resident in Norfolk, then you must provide evidence of having lived in a single district in England or Wales for seven clear days immediately prior to the date of notice. If that address is not your usual address you must also provide proof of your usual address as prescribed in the 'full evidence list'.

Passport Photos for both parties? Please ensure you check below in the ‘When and how do I give notice and pay my fees?’ section for whether you and your partner will also need to bring passport photos with you.

We will take your outstanding ceremony balance when you attend your notice of marriage appointment. If you live outside the county we will call you to take your fees.

For further information regarding immigration status telephone the Home Office on 0870 606 7766 or visit the Home Office website.

From 1 November 2017 new fees will be charged across England and Wales for the consideration of divorces/Civil Partnership dissolutions/nullities obtained outside of the British Isles.  British Isles means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.  The consideration of the above will cost either £50 or £75 depending upon nationality and country of divorce/dissolution/nullity.

The consideration is whether foreign divorce/dissolution/nullity documents are acceptable for the purpose of giving notice.  Fees are taken at the time of the notice appointment in addition to the statutory fees for giving notice and are charged regardless of outcome.  Some foreign divorces will be referred to the General Register Office. It can take up to six weeks for a decision and we advise that this possible delay should be factored into your plans.

You are not subject to immigration control if you:

  • Are a British citizen
  • Are a national of a country in the EEA (European Economic Area) or are Swiss
  • Have a right of abode 
  • Have diplomatic status
  • Are a member of visiting armed forces

If you do not satisfy any of the conditions above, you are likely to be subject to immigration control. Please check the previous section “How and When Do I Book a Notice Appointment?” for information on what to do next.

We will take your outstanding ceremony balance when you attend your notice appointment.  If you live outside the county we will call you to take your fees.

Payment by card is preferred at no extra charge

Both parties are British, an EEA or Swiss national

Parties must attend a Registration Office in the district they reside in, notice period of 28 clear days. Notice fee £35 each. 

One or both parties is a non EEA national but has right of abode, diplomatic or visiting military status and can prove this

Parties must attend a Registration Office in the district they reside in, notice period of 28 clear days. Notice fee £35 each. 

One or both parties is a non EEA national but has Indefinite Leave to Remain, Indefinite Leave of Entry or Permanent Residence and can prove this

Couple must attend any designated Registration Office together (please note that the Norwich Register Office is the only designated office in Norfolk for giving notice to form a Civil Partnership)notice period of 28 clear days. Notice fee £35 each. 

One or both parties is a non EEA national but has a relevant visa for forming a Civil Partnership and can prove this

Couple must attend any designated Registration Office together (please note that the Norwich Register Office is the only designated office in Norfolk for giving notice to form a Civil Partnership), notice period of 28 clear days. Both parties must bring a passport photo to the notice appointment. Notice fee £35 each. 

One or both parties is a non EEA national but has none of the above

Couple must attend any designated Registration Office together (please note that the Norwich Register Office is the only designated office in Norfolk for giving notice to form a Civil Partnership). Couple will be referred to the Home Office and the notice period may be extended to 70 clear days. Both parties must bring a passport photo to the notice appointment. Notice fee £47 each.

After you have given notice, you must wait at least 28 clear days (70 if subject to immigration control) before the ceremony can take place.  During this period all notices are displayed at the Norwich Registration Office in County Hall. After the waiting period has elapsed, the certificates of authority are issued and the ceremony can proceed.

The certificate of authority is the legal document that permits the ceremony to go ahead and is valid for 12 months from the date that you gave notice.

Terms and Conditions:  If you change the venue of the ceremony after giving notice, you will need to give notice and pay the fee again.

If you’re getting married or entering into a civil partnership in Scotland or Northern Ireland contact us for help.

If you’re getting married or entering into a civil partnership outside the UK, visit the gov.uk website for help.

If you need a ‘certificate of no impediment’ (CNI) and you live in Norfolk, we’ll be able to help. Contact us for more information.

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