Unless you are marrying in the Church of England or Church in Wales, it is a legal requirement that each of you formally give notice of your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership by going in person to the registration office in the area where you normally live.
You will need to take documents with you to prove your identity and eligibility.
When and where to give notice
Most notices are valid for one year so can be given up to 12 months before you marry or your partnership is registered.
We encourage you to give notice as soon as possible. There must be 15 clear days between giving notice and the date of your marriage or partnership.
You should call your local registration office to make an appointment to give notice.
If your marriage or civil partnership is taking place outside your district of residence, you will also need to contact the registration office for that district to book a suitable date and time.
Find contact details for registration offices.
Lewes register office, Southover Grange
Documents you need to produce when giving notice
It costs £35 per person to give notice and you must each bring the following original or certified copies of documents with you:
- an identity document – valid passport or valid driving licence or full (long) birth certificate supported by other evidence of current name. If you bring a birth certificate and have been married or in a civil partnership before, please also bring your marriage or civil partnership certificate(s) to show the link between your birth name and current name.
- evidence of your nationality – valid passport. If you do not have a passport, please contact one of our registration offices for further information.
- proof of your address – bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months. A UK Driving Licence is not proof of nationality or proof of address as it doesn't have a date recorded.
You may also need to provide extra documents
- if you've changed your name – original documents if either of you has changed your name by Deed Poll, Change of Name Deed or Statutory Declaration.
- if either of you has been married or been through a civil partnership before – a court-stamped copy of the Decree Absolute or Decree of Dissolution. If the divorce or dissolution was in a foreign country you will need to bring the original court document with an English translation if necessary. If you are using a different name to the one in the divorce or dissolution, then you must provide documentary evidence to link the names. Please contact one of our offices for advice on acceptable documents.
- if either of you is a widow, widower or surviving civil partner -a certified copy of your deceased partner's death certificate. If you are not named on the death certificate either as informant or widow, widower, or surviving civil partner, you also need to bring your marriage/civil partnership certificate.
- if either of you is under 18 – we will need proof that you have permission to marry or form a civil partnership. This will be given by your parents, guardians or the courts. You will need to talk to the superintendent registrar, who will be able to tell you more about this.
Enquiries and further information