Marriage Documents

Legal Preliminaries (Notice)

The information provided on these pages is for general guidance purposes only and is not a complete or exhaustive explanation of current Marriage Law or Legislation.

• If you intend to marry in a Register Office, Approved Premise or Approved Building within England or Wales, outside your district(s) of residence, then you must book the officiating Superintendent of that District before notices of marriage are entered at your local Register Office. This is to ensure the availability of Registrars.

• Before you can marry in a Register Office, Approved Premise or Approved Building in England and Wales, you have to give formal notice of your intention to marry. You do this by attesting a “Notice of Marriage”.

• It is a legal requirement that notice of marriage is given separately by each person to be married. The notice must be given personally to the Superintendent Registrar of the District where the couple usually reside, preferably on the same day.

• Each party must have been living in a Registration District, in England or Wales, for 7 clear days immediately preceding giving notice. If one party resides elsewhere in England or Wales, for at least 7 days, a similar notice must be entered at the Register Office for the other District.

• Once the notices are given a minimum of 15 clear days must elapse before the marriage can take place. After the 15 clear days are completed, authorities must be issued by the Superintendent Registrar to each of the parties before the marriage can take place.

• Notices of marriage are valid for one year and couples will be expected to give their notices as soon as it is legally possible in order to secure a booking.

• When you give notice in Wales, you may do so either in English, or in English and Welsh. If notice is to be given bilingually, both the person giving notice and the authorised person you see must be able to understand the Welsh language. All registration authorities in Wales have at least one Welsh speaking authorised person or deputy.

• Please allow 30 minutes for your appointment to give notice.

Documents to be Produced at the time of Giving Notice


When you go to the Register Office to give notice of marriage, you will need the following documents:

• All persons are required to produce evidence of their name and surname. A current valid full passport, together with a standard(full) birth certificate, would be acceptable. If there is no passport then two original identity documents must be produced, one of which must be a standard(full) birth certificate together with one of the following: a full driving licence, medical card, payslips.

• Proof of residence must be produced for each person, i.e., utility bills/bank statements showing name and address.

• Persons from abroad are required to produce identity documents e.g. passport, identity card, Home Office travel document.

• Persons under 18 years of age must submit written consent from the appropriate parent/guardian/authority. The Superintendent Registrar has forms for this purpose.

• Widowers or widows are required to produce proof of death of their former spouse, e.g. death certificate certified by a Registrar.

• Divorced persons are required to produce a Decree Absolute bearing an original court seal. If the divorce took place in a foreign country, the original documents should be produced and if applicable, an English translation. Some foreign divorces require clearance from the Registrar General and the Superintendent Registrar can arrange this.

• If a name has been changed by Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration, then these documents should be produced.


Foreign Nationals

All foreign nationals and their partners wishing to marry in England and Wales will be required to attend a Designated Register Office to give their Notice of intention to marry. Persons subject to immigration control must satisfy qualifying conditions before being able to marry, these include:

• Entry clearance granted expressly for the purpose of enabling them to marry in the UK, or

• Written permission of the Secretary of State to marry in the UK in the form of a Certificate of Approval, or

• Fall within a class specified for this purpose in regulations made by the Secretary of State, e.g., has settled status, such as indefinite leave to remain.

British nationals, EEA nationals, Swiss nationals, persons with a certificate of entitlement of the right of abode, diplomats/members of visiting armed forces and representatives of the United Nations and other international organisations are not subject to immigration control.

If you think you may be subject to immigration control and wish to marry or register a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, please refer to the guidance on this subject as set out on the UK Border Agency website at


Alternatively, you may wish to telephone UK Border Agency Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766 (Monday to Thursday 0900-1645, Friday 0900-1630). Or contact your local Register Office for information regarding your nearest Designated Register Office. (N.B. There is no Designated Register Office within the Vale of Glamorgan).


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