[Skip to content]

.

How do I give notice of marriage or civil partnership?

Before you can marry or form a civil partnership anywhere in England or Wales, either by civil or religious ceremony, you must first give due notice of your intention.

Are you marrying by a religious ceremony in the Church of England or Wales?

If you want to marry in the CHURCH OF ENGLAND or WALES, you must arrange this with the vicar. If he is able to marry you, banns will be called in church, or a common license issued. There would generally be no need for you to attend a register office.

Are you marrying by a religious ceremony elsewhere?

To marry by RELIGIOUS CEREMONY anywhere other than in the Church of England or Wales, you should first make arrangements with the minister, or other person, in charge of marriages at the building. He or she will also advise you as to whether, or not, you will need to book a registrar to attend your ceremony. However, the church or religious building in question must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner lives. If neither of you live in the same registration district as the building, notice can only be taken if it is the usual place of worship of one or both of the parties; please contact us for advice if this is the case. After you have arranged to marry, it will be necessary for each of you to give formal notice of marriage to the superintendent registrar of the district where you live.

Are you marrying or forming a civil partnership at a register office or approved premise?

If you want to be married by CIVIL CEREMONY, that is at a register office, or in another building which has been approved for civil marriage and partnerships, in England or Wales, then you should first contact the superintendent registrar for that district to make a provisional ceremony booking, you will also need to make arrangements at the venue in question. After you have arranged to marry or form a civil partnership, it will be necessary for you to give a formal notice to the superintendent registrar of the district where you live.

Therefore, unless you intend to marry in the Church of England or Wales, a NOTICE OF INTENTION must be given, IN PERSON, by each of you to the superintendent registrar of the district where you reside.

Are you marrying or forming a civil partnership abroad?

If you have decided to hold your ceremony abroad it is important to follow the procedures and guidelines issued by the country in which you are holding your ceremony. The Embassy or Consulate for that country will be able to provide this advice. If you are advised that the foreign authorities require you to produce a 'certificate of no impediment' it may be possible for you to give notice at your local register office. Contact Dudley Citizenship & Registration Services if you are a Dudley borough resident for further advice. If you are a British citizen and currently reside outside the UK you should contact the local British Embassy or Consulate office for advice.

Are you subject to immigration control?

If you are subject to immigration control you must attend a designated register office together to give a notice of marriage or civil partnership, this may not be the register office for the district where you reside.

Further information can be found on the Home Office website.

When should I give notice?

Notice of marriage will be given by superintendent registrars certificate. This means that after both notices are given you must wait AT LEAST 30 DAYS from the date of the SECOND notice before the Superintendent can issue his/hers certificate for the marriage to take place. Because of possible weekend, bank holiday, part time office closures etc, we would advise that you allow ample time for this process and give notice at the earliest opportunity. This is especially important if you are getting married somewhere other than the register office you both have to attend to give notice, or if you live in different districts from each other.

Notice of civil partnership will be given to a civil partnership registrar in the district where you each reside. The schedule, this is the document you will sign on the day your partnership is formed, will be issued by the civil partnership registrar for the district where your formation is to be held. This means that after both notices are given you must wait AT LEAST 30 DAYS from the date of the SECOND notice before the registrar can issue the schedule for the formation to take place. Because of possible weekend, bank holiday, part time office closures etc, we would advise that you allow ample time for this process and give notice at the earliest opportunity.

A notice is valid for 12 months. Therefore you cannot give notice more than 12 months in advance of the ceremony date, although you may be able to make a provisional booking for some venues before this. The ceremony can only take place at the venue stated on the notice up to 12 months from the date of the FIRST notice given.

If you are holding your ceremony at Priory Hall or at one of the approved premises in the Dudley Borough you must make the provisional booking with the ceremony coordinator at least two months before the date you wish your ceremony to be held on. This allows sufficient time for the notices to be given and for the associated administrative tasks to be completed.

How do I make a notice appointment?

In order to give a notice, BOTH of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least SEVEN CLEAR DAYS immediately before giving notice. Each of you will give your own notice, but you can attend together if you live in the same registration district although you will still give your notices individually. If you live in different registration districts, you will need to give notice separately in your own area.

To avoid any inconvenience for couples , most register offices work by appointment. Therefore you are strongly advised to telephone the register office for the district where you live before going there. Staff are then able to check your details carefully and advise you properly about which documents you will need to produce when giving your notice of intention.

To arrange an appointment to give notice in the Dudley borough (Dudley borough residents only) please call

Dudley register office on: 01384 815373. Our phone lines are quieter in the afternoons. If you have difficulty contacting Dudley Citizenship & Registration Services please email register.office@dudley.gov.uk giving us a day time phone number and we will call you.

Important - The notice fee (£35 for each notice) will be taken when the appointment is booked by credit or debit card. If you subsequently need to change your appointment we require at least two working days notice for us to do this for you, free of charge. If you fail to attend your appointment or do not give sufficient notice, a £20 fee will be payable before a new appointment can be made.

What documents do I need to bring to my notice appointment?

You will need to pay the appropriate statutory fee to give notice; currently £35 each, and we will need to see various documents to enable a notice of intention to be given, please note that photo copies are not acceptable. If you are holding your ceremony at a venue outside the Dudley borough or at a religious building and have a provisional booking letter, it is helpful to bring this along to your appointment as well as the following documents:

1. For identity

If you were born in the UK, or to British parents abroad, you must bring your birth certificate to your appointment. A full or short certificate is acceptable provided that you have a passport as well. If you do not hold a British passport and you were born on or after 1st January 1983 then you must produce a full birth certificate. If you are an EEA citizen please contact Dudley register office for advice if you do not have your birth certificate.

2. For nationality

A current valid passport will prove your nationality.

If you do not have a valid passport we will need to establish your nationality by other means:

  • If you were born in the UK before 1 January 1983 your nationality can be taken from your place of birth as shown on you birth certificate. If this is the case then you will need to bring a second form of ID; we can accept a UK driving licence, your current council tax bill, a bank statement dated within the last month, a utility bill dated within the last 3 months, or your last mortgage statement or rental agreement. Please note the ID must show your names, not just initials.

  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1983 your nationality is taken from your parents. You will need to bring a full birth certificate for yourself showing your parents' names as well as you mum's birth certificate or passport. Please note it is essential that 'mum' can be identified from your full birth certificate, occasionally additional linking documents may be required such as a marriage certificate or change of name deed. Please contact Dudley register office if you are unsure. In addition we will need to see a second form of ID for you; either a valid UK driving licence, your current council tax bill, a utility bill dated within 3 months or a bank statement dated within 1 month. Nationality can only be taken from your father if your parents were married to each other at the time of your birth, this would have to be evidenced with their marriage certificate.

3. Proof of residence 

You will also be asked to provide evidence of your current address which must also show your name; the best document for this is the current year's council tax bill, alternatively we can accept a utility bill (dated within the last 3 months), bank statement (dated within the last month) or a UK driving licence.

4. Divorce/dissolution/annulment documents and death certificates

If you have been married or registered a civil partnership before, either in this country or abroad, you will  need to produce documents that confirm that you are now free to marry or form a civil partnership. These could include:

  • a divorce decree absolute or final order of civil partnership dissolution bearing the court's original stamp
  • the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner. If you are a widow, we will also need to see your marriage certificate, unless your name is on your late husband's death certificate.  

You can obtain another certified copy of a decree absolute from the court where the divorce was granted. For the Dudley borough this is normally:

Dudley County Court, 7 Hagley Road, Stourbridge, DY8 1LQ Tel: 01384 394232

For details of how to obtain a copy of a decree absolute or final order of dissolution, if the divorce was granted through an English or Welsh court, see divorces and dissolutions.

Change of name documents

If you have ever been known by any other names you will need to produce documents to prove this such as a statutory declaration or a change of name deed. You may need to produce a former marriage certificate if you have changed your name since this ended or if you do not hold a valid passport and we need to refer to your birth certificate to prove nationality.

Don't forget to bring to your appointment:

  • birth certificate and

  • passport and

  • proof of address

depending on your circumstances you may also need to bring with you

  • decree absolute

  • spouse's death certificate

  • any change of name documents

Important - If you do not bring the correct documents to your appointment the notice cannot be taken

How much will it cost?

Please note, our fees are updated on 1st April each year. 

The statutory fee for the notice is £35 each, £70.00 per couple. Dudley registration services take this fee when the notice appointment is booked.

What will happen at my notice appointment?

When you arrive at the register office for your appointment you will be seen by the superintendent registrar or a deputy superintendent registrar who will meet with you in a private office to ensure confidentiality. Each party is interviewed separately. You will be asked to answer questions about yourself and the person you are going to marry or form a civil partnership with relating to your names, ages, nationality, residence and occupations. You will need to know exactly where you are holding your ceremony as this is recorded on the notice and cannot be changed afterwards. The information will be verified from the documents you will be bringing to your appointment. You will be asked to check the information we record carefully for accuracy and to sign the notice statement. The time it takes varies according to people's circumstances however the process usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes for a single notice. No-one else can give notice on your behalf, it must be done in person.

What happens next?

After you have given notice at your local register office, the notice will be displayed on their public notice board for the statutory waiting period of 28 days. If no legal objections are raised during this period, and both notices have been given, the superintendent's certificate for marriage will be issued. These documents (there will be two, one for each party) must be taken to the registrar or other person who is registering your marriage. If you are marrying at a register office or on approved premises this will happen electronically between registration offices; you are not required to do anything. If you are marrying in a church or other religious venue, the authorised person at the building will need these documents. For religious buildings within the Dudley Borough we will send these documents to the authorised person on your behalf regardless of which office you attended to give your notice, you will not need to do anything. If you are marrying at a church or other religious building in another registration district (IE. not within the Dudley Borough) you will need to make arrangements with the register office for that district with regards to getting the certificates to the authorised person as these documents are printed locally. Different offices operate different procedures. If you are forming a civil partnership a schedule document will be issued by the civil partnership registrar who is registering your partnership.

If you are celebrating your marriage or civil partnership at Priory Hall or in a Dudley borough approved premise you will receive a confirmation letter and an information pack once both notices have been given. This will guide you through the choices you have to make with regard to your ceremony and will tell you what will happen on the day. Any outstanding fees are due not later than three months before the date of your ceremony.

Do you need to contact us?

Contact Dudley Citizenship & Registration Services online or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.