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.
We will need to see various documents to enable a notice of intention to be given, please note 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 documents listed below.
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.
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.
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. A document that only shows your initials and surname is not acceptable.
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:
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.
If you were divorced at a court outside of the British Islands there will be an additional checking process for which there is a statutory fee of £50 payable if it is one that can be cleared locally. If the divorce has to be referred to the General Register Office the fee is £75. This fee is taken at the notice appointment, please bring a credit or debit card or cash to your appointment. If the original document is in a foreign language you will need to supply the original document along with a certified translation.
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.
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.
Contact Dudley Citizenship & Registration Services online or telephone 01384 815373. Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.