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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.

Changes with regards to giving notice come into force with effect from 1 July 2021 so please do read the following information carefully before booking or attending your appointment.

Marrying by religious ceremony in 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 they are 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 unless one or both of you is a non-EEA national or an EEA/Swiss national without EU Settlement Status. 

Marrying by 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.

Marrying or forming a civil partnership at 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 if you are a British, Irish national or an EEA or Swiss national with EU Settlement Status.

Marrying or forming 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.

Foreign nationals without settlement status

If either of you is a foreign national without EU settlement status, you must attend a designated register office together to give a notice of marriage or civil partnership. This must be the register office for the district where at least one of you resides.

Further information can be found on the Home Office website.

Registration officials will be required to refer all marriage and civil partnership notices to the Home Office if one or both of the parties are EEA nationals without EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status granted or applied for before 30 June 2021 or non-EEA nationals who do not provide specified evidence that they have (a) settled status in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain), (b) an EU law right of permanent residence in the UK, (c) a marriage or civil partnership visa, or (d) exemption from immigration control (e.g. with the right of abode in the UK). 

The Home Office may decide to extend the 28 clear day notice period to 70 days where a sham marriage or civil partnership is suspected.  The Home Office will inform both parties, in writing, if this is the case. 

The Home Office will then make a decision whether the marriage or civil partnership schedule can be issued allowing a legal ceremony to take place. If the registration official is content to do so, and all paperwork has been cleared, for example any foreign divorce documents, then the relevant paperwork can be issued after the notice period has expired and the couple can proceed with their marriage or civil partnership. 

If your notice period is extended to 70 days, you will be required to comply with a Home Office investigation. If you do not comply with the investigation, you will be unable to marry or enter into a civil partnership on the basis of that notice.

EEA or Swiss nationals with settlement status

If you are a foreign national with EU settled or pre-settled status you will be required to evidence this before the notice can be given.

After booking a notice appointment you will need to obtain a share code from to prove your status. This code should be sent to no more than 30 days before your appointment.

When to give notice

Notice of marriage must be given to the superintendent registrar for the district where you reside. After both notices are given you must wait at least 30 days from the date of the second notice before the Superintendent can issue the paperwork for the marriage to take place.

Notice of civil partnership must 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.

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. 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.

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.

If you are holding your ceremony at Priory Hall, Thomas Robinson Building or at one of the approved premises in the Dudley Borough you should 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.

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 contact the register office for the district where you live before going there. Staff are then able to check your details carefully and advise you 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 use the link below and book online. If you have difficulty doing this please email giving us a day time phone number if you need to speak to us 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. For your convenience we offer a limited number of out of hours appointments on Saturdays. There is an additional non-refundable charge of £20 for an out of hours appointment.

Please note that the service is delivered at the time notice is given and is therefore non-refundable once the notice has been given. 


Fees are updated 1st April each year

The statutory fee for a standard notice is £35 each, £70.00 per couple.  

If you are a non-EEA national or an EEA or Swiss national without EU settled status the notice fee is £47 each.

Important - The notice fee 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.

We have a limited number of appointments available outside normal working hours on Thursday evenings and Saturdays, if you would like to book one of these premium 'out of hours' appointments there is an additional charge of £20 payable.

The 'out of hours' appointment fee is non-refundable should you cancel or change your appointment, although we can still re-arrange it when given 2 working days notice.

At the 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.

Non-EEA nationals and EEA and Swiss nationals without EU settled status will be required to evidence their immigration status.

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.

Parents' information

You will be asked for the full names and occupations of your parents at your notice appointment. You can include the details of up to four parents each in the marriage registration, which can be your natural parents, step-parents and adoptive parents.

Where a parent had retired or is deceased, the details are still included in the registration.

Documents you will need

By law, we will need to see various documents to enable a notice of intention to be given, please note that photocopies are not acceptable. We cannot take information from a mobile device. Please check the details below carefully to ensure that you bring the correct documentation as if anything is missing, expired, photocopied or on a mobile device, we will not be able to take your notice and you will need to book a new appointment and pay the fee again.

If you are holding your ceremony at a venue outside the Dudley borough or at a religious building and have a provisional booking letter, you should bring this along to your appointment as well as the documents listed below.

We will need to see your:

  • 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. See below for full details;

For Identity

British and Irish nationals: 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 1 January 1983 then you must produce a full birth certificate.

EEA and Non-EEA citizens: if you cannot bring your birth certificate, an alternate form of ID is required; a certificate of naturalisation, driving licence or other item from the proof of residence list would be suitable.

For Nationality

A current valid passport will prove your nationality. You must prove your nationality to give notice.

If you are British and 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 1983 your nationality can be taken from your place of birth as shown on your 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 three 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 your mother's birth certificate or valid 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 the valid UK driving licence, your current council tax bill, a utility bill dated within three months or a bank statement dated within one month. Nationality can only be taken from your father if your parents were married to each other, this would have to be evidenced with their marriage certificate. Please note that British nationality can only be taken from a parent born in the UK.

Non-British nationals must produce a valid passport

Proof of Residence

You will also be asked to provide evidence of your current address which must also show your names; the best document for this is the current year's council tax bill, we can accept:

  • your current council tax bill (not a reminder or statement) or
  • a UK driving licence or
  • a utility bill (dated within the last three months) or
  • bank statement (dated within the last month) or
  • a rental agreement or
  • your last mortgage statement

IMPORTANT - A document that only shows your initials and surname is not acceptable, it must should your forename and surname.


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 dissolution bearing the court's original stamp
  • if your divorce was granted in England or Wales and you have been issued with an electronic version of the decree absolute, we will need to see this and the covering email.
  • 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 shown 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 usually:

Dudley County Court and Family Court, The Inhedge, Dudley DY1 1RY Tel: 01384 211411

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 website.

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 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.

Change of Name

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(s) if you have changed your name since this ended.

If you do not hold a valid passport we will need to refer to your birth certificate to prove nationality. We will need to see documents to link back from the names you are using today to the names on your birth certificate. This may be a marriage/civil partnership certificate(s) and/or change of name deeds.

Immigration Status

Non-British nationals and EU nationals without settled status will be required to evidence their immigration status at their notice appointment

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 schedule for marriage will be issued.

This document 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 this document. For religious buildings within the Dudley Borough we will send the schedule document 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 schedule to the authorised person as this document is issued 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, Thomas Robinson Building 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.

Booking a notice appointment

If you are both British or have European Settlement Status, your ceremony is taking place within the next 12 months and you are resident in the Dudley Borough, please book a notice appointment.

If one (or both of you) is a foreign national who does not have European Settlement Status, please contact us for advice before booking a notice appointment.

Registrars General Contact Form 


  • Telephone 01384 815373.

    Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons.