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Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Notice of Marriage or civil partnership are the legal preliminaries which must be completed before a ceremony or formation can take place and are usually given only after a ceremony or formation booking has already been made. For details of how to book a ceremony or formation please visit our marriages and civil partnership page.

Notice of marriage or civil partnership appointments are currently prioritised for those couples whose marriage or formation is booked to take place in 2020, or where one or both of the couple have a Foreign Divorce/Dissolution.

If your ceremony or formation is booked to take place in 2021 please check our website regularly as this will be updated to show when services offered have changed or resumed.

  1. Your current addresses
  2. Your nationalities (what passport do you each currently hold)
  3. Your condition (have either or you been through any form of marriage or civil partnership in this or any other country, to each other or to anyone else) – Please also advise if you have a Foreign Divorce/Dissolution that requires clearance from the Registrar General
  4. The date and place you have booked for your marriage or formation
  5. The ceremony booking confirmation details.
  6. Your contact telephone numbers

We will respond to enquiries in strict date order within 5 working days.

If your ceremony or formation is not due to take place until next year please check our website regularly as this will be updated to show when services offered have changed or resumed.

If you wish to marry or form a civil partnership in a civil ceremony it is a legal requirement that you enter notice of your intention. This must be carried out no more than 12 months but at least 28 clear days before the ceremony can take place. In certain circumstances this may increase to 70 clear days.

If your circumstances do not meet the criteria stated above please be aware that appointment availability is currently extremely limited.

All Council buildings/premises in the Borough of Bedford require the public to wear face coverings in line with Government guidance concerning mandatory face coverings in some enclosed public spaces, eg shops, supermarkets, public transport and hospitals, from 24 July (taking account of defined exceptions).

This measure does not replace social distancing and other control measures which are still required and are in place in all buildings/settings where employees and customers come into contact.

Registrar address

Civil Registration Service
Bedford Borough Council
Old Town Hall
St Paul's Square
Bedford 
MK40 1SJ

Email: civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk

Fees for giving notice

All payments must be made by debit/credit card.

  • The fee for entering a notice of marriage or civil partnership is £35 for each person.

Documents you will need to give notice

All required documents must be produced at your appointment. All documents must be original and not photocopies or printed from online services. You must be a resident of Bedford Borough and be either a British or EEA national

If a document is not in English you must provide an exact translation. Each page must be signed, dated  and provide the contact details of the translator who must be a third party. 

We cannot attest your notice if you fail to produce the documents that are listed. This may affect any ceremony booking as you will need to make new appointment to produce the documents as required.

Name and nationality 

  • Current British or EEA passport - this must be in-date and in your full name(s). If you have changed your name by marriage/civil partnership, deed poll, change of name deed or statutory declaration, we will need to see those original documents too.
  • If you are British and do not have a passport, please email civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk 

Proof of residency 

You must also provide proof of residence in Bedford Borough (ie that you pay your Council Tax to Bedford Borough Council). Please provide one of the following:

  • Valid driving licence
  • Utility bill dated within last 3 months
  • Bank statement/building society statement dated within last month
  • Council Tax bill dated no more than one year before
  • Mortgage statement dated no more than one year before
  • Current residential tenancy agreement

Condition 

  • If either of you has been divorced from a marriage or has obtained a dissolution from a previous civil partnership we are required to see the original court stamped Decree Absolute/Dissolution.
  • All divorce documents must be either the original document or copies certified by the issuing court. If the divorce documents were not issued in the name you are currently using we will need to see the marriage / civil partnership certificate relating to that marriage / civil partnership too.
  • If the divorce/dissolution took place in a foreign country. We will need to see the original documents, plus an official English translation if necessary. A fee is payable to consider a Foreign Divorce document.
  • Some overseas divorces may have to be referred to the General Register Office as the Registrar General will need to decide if the marriage can proceed. This may take some time, and time should be allowed for this.
  • If either of you is a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, we will need to see a certified copy of your partner's death certificate and your marriage / civil partnership certificate

Age

If either of you is under 18, we will need consent for you to marry / form a civil partnership. Ordinarily, this would be given by your parents or legal guardians, but in some cases could be obtained through a court of law. Contact the Superintendent Registrar to obtain the consent forms

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