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.
Book an appointment to give notice
To book an appointment to give notice you must be a British or EEA national. You must also live in Bedford Borough and pay your Council Tax to Bedford Borough Council.
book an appointment with the Registrar to give notice
Appointments take 30 minutes per person (so if you are both attending together it will take one hour).
If you do not live within the Borough of Bedford and are both British or EEA nationals, you must book an appointment to enter your notice with the Superintendent Registrar of the registration district where you live and to whom you pay your Council Tax to.
If one or both of you is subject to immigration control or does not hold a British or EEA passport, you will both need to give your notice at a Designated Register Office. Bedford is not a Designated Register Office.
Civil Registration Service
Bedford Borough Council
Old Town Hall
St Paul's Square
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- 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
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