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Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Notice of marriage or civil partnership appointments are currently available only for those couples whose ceremony was booked prior to 11 March 2021 and is now due to take place within the next 2 months, unless there are extenuating circumstances (terminal illness etc.)

If your ceremony is due to take place within the next 2 months please email us with the following information for both parties:

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

Until all of the above information is received no appointment will be offered.

If your ceremony is booked to take place more than 2 months from today please check our website regularly for further updates.

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.

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 we have no appointment availability at present. Please check our website regularly for further updates.

All Council buildings/premises in the Borough of Bedford require the public to wear face coverings (taking account of defined exceptions).

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. 
  • If you documents need to be sent to the Home Office the fee will be £47 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. 

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 passport - this must be in-date and in your full current 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 one of you is from outside the UK, you and your partner must give notice together, unless you both have one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made before 30 June 2021, which you’re waiting for a decision on

You will also need to bring:

  • a passport sized photo for each of you (even if only one of you from outside the UK)
  • proof of your current immigration status (for example, your visa)
  • a translation of any documents that are not in English

You must give your notice together at a register office in the district where at least one of you lives.

Relevant national valid passport and a 6-digit share code available atview and prove your immigration status. Please note that the code is only valid for 30 days. We suggest you obtain the code 10-15 days before your appointment.

A valid passport and an application to the EU settlement scheme you made on or before 30 June 2021, which you are waiting for a decision on - you will need to bring your certificate of application

Proof of residency 

You must also provide proof of residence in Bedford Borough. Please therefore provide of one of the following showing your current address and current name(s). This document must be the original document, photocopies or downloads will not be accepted.

  • valid (in date) UK or Irish driving licence
  • gas, water or electricity 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
  • letter from your landlord (dated within the last 7 days) confirming you live there and including your landlord’s name, address and their signature
  • letter from person you have been residing with in Bedford Borough for at least 9 days plus a document from them as above.

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/dissolution documents must be either the original document or copies certified by the issuing court.

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/Dissolution document.

Some overseas divorces/dissolutions may have to be referred to the General Register Office as the Registrar General will need to decide if the marriage/civil partnership can proceed. This may take some time, and so therefore you should allow for this referral – it is usual for a booking to be taken as “to be arranged” until clearance has been provided.

If either of you is a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, we will need to see a certified copy of your late 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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