Law you can afford

Confused?
Click Help or call 0345 838 4074

Registering your civil partnership

Contents

Finding your local registration authority

You can find the details of your local registration authority online:

  • In England & Wales, by visiting the Gov.uk website and following the on-screen instructions
  • In Northern Ireland, by contacting the local council for that area or by visiting the nidirect website
  • In Scotland, by contacting the local council for that area or by visiting the General Register Office in Scotland website
Alternatively, addresses and phone numbers for local registration authorities can also be found in the local area phone book.

Where can you register a civil partnership?

A civil partnership can be registered at a registrar's office or at any venue that has been approved for the registration of civil partnerships. Approved premises include stately homes and other prestigious buildings, hotels and restaurants.

In order to register a civil partnership you must first give notice (see our section titled 'Giving notice'). Part of this process is to provide the details of where you intend to register your civil partnership.

Including a ceremony in the registration process

You will have the opportunity to say a set form of words before you sign the schedule. You will need to bring with you at least two other people who are prepared to witness the registration and sign the civil partnership schedule.

Civil partnership registration is an entirely secular process, and the Civil Partnership Act prevents any religious service from taking place during the registration of a civil partnership.

The Civil Partnership Act does not provide for a ceremony. Couples who wish to arrange for one at the time of registration should discuss this with the registration authority or the district registrar where the registration will be taking place when the initial arrangements are made.

Costs of registering a civil partnership

Costs of registering a civil partnership vary depending on where you are registering. These are set out below, but are subject to change. For more information, visit Gov.uk (for England & Wales), GRO (for Scotland) or nidirect (for Northern Ireland).

Giving notice in advance of registering a civil partnership

£35 per person in England and Wales

£30 per person in Scotland

£20 per person in Northern Ireland

Registering a civil partnership at a registrar's office

£45 in England and Wales

£55 in Scotland

In Northern Ireland this depends on the day and time:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm - £33

Monday to Friday 5pm to 8pm - £116

Saturday 9am to 5pm - £116

Sundays, Bank Holidays and all other times - £165

Registering a civil partnership on approved premises

The cost for attendance by a civil partnership registrar is set by the registration authority or Registrar of the district in question. A further charge is likely to be made by the owners of the building for the use of the premises.

Certified copies of a civil partnership registration

£4 in England and Wales

£10 in Scotland (if obtained within one month of registration)

£14 in Northern Ireland (or £8 if obtained at the time of the registration)

Registering a civil partnership in Wales

You can register a civil partnership in Welsh and English if you and your partner, your two witnesses and the person recording the registration are able to write and understand Welsh. You don't have to have given notice in both languages.

Registering a civil partnership abroad

If you have any general enquiries about registering a civil partnership abroad, you should contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country concerned. It is possible you will be asked to obtain a certificate of no impediment. This is a document required by some foreign authorities to enable a British national to register a civil partnership in their country and, under certain circumstances, it can be provided by your registration authority. If you are asked to provide one, you should contact your registration authority.

If you have been asked to provide an Apostille – which is simply formal confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine – contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1111 for full details, including fees, or go to Foreign and Commonwealth Office.