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Giving Notice of Marriage or Partnership

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. 

You can book an appointment with the Registrar to give notice online or by calling 01234 718 028.

You must live in Bedford Borough to book an appointment.  If you live outside Bedford Borough and are not subject to immigration control, you must enter your Notice with the Superintendent Registrar of the registration district where you live.

Appointments take 30 minutes per person (so if you are both attending together it will take 1 hour)

Documents you need to bring

You will have to prove your identity, nationality, current residence, and if you have had a previous marriage or civil partnership you will have to provide evidence that this was legally ended. Please check that you have the following before booking your appointment.

Proof of Identity and nationality

Current passport - this will cover both ID and nationality

Or if you do not have a passport or if your passport is out of date:

Full birth certificate

If you were born in the UK on or before 31 December 1982 you will need to provide your birth certificate.

Please note if you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and you are providing your full birth certificate, you will also need to provide evidence of the nationality of your parents at the time of your birth.  The evidence required is either:

a) your mother or father's birth certificate or British passport, if they were married at the time of your birth.  If presenting only your father's birth certificate or British passport you will also need to provide your parents' marriage certificate.

OR

b) if your parents were not married at the time of your birth you will need either your mother's full birth certificate or British passport

c) if your mother has changed her name from that on your birth certificate you will also need to present evidence of her change of name.

If you have changed your name by Deed Poll, change of name deed or statutory declaration, we will need to see those original documents.

In addition to your birth certificate you will need to provide documentary evidence that you are currently using the name and surname referred to on the birth certificate.

Please therefore 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

 

Proof of residence

You must also provide proof of residence.  Please therefore 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 divorced or previous civil partnership dissolved

If either of you has been divorced from a marriage or has obtained a dissolution from a previous civil partnership in this country, we will need 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/dissolution took place in a foreign country, we will need to see the original documents, plus an official English translation, if necessary.  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.  Please seek advice from the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you will be giving notice if you have foreign divorce documents that will need clearance in this way.

If widowed

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 in some cases, your marriage/civil partnership certificate.

If under 18

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 (01234 718 028 or via e-mail at civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk).

 

You can book an appointment with the Registrar to give notice online or by calling 01234 718 028.

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