Registering a civil partnership
A civil partnership can only be performed by the Registrar or Deputy Registrar for the council district in which it is to take place. You can hold the ceremony in the Registrar's office or at an approved venue.
It is important to make early arrangements for the date and time of your civil partnership registration. In order to get the date of your choice, you should plan early to avoid disappointment.
You should arrange for two people, aged 16 years or over, to be at your civil partnership registration to act as witnesses.
If you are aged over 16 and under 18 years old you can enter into a civil partnership in Northern Ireland but you should note that your civil partnership will not be legally recognised in England and Wales.
The minimum age for civil partnership in England and Wales is 18 years of age and this is the case even if you enter into a civil partnership in Northern Ireland.
This applies to all couples forming a civil partnership in Northern Ireland, where one or both parties are under the age of 18.
It is particularly relevant to couples who have a home address in the England and Wales.
You should always let the Registrar know if you change your plans or decide to postpone your civil partnership.
Civil partnership outside the UK and Republic of Ireland
If you live in Northern Ireland and want to register your civil partnership outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, you must check with the registration service of the country where you want the registration to take place.
There may be certain requirements or documents you need to provide.
Choosing a venue
The civil partnership registration may take place in a Registrar’s office or at an approved place.
You can also apply for a temporary approval for civil partnership registration at a place of your own choice, such as your own home.
You should contact the Registrar of the council district in which the civil partnership will be registered and they will advise you about the fee and the application procedure.
If you are registering a civil partnership you can expect to pay the following:
- a fee for giving notice
- a fee for solemnisation of the civil partnership
- a fee for use of the council office/room or for the Registrar to go to an approved venue
These fees are payable when you send in your notice application.
The fee for giving notice is £22 per notice form. You will need a separate form for each person.
The fee for the solemnisation of the civil partnership will depend on when the registration is due to take place. You can find more information in the table below.
|Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
|Monday to Friday 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
|Saturday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
|Sundays, Bank Holidays and all other times
If you have your civil partnership registration at a Registrar’s office you will be charged a fee, depending on when it takes place. You may also be charged additional fees for the use of larger rooms.
You will need to pay a fee for the Registrar to go to an approved venue.
Contact the relevant council to find out details of the above fees. The solemnisation fee will usually be included.
You need to give at least 28 days notice for a civil partnership.
Find out more about giving notice, including how and when to give notice at the link below.
Civil partnership schedule
When the Registrar is satisfied there is no legal impediment to the civil partnership registration, a civil partnership schedule will be prepared from the information you have supplied in your notice.
You don’t need to exchange vows for a civil partnership, but you can do so if you wish.
The Registrar will make sure that the civil partnership schedule is available at the ceremony. It must be signed by you, your partner and your two witnesses.
The Registrar is responsible for the registration of all civil partnerships. You can find out how to order your civil partnership certificate at the link below.