Manchester City Council

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Giving notice of marriage

See additional information on marriage of same sex couples.

By law you have to give a notice of marriage, which is a formal declaration of your intention to marry. You are both required to give a notice of marriage and there is a standard fee for this. If you live in Manchester you must give notice to the Manchester Registration Service. If either or both of you live in another district, then you must give your notice(s) at your local register office(s) (unless advised otherwise for example, if either of you is a non-EEA National - see information for non-EEA Nationals at the bottom of the page).

Prior to giving notice you must have lived in the district where you are giving notice for a minimum of 7 clear days.

Please note that the marriage can only take place at the venue you name on the notice of marriage. If you were to change the venue it would be necessary to give, and pay for, fresh notices of marriage; so, you need to have chosen your venue before you give notice. More information about the ceremonies and venues available in Manchester can be found using the links on the left of this page.

To make an appointment to give a notice of marriage at Manchester Register Office, you can:

How much notice do we need to give?

You cannot give a notice of marriage more than 12 months before the date of marriage. A marriage cannot take place until 15 clear days after you have given the notice.

(You can provisionally book your ceremony up to two years in advance, if it is taking place in an approved premises in Manchester, or in the Pankhurst Suite - please see the links to the left for more information)

Please note that from 2 March 2015 the notice period will be increasing from 15 clear days to 28 clear days.  There will be a referral scheme in place, whereby all non-EEA nationals without settled status, a marriage or civil partnership visa or evidence of immigration status will be referred to the Home Office Immigration for further investigation.  Those within scope of the referral scheme may have this waiting period extended from 28 days to 70 days if their case is still being considered. Please note: If your notice is referred for further investigation, staff at the Manchester Register Office will not be able to provide you with any progress reports. You will need to contact the Home Office about your referral at MarriageReferralTeamGeneral@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Transitional arrangements may apply where one or both of the parties live abroad and arrangements have already been made.

For more information see the Gov.uk website.

Couples wishing to marry in the Church of England or Church in Wales where one or both are non-EEA national(s) will be required to give their notice of marriage at a designated register office.

What do we need to produce?

You will need to make an appointment online, by phone or by calling in to the office.

At your appointment you will need to bring:

Appointment before 2 March 2015

  • The current fee (see ceremonies and fees information)

  • Proof of current address, this can be a utility bill, bank statement or driving licence.

  • Evidence of nationality - A valid passport

If you do not have a valid passport please contact the Register Office for advice.

  • If you have previously been married or in a Civil Partnership in this or any other country and it ended in divorce, dissolution or annulment you will be required to produce the original court document.  If in this country you will require the decree absolute, dissolution certificate or annulment all of which can be obtained from the court where the divorce, dissolution or annulment was granted.  If your divorce, dissolution or annulment was in a different country you will need to produce the original document from the court and full translation if applicable.

  • If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner you will need to provide the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner.  If you are not mentioned on the death certificate as the widow, widower or surviving civil partner you will also need to produce your marriage or civil partnership certificate.

  • If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration you will need to provide those documents.  

Please note: All documentation must be original.  We cannot accept photocopied documentation.


Appointment on, or after 2 March 2015

Please note, that in addition to the documentation required (see below), if you are in scope of the referral and investigation scheme (see above) you will also need to provide a passport photograph each.

1.  The current fee (see ceremonies and fees information)

2. Evidence of name, surname, date of birth and nationality

One of the following original documents (or groups of documents) must be provided, for each person giving notice, at the time of giving notice

  • A valid passport
  • A valid national identity card issued by an EEA state or Switzerland
  • Both a certificate of registration as a British Citizen granted by the Secretary of State and one of the first six documents listed under “3. Evidence of place of residence”, below.
  • If born in the UK before 1 January 1983 – both a birth certificate and one of the first six documents listed under “3. Evidence of place of residence”, below.
  • If born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 – all of the following must be provided - a full birth certificate showing parents details and one of the first six documents listed under “3. Evidence of place of residence”, below, and evidence of either parents’ British Citizenship or settled status at the time of the person's birth (e.g. a passport describing the relevant parent as a British citizen or indicating that he or she had indefinite leave to enter or remain). If British Citizenship is claimed through the person’s father, the parents’ marriage certificate will also need to be provided.
  • A valid biometric immigration document
  • A valid travel document

3. Evidence of place of residence

One of the following original documents must be provided, for each person giving notice, at the time of giving notice.

  • A utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice
  • A bank or building society statement or passbook dated no more than one month before the date of notice
  • A council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice
  • A mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of notice
  • A current residential tenancy agreement
  • A valid driving licence
  • A letter from the owner or proprietor of the address which is the person’s place of residence, which confirms that the person has resided at the address for a minimum of 7 clear days immediately prior to the date on which notice of marriage is given. The letter must also state the full name and address of the person writing the letter and that the person writing the letter is the owner or proprietor, and it needs to be signed and dated by that person.

4. Evidence of ending a previous marriage or civil partnership

One of the following original documents must be provided, for each person giving notice, where relevant, at the time of giving notice.

  • A decree absolute or decree of nullity of marriage granted by a court of civil jurisdiction in England or Wales
  • A dissolution order or nullity order obtained in England or Wales in accordance with part 2 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • A document or documents, confirming divorce, annulment or dissolution outside the UK.
  • A death certificate. Note: If the person giving notice isn’t mentioned on the death certificate as the spouse or civil partner, a marriage or civil partnership certificate will also be required

5.  If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration you will need to provide those documents. 

Please note: All documentation must be original.  We cannot accept photocopied documentation.

Where any document listed above was created outside the UK and is not in English, a full third party translation must be provided. The person who provides the translation must include a statement to confirm that it is a true translation of the document and must sign and date it and include their name and contact details (address and telephone number).


Non-European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals

If either you or your partner are subject to immigration control, you must both give notice, together, at a Designated Register Office. Manchester Register Office has been given the status of Designated Register Office by the Home Office.

A full list of Designated Register Offices in England and Wales can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Prior to giving notice you must have lived in a district within England or Wales for a minimum of 7 clear days.


Visa requirements 

Please note: if you are entering the UK for the purpose of marrying or entering into civil partnership you must check with the UKVI that you have the correct visa to do so; this would usually be a marriage or civil partnership visa.  Officers at Manchester Registration Service are unable to offer any advice regarding immigration matters.


Abuse of immigration laws

We are working with the Home Office to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.

Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution. Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.

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