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Giving notice of marriage

Before making an appointment to give notice

Before you make your appointment, you must have read and understood all the information on this page, particularly the section about what you need to bring with you to the notice appointment.

By law you have to give a notice of marriage, which is a formal declaration of your intention to marry.

The marriage can only take place at the venue you name on the notice of marriage. If you change the venue you will have to give, and pay for, updated notices of marriage, so you need to have chosen your venue before you give 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.

You may also need to read our additional information on marriage of same sex couples.

Changes for those subject to immigration control

Immigration laws will change from 1 July 2021 to reflect changes brought about following EU exit. Legislative updates regarding immigration will impact the process of taking notices of marriage and civil partnerships.

From 1 July all register offices in England and Wales will become a designated office, this means that where one or both parties is subject to immigration control, notice of marriage or civil partnership will need to be given together at a district where either one or both parties reside.

How to make a notice appointment.

If you need to give notice at the Manchester Register Office, please book a notice appointment online.

What is a notice of marriage

A notice of marriage is a signed legal statement that is displayed on the register office notice board for 28 days. It includes the names, age, marital status, address, occupation and nationality of the people intending to marry. It also states the intended venue for the ceremony.

After 28 days, the marriage schedule can be issued. This is only valid for use in the venue stated. If you change your venue after giving notice, you will need to give fresh notices, including paying the fees again.

How much notice is needed?

You cannot give a notice of marriage more than 12 months before the date of marriage. A marriage cannot take place until at least 28 full days after you have given the notice.

Couples wishing to marry in the Church of England or Church in Wales will usually be able to arrange everything through the Minister at the Church. In some cases the Minister is unable to read banns and will refer you to your local register office. If this is the case for you, please email registeroffice@manchester.gov.uk and include both your names, your addresses, the date and place of your ceremony and a daytime contact number.

What do you need to produce?

You will need to provide evidence of name, surname, date of birth and nationality:

One of the following original documents (or groups of documents) must be provided as evidence:

  • Valid passport;
  • Certificate of registration as a British citizen granted by the Secretary of State together with one of the first 6 documents listed under evidence required as evidence of address.
  • If you were born in the United Kingdom before 1st January 1983—
    • United Kingdom birth certificate; and
    • one of the of the first 6 documents listed under evidence required as evidence of address
  • If you were born in the United Kingdom on or after 1st January 1983 but before 1st July 2006
    • Your full United Kingdom birth certificate showing parents’ details; and
    • one of the of the first 6 documents listed under evidence required as evidence of address
    • evidence of your Mothers British citizenship or settled status at the time of your birth (e.g. a passport describing her as a British citizen or indicating that she then had indefinite leave to enter or remain); or the above for your father providing your parents were married
    • Parents’ marriage certificate if using your fathers documentation
  • If you were born in the United Kingdom on or after 1st July 2006—
    • Your full birth certificate showing parents’ details; and
    • one of the of the first 6 documents listed under evidence required as evidence of address
    • evidence of either parents’ British citizenship or settled status at the time of your birth (e.g. a passport describing them as a British citizen or indicating that he or she then had indefinite leave to enter or remain);
  • Valid travel document issued in the United Kingdom at the discretion of the Secretary of State to persons who have been formally and, in the view of the Secretary of State, unreasonably, refused a passport by the authorities in their own countries and who have—
    • been granted limited leave to enter or remain or humanitarian protection on rejection of a claim for asylum or for recognition as a stateless person; or
    • been granted indefinite leave to remain;
  • valid travel document issued pursuant to Article 28 of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28th July 1951();
  • valid travel document issued pursuant to Article 28 of the Stateless Convention;

Evidence of address:

  • Utility bill dated no more than three months before the date on which notice is given.
  • Bank or building society statement or passbook dated no more than one month before the date on which notice is given.
  • Council Tax bill or mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date on which notice is given.
  • Current residential tenancy agreement.
  • Valid UK driving licence in the name of the person giving notice (full or provisional as long as all documents are originals as photocopies will not be accepted).
  • 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 at least 7 days immediately prior to the date on which notice of marriage is given,
    • states that the person is the owner or proprietor,
    • states the name and address of the owner or proprietor and is signed and dated by that person

Evidence of the ending of a previous marriage or civil partnership:

  • Decree absolute of divorce or decree of nullity of marriage granted by a court of civil jurisdiction in England and Wales;
  • 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 your divorce or annulment granted by a court of civil jurisdiction in any part of the British Islands.
  • A document, or documents, confirming the dissolution or annulment of your civil partnership granted by a court of civil jurisdiction in the United Kingdom.
  • A document, or documents confirming your divorce or annulment obtained in a country outside the British Islands.
  • A document, or documents confirming the dissolution or annulment of your civil partnership obtained outside the United Kingdom.
  • The death certificate of the spouse or civil partner and the marriage/civil partnership certificate spouse.

All documents must be original (photocopies will not be accepted) and where any document listed above was created outside the United Kingdom and is not in English, a full translation must also be provided.

Please note: If either party to the marriage is a national of an EU country and does not have settled or pre-settled status (or a pending application), or is a national of a non EU country you may be subject to immigration control.

This means you must give your notices together at the Register Office covering the district in which you have both lived for the preceding 7 clear days. If you both live in different registration districts you must give your notices together at either Register Office.

Registrars cannot give immigration advice.

Proof of immigration status

In addition to the documents you need to provide when giving notice, you must provide evidence of your immigration status:

  • Proof of settled, pre-settled or pending EUSS status, including the share code from the GOV.UK website 
  • Valid Biometric residence permit
  • Valid UK visa/entry clearance in passport
  • Valid Home Office endorsement in passport
  • Valid UK residence permit in passport

If you do not have the correct proof your marriage will be referred to the Home Office, who may decide to extend your notice period for 70 days if they wish to investigate further. The marriage cannot take place until approval is granted by the Home Office.

Photographs

Both parties will also need to provide a colour photograph at the time of giving notice unless you are a British, Irish national or you can provide proof of settled status. Each photograph must be a UK passport style and size and meet the following criteria:

  • It should clearly show your face with a neutral expression.
  • You must not be wearing any head covering (other than for religious or medical reasons).
  • You must be photographed alone with no other person or object in shot.
  • It should be unmarked, unaltered and without tears or creases.
  • It must be a recent photo and show a current likeness.

 

Immediately prior to giving notice you must have lived in one district within England or Wales for a minimum of 7 full days (for example, if you are entering the country from abroad on the first of the month, the first possible date to give notice would be the 9th. If you are unclear about this, please contact the Ceremony Team and we'll help you work out the correct date to give notice.) You cannot move between districts in the 7 full days immediately before the date on which notice of marriage is given.


Visa requirements 

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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