Giving notice of marriage
You may also need to look at 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.
Before giving notice you must have lived in the district where you are giving notice, for a minimum of seven full days.
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.
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.
Appointments are currently only available to book online up to and including 30 June 2021
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 28 full days after you have given the notice. There is now a referral and investigation scheme in place, whereby all non-EEA nationals without settled status, or a marriage or civil partnership visa, will be referred to the Home Office Immigration for further investigation. If you are unable to provide evidence that you have the appropriate immigration status your case will be referred to the Home Office Immigration for further investigation. Those within scope of the referral scheme may have the waiting period extended from 28 days to 70 days if their case is still being considered.
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
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 you 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:
1. The current fee unless you have already paid the full fee at the time of booking. (You may need to pay an additional fee, at your appointment, if your notice is referred to the Home Office for further investigation) (see ceremonies and fees information)
2. Passport photographs for each of you if either, or both, of you have a marriage or civil partnership visa, or are in scope of the referral and investigation scheme (see the section on "How much notice do we need to give" for more information)
3. 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 “4. 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 “4. Evidence of place of residence”.
- 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 “4. 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 (Please note this does not include an ARC card)
- A valid travel document
4. 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. (this must be evidence of the address you have resided at, for a minimum of seven full days, immediately prior to the date on which notice of marriage is given. 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 ninth. If you are unclear about this, please contact the Ceremony Team and we'll help you to work out the correct date to give 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. If you use on-line banking you can print a copy of your most recent statement and show the officer that you are able to log into your account on-line using your mobile phone, ipad etc. Alternatively you can order a bank statement from the bank prior to your appointment.
- 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, including a provisional 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 full 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.
5. 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. (We are legally required to take a fee for all divorces / dissolutions that took place outside of the British Isles. The fee is for the consideration of the document and does not guarantee that the document will be approved. Some divorces / dissolutions will be approved at your notice appointment and the fee for this is £50. However, in a lot of cases the documentation will need to be considered by the General Register Office and the fee for this is £75. Unfortunately we are unable to determine which fee will be payable until you provide the documentation at your appointment.) Please note: if your document confirming divorce, annulment or dissolution is in a different name to the one you are now using, we may require further documentation such as your marriage or civil partnership certificate. Please do not proceed with booking the appointment without speaking to a member of the ceremonies team first. You can contact the ceremonies team by email: email@example.com (please include a daytime contact number).
- 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
6. If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration you will need to provide those documents.
All documentation must be original. We cannot accept photocopied documentation.
Where any document you use as evidence 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
This information applies to you, if you are not British and you are not from a country on the list of countries that are in the European Economic Area
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.
Please note: Immigration laws will change from 1 July 2021 to reflect changes brought about following EU exit. Legislative updates regarding immigration will affect the process of taking notices of marriage and civil partnerships. From 1 July every register office 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.
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 be happy to help you to work out the correct date to give notice.)
Please note you cannot move between districts in the 7 full days immediately prior to the date on which notice of marriage is given.
Before making an appointment to give notice, please make sure that you have read and understood all the information on this page, particularly the information, above, about what you need to bring with you to the notice appointment.
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.