Notice of intent for marriage or civil partnership

  • Before you can marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales, there are certain formalities required by law.  
  • You must both attend the Register Office in the district in which you live to inform them of your intention.  This is called "giving notice" 
  • You must attend in person.
  • Giving notice of your intent to marry or form a civil partnership will take around 30 minutes per person.  
  • When giving notice you are announcing your intent to marry or form a partnership, and by historic law, the public have a right to object.  Any objection must be legal (such as you're not legally free to marry or form the civil partnership or one/both parties are under age) rather than any personal reasons.
  • There is a period after your giving notice before the legal Authorities for marriage or Civil Partnership can be produced to allow for such objections.  
  • If both parties are British or citizens of the European Economic Area then this is 28 days with the paperwork authorised on the 29th day.  This can however take longer if there are any foreign papers to consider such as a divorce.
  • If either party is subject to immigration control this period of notice can be extended by the Home Office for up to 70 days and we cannot proceed with the ceremony until we have received their clearance.
  • Notice can only be given within 12 months of your planned ceremony, as it is only valid for 12 months.  
  • We recommend you give notice around 10 months prior to the booked date so that if you have any unforeseen reason to change the date the legal paperwork required has some flexibility. 
  • If you are getting married in Cumbria you should have a provisional booking for your ceremony before completing your legal paperwork.  If you do not yet have a booking with us please visit Getting Married in Cumbria pages for all the information you need to plan your special day.  
  • If you have not yet booked your ceremony please contact us on 0300 303 2472 or email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk and we will be happy to help.
  • If any of the following applies to you then you will need some specialist guidance
    > If either party to the marriage or civil partnership lives outside England or Wales
    > If your ceremony is to take place outside England or Wales
    > If either party is subject to Immigration Control
    > If you require a ceremony to take place in less than 28 days for critical reasons
    > If you ceremony is to take place in a religious building

Please contact us on 0300 303 2472 or email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk before you do anything else and we will be happy to guide you through the process.  

  • In all other instances, you need to arrange an appointment in the registration district where you live. You may live in different districts and so would attend separately.
  • If you both live in Cumbria, your appointment to give notice of intent would take place in one of our offices within the County.
  • Book an appointment to give notice of intent online
  • If you are unable to use our online system or if any of the following applies to you then you will need some specialist guidance
    > If either party to the marriage or civil partnership lives outside England or Wales
    > If your ceremony is to take place outside England or Wales
    > If either party is subject to Immigration Control
    > If you require a ceremony to take place in less than 28 days for critical reasons
    > If you ceremony is to take place in a religious building

Please contact us on 0300 303 2472 or email us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk before you do anything else and we will be happy to guide you through the process.

  • If you require an urgent ceremony on health or other grounds please refer to the button bar on the right hand side of the screen "Emergency Ceremonies" or contact our team of expert Registration Officers for guidance and support at:
    Email - registrationservice@cumbria.gov.uk
    Telephone - 0300 303 2472

What documents do I need for my appointment?

Giving notice of intent to marry is declaring that you are who you say you are and that you are both legally free to be married to each.  It requires you to provide certain documents and if you forget to bring these to the appointment we cannot proceed so it's really important you bring what you need with you.  The Officer who conducts the interview will make you feel as relaxed as possible and ask you a few questions about you and your partner.  You will both need to provide evidence of your full name, date of birth, nationality, current residence, consent form (if either of you is under 18 years of age), and (if previously married or in a civil partnership) proof of the end of that relationship. 

Please see the prescribed list of documents so you can check what you need to bring with you.

List of Documents required (In all cases)

  • If you are a foreign national subject to immigration control please contact our office for advice before booking any residency.
  • You will need documentation proving the place and duration of your residency along with appropriate documents listed below.

Evidence of Full Name, Date of Birth, and Nationality

Current and valid British, Swiss or EEA passport or Swiss or EEA identity card or:

If you were born in the United Kingdom before 1st January 1983 - your full birth certificate together with one of the following original documents -

  • A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Bank/Building Society statement or passbook with your address on dated no more than 1 month before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Council Tax Bill dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A current residential tenancy agreement.
  • A valid driving licence.

If you were born in the United Kingdom after 1st January 1983 - your full birth certificate together with one of the following original documents -

  • A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Bank/Building Society statement or passbook with your address on dated no more than 1 month before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Council Tax Bill dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A current residential tenancy agreement.
  • A valid driving licence.
  • PLUS evidence of either one of your parents British citizenship or settled status in the UK at the time of your birth (their full birth certificate or passport).  NB - If your parents were married at that time and your mother was not British then we also need to see their marriage certificate. If your parents were not married to each other at the time of your birth, your nationality will be that of your mother, so you must bring her documents.

Evidence of Ending of Previous Marriage/Civil Partnership (if applicable)

One of the following original documents:-

  • Court sealed certified copy of your Decree Absolute or Civil Partnership Absolute. Please note that for documents in a foreign language a translation should also be provided which must be certified, signed, and dated by the translator. 
  • The death certificate of your previous spouse or civil partner.
  • The presumed death certificate of your previous spouse or civil partner.
  • If a divorce/annulment/dissolution was granted outside of the British Isles then it will require consideration by the Local Registration Service or in some instances the General Register Office to establish if the ceremony can proceed.  This will incur a fee.  After consideration, if the ceremony cannot proceed the fees for consideration of the divorce/annulment/dissolution as well as the fees for giving notice of intent for marriage are non-refundable.

Evidence of Consent

If either of you is under the age of 18 years, you will need to produce a fully completed consent form (available from your local Register Office).

Additional Information

Currently their is a Notice Fee for each person and this is non-refundable and this is payable on the day of your notice appointment. Your Certificates for Authority to Marry will be issued a minimum of 28 days after giving your notice (or if you are subject to Immigration Control between 28 and 70 days).

  If any documents are not in English, you will need to obtain a full written translation.

Information regarding Residency Instructions

Additional Fees

Cumbria Registration Service takes the welfare of you and our team very seriously.  We can confirm that safety measures are in place, so are able to offer appointments to register your notice of intent to marry or form a civil partnership

We need your help to make sure we can provide you with the services you need as safely as possible.  Please read the following notes very carefully.

What you need to know or do before the appointment:

  • Do not attend your appointment if you or anyone in your household has COVID or displayed symptoms of COVID in the last 14 days.  In these circumstances, please contact our office
  • Make sure you allow enough time for parking and confirmation of your arrival at our office 
  • Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment time as you may risk crossing with other customers
  • Do not arrive late as we will not be able to see you safely and perform our cleaning and safety checks in time for the next client.  You will need to book a further appointment.
  • Please wear a facemask or face covering to offer protection in public areas.  In your appointment, the officer will have a screen around the desk.  You may also want to wear gloves for your own protection
  • Toilet facilities or baby changing facilities will not be available for public use
  • Our officers will wash or sanitise their hands between each appointment, and we will wipe down desks and chairs before you enter the room and waiting area
  • Please bring your own pen with you to reduce any risk of cross infection.  Blue or black biro is fine
  • Prepare any documents you need to bring with you carefully.

Only those legally required to attend the appointment should come to our office:

  • If both parties are resident in Cumbria and giving notice of intent to marry or form a civil partnership you should both attend the office together
  • We will take you in to our interview room one at a time to limit infection risk
  • No children or babies should attend the appointment with you unless you have no alternative support or childcare 

Arriving and leaving:

  • Follow the signs around the building and listen carefully to any safety instructions given by our officers
  • When you arrive, you will be asked to use hand sanitiser before moving through the building.  We would recommend doing this again as you leave for your personal protection
  • You may be asked to wait in a specific waiting area.  Please do not wander from this area.  Our layout has been carefully planned to keep everyone as safe as possible
  • For the time you are in our building, please observe social distancing at all times of 2 metres
  • When you leave the building the officer will explain how to exit.  Please carefully follow this guidance as there may be a one way flow which means you exit through a different door than when you arrived. 

During the appointment:

  • It is important that the registration is completed accurately.  Take care to have all the correct information and spelling available.  When you come to sign the paperwork, it is your responsibility to make sure you have given the information correctly and that it has been recorded correctly.  If there are any mistakes it may necessitate fresh notices of intent to be undertaken.  This would involve a full appointment and payment of a further fee.
  • Payment is by card only.  We are avoiding cash or cheques at this time
  • The documents we ask you to bring will need attached to a clip board at the appropriate page
  • The Registrar will try not touch these documents. 
  • When we need you to sign the legal paperwork it will be attached to a clip board and passed to you through the screen.