Question: I’m looking to get some advice. Me and my bf are looking to register for marriage in January, but I’d like to get a date in May – are we able to choose specific dates? Also, what’s the process – we go to a registration office and apply, how long is the waiting period usually? And if myself or my bf change our minds after starting the application but before the registration date, can we cancel it?
The Answer from Solicitors online
First of all congratulations to you and your boyfriend. In regards to dates of marriage for getting married at the registry. You will first have to go into your local registry office and give them what is known as “notice of marriage”. This costs £35.00. You can first call them to book an appointment to do this. They will want you to come in with your boyfriend and each bring two proofs of identity such as a passport and driving licence. You also need to both bring proof of address, such as a bank statement, water, gas or electricity bill. You also need to know the venue where you want to get married, you could use the registry office. Once you have given them the venue, you cannot change it, without having to start the process over again.
Once they have approved you and got you to sign some paperwork for notice of marriage, you will then be able to book a date in May. You can choose a specific date. The only requirement is that you have done the notice of marriage process at least 16 days before you intend to get married (All notices of marriage done after the 2nd of March 2015, will have to be done at least 29 days before the date you wish to get married.) You can rearrange the date, but there will be a fee for rearranging the marriage date, which costs £25.00. I would recommend that you just do the “notice of marriage” when you’re ready, and not give the registry a date until you are sure of what date you want.
You will have 12 months from the date of your notice of marriage to actually go through with the marriage without having to start the process again and pay another fee for notice of marriage. You can cancel at any time, and do not have to get married even if you have done the notice of marriage process. Where do you and your boyfriend live? I can get some details about your local registry office for you, if you would like. There are also some other rules that apply if you and your boyfriend are non-EU citizens or not residents in Britain. I can go through them with you, if they apply. Do you have any more questions for me?
Follow up question
Thanks, very useful. So when we apply for the notice of marriage, is that all on the same day? Will they approve it on the same day? I’m a British citizen but my bf is not, he is from Asia. He has been here since 2008, studied a bachelors degree and now working – he is currently on a visa. Does this change anything?
Your notice of marriage application is done all in one day. But once you given notice of marriage, you will have to wait for 16 days for approval under the law. As that 16 day period is for members of the public to come for forward and bring an objection to your proposed marriage. This is to avoid things such as people who are already in a marriage, getting married while that current marriage is still in existence. A notice of your proposed marriage will be put up at the registry office for 16 days. Once the 16 days is up you will have to go back to the registry to collect your certificate of authority to get married. This is documentation that shows that you are legally allowed to get married to one another, and have completed your notice of marriage.
You may need to show your certificate of authority to the owners of a religious venue such as Church where you wish to get married. Before they can allow your marriage to take place in their venue. Your boyfriend’s position is fine. As long as he has an up to date visa and currently lives here. I would recommend that he brings evidence of his visa to the registrar on the day of your appointment for your notice of marriage application. Do you have any more questions that I can help you with?
Follow up question
Perfect thanks. And just to confirm, the ‘Certificate of authority to get married’ is just the ability to marry, but not actually a marriage registration? So after the 16 days, we get this certificate but we aren’t yet actually married? Thanks again, just wanted to double check 🙂
Yes “Certificate of authority” is just legal permission to get married, not actual marriage registration. After the 16 days you are not legally married, you just have legal permission to get married. I hope your marriage plans work out well for you, and best of luck in the future.
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