Marriage and civil partnership

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – marriages and civil partnerships

Thurrock Register Office is open for pre-booked appointments only. You must not come to the Register Office if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). All visitors must follow government social distancing guidance and safety requests from staff.

Under national restrictions, marriages and civil partnerships will be able to take place as follows:

  • from 12 April – legal limit of 15 attendees
  • no earlier than 17 May – legal limit of 30 attendees
  • no earlier than 21 June – potentially no legal limit on attendees, subject to further research

These dates are still dependent on the government's final decision, based on four tests in its GOV.UK: roadmap out of lockdown.

Entering notice of marriage or civil partnership

For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 28 full days' notice at your local register office. Your notice will be displayed publicly in the register office for 28 days.

You can only give notice at a register office if you have lived in the registration district for at least the past 7 days.

Arranging your appointment

A non-refundable fee of £35 each must be paid by debit or credit card when booking.

Register Office appointments – notice of marriage

Register Office appointments – notice of civil partnership

You should give at least 24-hours written notice if you need to cancel or change your appointment – an administration fee is payable. We will charge the full fee for:

  • failure to attend
  • cancelling or changing your appointment date with less than 24-hours notice

Documents you need to take to the register office

When you go to the register office you need to take proof of:

  • your name
  • age
  • nationality
  • address

If you've been married or in a civil partnership before and are divorced or widows, you need to take either:

  • a decree absolute
  • a civil partnership dissolution
  • a divorce or dissolution document from outside of the British Isles, with an independent English translation – you must pay a fee at the time of your appointment
  • the death certificate of your former partner, with an independent English translation if necessary

The registrar will check overseas divorce documents. In some cases, the documents may have to be sent to the General Register Office for authorisation.

For a full list of documents you can take, go to GOV.UK: documents you need to take to the register office.

If either of you are aged under 18 we will need to see proof that your parents or guardian agree to the marriage. A consent form can be obtained from any register office.

Immigration control

Restrictions may apply if either person wishing to marry is subject to immigration control. A person will be subject to immigration control if they are not an European Economic Area (EEA) national and they need permission to enter or remain in the UK.

All non-EEA nationals will be referred to the Home Office if they are without either:

  • settled status
  • a marriage or civil partnership visa
  • evidence of immigration status

Those referred to the Home Office may have the waiting period extended from 28 days to 70 days if their case is still being considered.

You and your partner must give at least 28 days notice at a designated register office if both the following apply to either of you are:

  • from outside the EEA or Switzerland
  • subject to immigration control

Go to GOV.UK: marriages and civil partnerships for foreign national in the UK, or contact GOV.UK: UK Visa and Immigration if you have questions about immigration matters.

Attending your appointment

When attending your appointment you should bring your documents, and confirmation of where your ceremony is taking place.

You must bring original documents – photocopies will not be accepted.

Failure to produce these documents on the day of your appointment may mean your notice will not be taken, which could affect the date of your ceremony.