Marriages and civil partnerships

Civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples

Opposite-sex couples may now give notice of their intention to form a civil partnership – opposite-sex civil partnership registrations can take place from 31 December 2019 onwards.

Civil partnership registration

Civil partnerships enable same-sex couples – and, from 31 December 2019, opposite-sex couples – to obtain legal recognition of their relationship.

Couples who form a civil partnership have the legal status of 'civil partner'.

To form a civil partnership, a couple must first enter notice of their intention to register. Before entering notice each of the couple will need to have a 7-day residential qualification and give notice in the area where they live prior to the formation of their civil partnership.

To enter into a civil partnership, the couple must:

  • be over 18 years-old, or provide evidence of consent if over 16 years-old
  • not be related to each other within the prohibited degrees of relationship
  • not be in an existing marriage or civil partnership

There will be a 28-day waiting period once notice of intention to register has been given, before the formation can take place.

A civil partnership can be formed either in a register office or at an approved licensed venue of choice.

The civil partnership will be formed once the couple have signed in the presence of a registration officer and 2 witnesses.

There is no legal requirement for a ceremony, but we will be happy to offer a ceremony if you would like one.

There are procedures in place to reduce the 28-day waiting period where there are compelling reasons to do so, or for a formation to take place at the residence of someone who is housebound, detained or seriously ill and not expected to recover.

Fees apply for giving the notice of intention to register, and for the formation of a civil partnership in the Register Office. Fees for registration at an approved venue are the same as for marriage. There is also a charge for certificates applied for on, or after, the day of the registration.

Contact us for more information.

Thurrock Register Office
Thameside Complex, Orsett Road, Grays, RM17 5DX



  • 01375 372 822 – birth or death registration
  • 01375 375 245 – marriages or civil partnerships

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – all services
  • Saturday morning – ceremonies only

Our emergency out-of-hours contact service can be used for:

  • emergency death registrations for timely burials in line with religious or cultural practices
  • emergency marriages or civil partnerships for terminally ill residents.