Registering your civil partnership

Registering your civil partnership

Finding your local registration authority

You can find the details of your local registration authority online:

  • In England & Wales, by visiting the GOV.UK website and following the on-screen instructions
  • In Northern Ireland, by contacting the local council for that area or by visiting the nidirect website
  • In Scotland, by contacting the local council for that area or by visiting the National Records of Scotland website

Alternatively, addresses and phone numbers for local registration authorities can also be found in the local area phone book.

Where can you register a civil partnership?

A civil partnership can be registered at a registrar's office or at any venue that has been approved for the registration of civil partnerships. All places that hold approval for civil marriages are automatically approved to register civil partnerships. Approved premises include stately homes and other prestigious buildings, hotels and restaurants. Since 1 July 2021, it's possible to have all elements of the ceremony conducted outdoors at these venues (previously, they had to take place indoors).

In order to register a civil partnership you must first give notice (see our section titled 'Giving notice'). Part of this process is to provide the details of where you intend to register your civil partnership.

Including a ceremony in the registration process

You will have the opportunity to say a set form of words before you sign the schedule. You will need to bring with you at least two other people who are prepared to witness the registration and sign the civil partnership schedule.

Civil partnership registration is an entirely secular process, and the Civil Partnership Act prevents any religious service from taking place during the registration of a civil partnership.

The Civil Partnership Act does not provide for a ceremony. Couples who wish to arrange for one at the time of registration should discuss this with the registration authority or the district registrar where the registration will be taking place when the initial arrangements are made.

Costs of registering a civil partnership

Costs of giving notice, registering a civil partnership and obtaining a certificate or extract of the registration vary depending on where you are registering.

For Scotland see:

For Northern Ireland see:

For England and Wales see:

Registering a civil partnership in Wales

You can register a civil partnership in Welsh and English if you and your partner, your two witnesses and the person recording the registration are able to write and understand Welsh. You don't have to have given notice in both languages.

Registering a civil partnership abroad

If you have any general enquiries about registering a civil partnership abroad, you should contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country concerned. It is possible you will be asked to obtain a certificate of no impediment. This is a document required by some foreign authorities to enable a British national to register a civil partnership in their country and, under certain circumstances, it can be provided by your registration authority. If you are asked to provide one, you should contact your registration authority.

If you have been asked to provide an Apostille – which is simply formal confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine – see Get a document legalised.

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