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The following systems will be unavailable from 2.00pm on Thursday 29 February until 7.30am on Tuesday 5 March: our online Council Tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Due to the amount of previously postponed weddings which are now taking place we are extremely busy at the moment. It may take longer than usual for us to respond to you but please bear with us.

Give your notice of marriage or civil partnership

Before you can marry or form a civil partnership there are certain formalities that are required by law. You need to make an appointment for both partners to attend the register office so you can inform them of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership.

Giving notice

'Giving notice' is a legal procedure by which you declare your freedom to marry or enter a civil partnership. Giving notice requires your signature and therefore cannot be done by a friend or relative. Formal notice of marriage must be given to the superintendent registrar in the area where you live regardless of where your marriage or civil partnership is to take place. You can give your notice at Aykley Heads House register office or Bishop Auckland register office.

Documents you need to provide

When you give your notice of intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership, the registrar will ask questions about you and your partner. They will ask you to give your full names, occupations, ages, addresses, nationalities and whether you have been married or been in a civil partnership before.

The registrar will also ask you to provide written evidence of your full name, age and proof of current address.

Proof of identity

  • A valid passport or full birth certificate showing parents' details, if you were born after 1983 and don't hold a valid EU passport you will also need to bring your mother's full birth certificate
  • Any deed poll or name change document

Proof of current address

  • a valid photo ID driving licence
  • a council tax bill (dated within a year)
  • a utility bill (dated within three months)
  • a bank statement (dated within one month)
  • a letter signed by someone able to confirm your residence

If you've been in a marriage or civil partnership before

If you have been in a previous marriage or civil partnership before, you will need to bring documentary evidence to show that the marriage or civil partnership has ended and that you are now free to marry or enter into a civil partnership:

  • a decree absolute (following divorce)
  • a dissolution certificate (from a previous civil partnership)
  • a death certificate (if your husband/wife or former civil partner has died)

Please note: original documents are needed, photocopies are not acceptable.

All divorce and dissolution documents must have the original stamp of the issuing court. Some overseas documents may have to be referred to the General Register Office for clearance (with a certified translation, if appropriate).

If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to bring proof of your parents' or guardians' consent and they will need to fill in a form, which will be supplied by the registrar.

Foreign divorce document

From 1 November 2017 all divorce/civil partnership dissolution documents obtained outside the British Isles produced at the notice of marriage will incur a fee of either £50 or £75 in addition to the standard fee.

Contact us
Registration Service
03000 266 000