Documents we need to see

When giving your notice of marriage you are required to show certain documents as proof of identity, age, address and marital status.

The following list shows what is acceptable for your notice.

  1. A valid passport is required as proof of identity, age and nationality.
  2. A full birth certificate showing parents' names is acceptable if you do not have a passport. However, if you were born on 1 January 1983 or afterwards, you will also need to show your parents' birth certificates.
  3. Proof of address - this should be a utility bill dated within three months, driving licence or most recent council tax bill.  
  4. If you are divorced you will need the decree absolute which is the final paper from your divorce. We only accept original stamped copies from the court - a photocopy is not acceptable. If you have reverted back to a previous name since your divorce, you will need to provide a certified copy of the marriage certificate to link it with the divorce document.

Divorces that occurred outside the United Kingdom

If you were divorced in a foreign country, we will need to see the original document issued by that country and an English translation. All foreign divorce documents need to be checked thoroughly and from 1 November 2017 you are now required to pay a fee. This has been introduced by the General Register Office. This fee will be paid when you attend your appointment to give notice. The fee is none refundable, and is payable at the commencement of your appointment. You may be asked to provide subsequent documents following this check – however, there is no provision for a refund of this fee.   

The fees are £50 for consideration of a foreign divorce document by the Superintendent Registrar. This is dependent on the country. 

For consideration of a foreign divorce document by the General Register Office, the fee is £75. A photocopy of your original document will be photocopied and posted to the General Register Office during your notice appointment. Please note until the General Register Office confirms the document is acceptable you will not be able to have your legal ceremony.


If you are a widow or widower we will need to see a certified copy of your former spouse's death certificate and your marriage certificate.

Change of name

If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration we will need to see those documents. Please note that unless your deed poll has been registered with the Central Office of the Supreme Courts of Deeds at the Royal Courts of Justice you will be advised to register your previous name in addition to your current name on the marriage certificate.

If you are under 18

If either of you is under 18, we will need to see proof that your parents or guardian agree to the marriage. If your parents are divorced we may also need to see the court order that gives custody to one of them.

Marriages abroad

If you have been married in a foreign country, you only need to get married here if you think that marriage was not legal. If you decide to get married here we will need to see any documents issued by that country when you give us notice of your marriage.

If you have any problems producing these documents please contact the Register Office.

Rate this page