What Documents Do You Need to Get Married in the UK?

June 11, 2023

Getting married is an exciting and memorable event in anyone's life. However, it also involves a certain amount of paperwork to ensure that everything is legal and above board. In the United Kingdom, there are specific documents that you need to have in order to get married. This article will provide you with a comprehensive list of those documents, as well as information on how to change your name through deed poll after getting married.

Essential Documents for Getting Married in the UK

Before you can tie the knot in the UK, you need to provide various documents as proof of your identity and eligibility to marry. Here is a list of necessary documents:

Proof of identity

Both parties must present valid identification, such as a passport, birth certificate, or driving license. If you were born outside the UK, you may also need to provide additional documents like your immigration status or entry visa. It's essential to ensure that your identification is up-to-date and has not expired, as this could cause delays or complications when giving notice or registering the marriage.

Proof of address

You'll need to provide a recent utility bill, bank statement, or council tax bill dated within the last three months as proof of your current address. Some register offices may accept other forms of address verification, so it's wise to check with your local office if you're unsure whether your document will be accepted.

Divorce or annulment papers (if applicable)

If either party has been previously married and divorced, you must provide the decree absolute or final order. If your previous marriage was annulled, you'll need to present the annulment certificate. Be prepared to explain the circumstances surrounding the divorce or annulment, as registrars may ask for additional information to ensure that you are free to marry your partner.

Death certificate (if applicable)

If you're a widow or widower, you'll need to provide the death certificate of your late spouse. This is to confirm that you are no longer legally bound to another individual and are free to remarry.

Parental consent (if under 18)

If either party is aged 16 or 17, you'll need written consent from your parents or guardians to get married. In England and Wales, this is usually in the form of a "Consent to Marriage" form, while in Scotland, it's called a "Marriage Notice Application" form. It's essential to obtain this consent well in advance of your planned wedding date to avoid any delays or complications.

Notice of marriage or civil partnership

Both parties must give notice at their local register office, usually at least 28 days before the wedding. This notice is valid for one year. In Scotland, you need to submit a "Marriage Notice" form to the registrar no later than 29 days before your wedding date. Giving notice is a crucial step, as it allows the register office to verify your eligibility to marry and provides an opportunity for objections to be raised if there are any legal impediments to your union.

Marriage or civil partnership certificate

After the ceremony, you'll receive a marriage or civil partnership certificate, which serves as proof of your legal union. It's essential to keep this document safe, as you may need to present it when updating your personal records or applying for certain benefits.

What documents do you need if one partner is not from the UK?

If one of the partners is not a UK citizen, they must provide proof of their immigration status or entry visa in addition to all the other documents mentioned above. They may also need to prove that they have been living in the country legally for a certain amount of time before being allowed to get married. This depends on their nationality and current residence status. It's best to check with your local register office for more details on what documents are necessary in this case.

Finally, both parties should also be prepared to provide evidence of parental consent if they are aged under 18 and not legally emancipated. This is essential in order to fulfill the legal requirements for getting married or entering into a civil partnership.

Changing Your Name Through Deed Poll After Getting Married

After getting married, you may wish to change your last name to match that of your spouse or create a double-barrelled surname. While you can use your marriage certificate to change your name on most official documents such as your passport and driving license, some organizations may require a deed poll as proof of your name change.

A deed poll is a legal document that confirms your change of name. To change your name through deed poll after getting married, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the deed poll document: You can either use a solicitor to draft the deed poll, or you can create one yourself using a template available online. Ensure that the document contains your old name, your new name, your address, and the date of the name change. It's important to double-check the accuracy of the information provided, as errors could cause delays or complications when updating your records.

2. Sign and witness the deed poll: Sign the deed poll in both your old and new names, and have it witnessed by two adults who are not related to you and do not live at the same address. They must also sign the document and provide their names, addresses, and occupations. Choosing reliable and trustworthy witnesses is vital, as they may be called upon to verify the authenticity of the deed poll if any issues arise.

3. Notify relevant organizations: After obtaining the signed deed poll, you'll need to inform various organizations of your name change, and civil partnerships such as your bank, employer, and the DVLA. Provide them with a copy of the deed poll as proof of your new name. It's essential to update your records promptly to avoid confusion or complications related to your identity.

4. Update your identification documents: Finally, update your passport, driving license, and other identification documents to reflect your new name. You may need to provide a certified copy of your deed poll, along with your marriage certificate, as evidence of your name change. Be prepared to pay any fees associated with updating your documents, and allow sufficient time for processing and delivery of your new identification.

In conclusion, getting married in the UK requires several essential documents, including proof of identity, address, and eligibility to marry. Once you're married, if you wish to change your name, you can do so through deed poll. By following the steps outlined above and being organized and thorough in your preparations, you'll be well on your way to legally tying the knot and starting your new life together.

How Do I Change My Name?


Ready to Change Your Name?

The UK Deed Poll Office is not a government agency. Our function is purely as a document provider for the self-declaration of an unenrolled deed poll. We are here to assist in your name change journey, as we have done for over 100,000 UK residents.


Join the thousands who have trusted the UK Deed Poll Office to help change their name. Fill out our fast, simple, and affordable online application to receive your Deed Poll in no time!
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