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Civil partnerships

If you are a same-sex couple, you can register your partnership under the Civil Partnership Act or alternatively, you may get married.


To form a civil partnership couples must be of the same sex, aged 18 years or over on the date of application (or able to provide consent if aged 16 to 18), not already married or in a civil partnership, and not closely related to one another.

Legal preliminaries

You must give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership in the local authority area where you reside.

If you and your partner live in different local authority areas, you will have to give notice in each area.


The fees payable are detailed on our fees page.


If you wish, you can register your partnership without a ceremony. A ceremony is not a requirement of the legal process of forming a civil partnership. However, we would be delighted to offer you a ceremony to accompany and enhance the formation.

Step-by-step civil partnership booking guide

Partnerships can be formed between the hours of 8am and 6pm (not before 8am or after 6pm), Monday to Sunday and Bank Holidays.

  1. You should first choose the venue where you would like the partnership ceremony to take place and make a provisional booking. If you choose one of the approved licensed premises, you must also check that a registrar will be available from the local registration office.

  2. The next step is to arrange to complete the legal notices of partnership in the registration authority where you have been resident for the previous 7 days. If you live in Derbyshire, you should contact one of the main registration offices to make an appointment. If you live outside Derbyshire, please contact your local register office. Both parties have to give notice, in person. 

  3. When giving notice you will have to produce evidence of identity and nationality, ideally a passport, proof of residence in the form of a utility bill or other official document which shows your home address, and evidence of how any previous marriage or civil partnership ended, such as a decree absolute.   

  4. The notices will be displayed for 15 days and are valid for 12 months. 

  5. Once the notices have been displayed, the partnership formation (and ceremony, if required) can take place at the place specified on the notices. If you change the venue, fresh notices will have to be given.

  6. The formation of a civil partnership takes place when the couple sign the civil partnership schedule in the presence of two witnesses and the registrar. Although it is not a legal requirement to hold a ceremony as part of the partnership formation, couples who want to do so will be given the opportunity to personalise the ceremony. More details will be available from your local register office.

Foreign nationals

There are special procedures when either partner is a non-European Economic Area (EEA) national who is subject to immigration control.

For advice please contact your local register office or additional information on this process can be obtained from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in the Home Office.

They can be contacted on 0870 606 7766 or via their website, a link to which is in the related links section on this page.