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Civil partnerships

4. Converting a civil partnership into a marriage

Couples who have formed a civil partnership are now able to convert their partnership to a marriage.

There is no obligation to convert your partnership to a marriage. This is purely a personal choice.  

How to convert your civil partnership

This can be done in one or two stages, depending on whether you want a simple, one-stage conversion or a two-stage process.

One-stage conversion

a)    You will need to make an appointment to attend a Register Office and make a declaration. For your appointment, you will need to bring the following documents, which must be originals, not photocopies:

  • Your civil partnership certificate
  • Proof of name and date of birth:
    Passports should be used, but we can accept two other documents, one of which should be a birth certificate together with another document such as a driving licence.
  • Proof of address:
    A council tax bill, utility bill or bank statement dated within the past three months
  • If you have changed your name:
    Deed poll documents if appropriate

b)    You will then sign a declaration in the office to confirm that you have not dissolved your civil partnership and you both wish to convert your partnership into a marriage. The conversion will be registered and you will be offered marriage certificates for a small fee.

Two-stage conversion

You will need to make a declaration as in a) above.  You then have the option of signing your declaration separately in one of our ceremony rooms or at a licensed venue. If you wish, the signing can be followed by a ceremony.  The Ceremonies paragraph below gives more details.

Register Offices

You can go to any Register Office in England or Wales, it doesn’t need to be near to where you live or the one where your civil partnership was registered. In Buckinghamshire, you will need to attend  Buckinghamshire Register Office in Aylesbury or Beaconsfield Old Town Registration Office. For legal reasons, Civil Partnership conversions cannot take place in the ceremony rooms at our Register Offices, nor in other licensed venues.

Civil partnership conversions are held by appointment only and can be booked between 10.00 and 15.00 Monday - Friday.

Ceremonies

It is not necessary to have a ceremony, however, we understand that you may wish to mark this as a special point in your relationship.  

After the declaration has been made in a Register Office, couples have the choice of completing the conversion in front of family and friends. This can take place in one of our ceremony rooms at our Aylesbury or Beaconsfield Old Town offices or at one of our licensed venues.

This is a non-statutory or celebratory ceremony and it will be led by a registrar. You will be able to make vows to each other, choose music and tailor the ceremony to your requirements.

Fees for ceremonies can be found in the Celebratory Ceremonies section of our fees page.

Cost

Costs for certificates and celebratory ceremonies are detailed on our fees page.

Civil partnerships formed abroad

Only civil partnerships formed in England and Wales, a British consulate or a Ministry of Defence site can be converted to a marriage.  We cannot convert civil partnerships formed in other countries.

Call us for information or to book an appointment

We are happy to answer your questions and accept provisional bookings now.  Please call us on 01296 382481 or 01494 475092.  Our offices are open Monday to Friday 9 to 4.30pm

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Last updated: 16 January 2017

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