Civil Partnerships

Registering a civil partnership in Scotland

By law both parties to a proposed civil partnership are required to submit notice forms to the registrar of the district in which the civil partnership is to take place informing him of their intention to register a civil partnership.

Forms for giving notice can be obtained from any registrar of births etc. in Scotland or from the National Records of Scotland Website at www.nrscotland.gov.uk

Notice must be given in the three-month period prior to the date of the intended civil partnership and not later than 29 days before that date.

How do I make an appointment?

Call our Customer Services on 0300 123 4510 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or call into any of our community hubs to arrange your appointment. If you need to change or cancel your appointment please contact us as soon as possible.

Who can register a civil partnership in Scotland?

Any two persons, regardless of where they live, can register a civil partnership in Scotland, provided that:

  • both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day they wish to register their civil partnership
  • they are not related to one another in a way which would prevent their registering their civil partnership
  • each is unmarried or not already registered as a civil partner (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership registration has been ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissolution)
  • they are of the same sex
  • they are capable of understanding the nature of a civil partnership and of validly consenting to its formation.

Where to register a civil partnership

A civil partnership may be registered by a district registrar or an assistant registrar or a religious or belief celebrant who has who has been authorised by the Registrar General for that purpose or whose religious or belief body has been prescribed in regulations under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

The registration of a civil partnership by a district registrar or an assistant registrar may take place either in a registration office or in a place that the local authority agrees to. Therefore, it is important that you should contact as early as possible the registrar for the registration district in which you want to register your civil partnership. 

The registration of a civil partnership by a religious or belief celebrant may take place anywhere agreed between the celebrant and the couple.

How and when to give notice

You can each obtain a civil partnership notice form, and information about fees, from any registrar of births etc. in Scotland or from the National Records of Scotland Website at www.nrscotland.gov.uk 

Each of you must complete and submit a civil partnership notice, along with the required documents (see below) and the appropriate fee, to the registrar for the district in which the civil partnership is to be registered.

The notices must be submitted early enough to enable the registrar to satisfy themself that you are free to register a civil partnership. Normally notices should be submitted about ten to twelve weeks beforehand. The minimum period is 29 days before the date of the proposed civil partnership registration, but if you leave things as late as this you could be faced with the need to postpone your civil partnership registration.

Only in exceptional circumstances will the Registrar General authorise a civil partnership registration to take place if 29 days' notice has not been given.

Documents required

When giving or sending the civil partnership notice forms to the registrar each of you must supply the following:

  • your birth certificate, if you are adopted, your adoption certificate
  • evidence of your usual residence
  • if you have been married or in a registered civil partnership before and the marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled, a decree of divorce or dissolution or annulment or a certified copy decree. A decree of divorce or dissolution granted outwith Scotland must be absolute or final – a decree nisi is not acceptable.
  • A passport or other document to provide evidence of nationality.
  • if your spouse or civil partner is deceased, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.
  • if any of these documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation in English must also be provided.

Do not delay giving notice simply because you are waiting for any of the above documents mentioned above to come to hand.

If time is getting short it is better to give notice first and then pass the documents to the registrar when they become available; but they must be made available to the registrar before the civil partnership registration.

Provided the documents are in order the civil partnership registration may proceed as arranged.

Changing a Civil Partnership into a Marriage

Are you subject to immigration controls?

If you are subject to Immigration Controls you will have to provide extra documentation to that outlined above. In particular, you will need to provide a Declaration of Immigration Status form which can be obtained from the registrar or the NRS website. Evidence to support the statement you make on the Declaration of Immigration Status form will also be required. If you are in any doubt about what is required, or if you need further information, you should consult the registrar or contact NRS.

If you are just visiting Scotland to change your civil partnership registered in Scotland to a marriage, you do not need entry clearance but will need to provide evidence to show that you are in an existing civil partnership when you enter the UK.

If you have any questions, contact the Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration Contact Centre (Tel no:  0300 123 2241).

Registrars have a statutory duty to report any marriage they suspect has been registered for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.