The Civil Partnership Act 2004 introduced a new legal relationship for same-sex couples wishing to make a formal, lifelong commitment to each other.
You can now give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership with Lambeth Register Office and look forward to celebrating the formation of your partnership in style.
We will be able to guide you through the legal requirements to ensure that your partnership is within the law. If you choose to have a ceremony we can help to make it special, whether you want to use the facilities at the Register Office or at one of Lambeth’s other approved venues.
The first ceremonies took place on 21 December 2005.
Making a booking
You must first contact the district or venue where you wish to form your civil partnership and make a provisional booking for your chosen date.
After this you should then give a notice of your intention to form a civil partnership in the district in which you live.
A notice is valid for one year, but it is advisable to make a booking as soon as you can, particularly if you intend to have a ceremony in one of our approved premises, although it is not necessary to have a ceremony if you don't wish to do so.
Legal preliminaries to forming a civil partnership
You may form a civil partnership at any Register Office or Approved Premises of your choice in England and Wales.
Legal notice to form a civil partnership
To give your notice of intention to register your civil partnership, you must have lived in the Lambeth district for seven full days before the notice is given. The notice can only be given on the eighth day. If one or both of you live elsewhere, you will need to give notice in person at the Register Office in the district where you live.
For example, if you have just moved in to a property or arrived into the country on Wednesday 1 June, your seven days only starts on Thursday 2 June. Your seven days will be complete on 8 June and you will give your notice on 9 June. If you live in Lambeth and you are not subject to immigration control, you will be giving your notice here.
The couple must be of the same sex, over 18 (or provide evidence of consent if over 16), not related to each other within the prohibited degrees of relationship and not in an existing marriage or civil partnership.
You must have decided on the venue for your ceremony before you attend to give your notice.
If one or both of you are non-EU citizens then you will each need to give notice to the Superintendent Registrar of a designated Register Office.
After giving your notice
You have now had your interview with the Superintendent Registrar and given your notice. Your notice will be displayed for 15 clear days in a folder where members of the general public can view. This is a legal requirement.
After 15 clear days have elapsed, Lambeth Register Office will issue certificates of authority which are required for a legal civil partnership. You will need one certificate each. For example, if you both give notice on 9 June, the earliest date you can form a civil partnership is 25 June.
Make an appointment
You will need to make an appointment to give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership.
We offer appointments Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3.30pm. Please note that the Register Office is closed on the first Wednesday of every month until 1pm.
Please call us on 020 7926 9420 to make an appointment.
The statutory fee for giving notice is £35 per person which is payable on the day the notice is given.
Documents you need to show us
Please bring with you:
- evidence of nationality (a passport is ideal)
- proof of your address
- evidence of the termination of your previous marriage or civil partnership if applicable.
For more information on the documents you need see marriage - arrangement and ceremony.
Your civil partnership ceremony
A civil partnership is formed when the couple have signed before a partnership registrar and two witnesses. There is no requirement for a ceremony as part of the legal process, but at Lambeth we will be more than happy to offer a ceremony if required.
You may wish to exchange vows or enhance your ceremony with readings or music. The Superintendent Registrar will be happy to discuss what you want and will consider any requests you might have to make your day more memorable.
If you wish to obtain copies of a certificate for a civil partnership that was registered in Lambeth you can apply by post, by telephone, or in person.
You can get more information on civil partnerships from the General Register Office and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Who to contact
Any member of the Register Office team will be happy to help you.
Lambeth Register Office
Lambeth Town Hall
Phone: 020 7926 9420