The Civil Partnership Act 2004
came into effect on 5th December 2005. Details of the Legal Requirements for Registering a Civil Partnership, together with information about ceremonies, are included on this page.
What is a civil partnership?
The Civil Partnership Act came into force on 5th December 2005 enabling same-sex couples to gain legal recognition for their relationships as “Civil Partners”.
A Civil Partnership Registration is legally binding and enables same-sex couples to be treated equally, alongside couples who enter into marriage, in a wide range of legal matters from pension and maintenance rights, to child support and recognition under intestacy rules.
Who can register a civil partnership?
A couple wishing to register a Civil Partnership must be of the same sex. Heterosexual couples may not register a Civil Partnership.
In order to register a civil partnership in the UK, the couple must:
- both be of the same sex
- not already be in a Civil Partnership or Marriage
- be 16 years of age or older
- not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship
In England and Wales individuals who are aged 16 and 17 years of age will have to obtain the written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before registering a Civil Partnership.
The legal preliminaries to civil partnership in England and Wales
Before you can form a Civil Partnership in England and Wales, you must first give notice of your intention to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which you live. The notice of Civil Partnership is a legal document and valid for one year.
Both parties must have lived in a Registration District within England and Wales for at least seven days before the giving of a legal notice. If you both live in the same district you will each be required to attend in person at your local register office to give legal notice to the Superintendent Registrar.
Your legal notice must be given personally and independently.
If you live in different districts, then each of you will need to give legal notice in your own Registration district.
After you have give your legal notice, you must then wait a further 28 clear days before you can form a Civil Partnership. The waiting period is an essential part of the law and everyone is expected to comply with it.
There is a statutory fee to enter legal notice payable at the time the notice is given, either by cash, cheque or debit/credit card. You will be asked to pay the ceremony fee in advance at this time also. If you decide to pay by cheque, we are required to see a cheque guarantee card.
Conversion of civil partner
Due to recent legislative changes, Civil partners can now convert their civil partnership into marriage. For more information, call 01443 494024.
Where can a civil partnership registration take place?
When you give Legal Notice, you will be asked to state where you wish your Civil Partnership registration to take place. A Civil Partnership is formed when you both sign the relevant schedule in the presence of a Civil Partnership registrar and two witnesses.
The Civil Partnership comes into being once the second civil partner and both witnesses have signed the schedule. This is the action that forms the couple’s legal union.
You can if you wish arrange a Civil Partnership Ceremony to take place at the time of the Registration, but the Civil Partnership Act does not require a ceremony as part of the registration process.
Civil Partnership ceremonies
We offer a wide choice of Civil Partnership ceremony formats, form a simple informal ceremony with just a few witnesses, to more formal ceremonies with attendants and guests.
Whatever kind of ceremony you wish to have, our dedicated team will help you plan it to make it a happy and memorable occasion.
If you wish to have your ceremony at one of the lovely rooms on offer in the Register Office, please contact us and we will work with you to arrange the event.
If you wish to have your ceremony at an approved premises, please contact the chosen venue first to secure available dates but please do not book until you have spoken to us first, to ensure a registrar is available to attend your chosen venue on the chosen date.
Once you have provisionally booked the date and time with the venue and the Superintendent Registrar you will need to make an appointment to give legal notice of your intention to enter into a Civil Partnership, to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live.
Once legal notice has been entered, you will receive written confirmation of your booking assuring you of our attendance at your ceremony. In this confirmation we will ask you to arrange an appointment approximately six weeks prior to the ceremony to discuss the format and content of your ceremony and to pay our attendance fees.
On the day of the ceremony guests should be asked to arrive at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Couples are asked to be on time as Registrar's often have to attend other ceremonies on a tight schedule.
Find out more about the venues in which you can enjoy your Civil Partnership, including the rooms for hire at the Register Office and our approved premises, on the Ceremony Venues page.
Civil partnership in a church or other religious building
Couples wishing for Civil Partnership registrations to take place in religious buildings can arrange this in the first instance with the Register Office, please contact us for more information.
What is the cost of a Civil Partnership Ceremony at Pontypridd Register Office?
There are four separate parts to pay:
Booking Fee - This small non-refundable fee is a separate charge to secure your favoured date and time in advance of your ceremony.
Notice of Civil Partnership - This fee is paid to the Superintendent Registrar when you give your legal notice in the district where you live. It cannot be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled after legal notice has been entered.
Ceremony Fee- This fee is for the attendance of the Civil Partnership Registrar at your ceremony and is required in advance at the time of the notice. This fee can be refunded if the ceremony is cancelled as long as notice of cancellation is received in writing at least one month prior to the proposed ceremony.
Certificate Fee - You may require a legal certificate of your Civil Partnership for legal or evidential purposes. You may purchase as many as you wish on the day of your ceremony but they cannot be issued on the day as they must be recorded onto the central compurtorised register as soon as is practicable. They will be sent on to you by post on the next working day. However, a Commemorative Certificate to mark the occasion may be issued at an extra fee.
Notice of Civil Partnership and Certificate fees are set by Statute. Other fees are set by the Local Authority. All fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.
Making a Provisional Booking
A notice of Civil Partnership is valid for one year, but it is always advisable to make a booking as soon as you can. This applies whether your ceremony is to be held at the Register Office or in one of our Approved Premises.
Most venues within the district run a provisional booking system. This allows you to book your ceremony further ahead enabling couples to make all the necessary arrangements in good time.
A provisional booking should be made in writing to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you intend to hold your ceremony. Your legal notice of Civil Partnership must then be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you live, within one year of the date of the ceremony regardless of where within England and Wales the Civil Partnership is to take place.
Please note: Rhondda Cynon Taf now charge a non-refundable booking fee at the time of the booking to provisionally secure the date and time of your ceremony.
Further information/advice is available from the following websites:
If you would like to make a provisional booking for a ceremony please contact your local register office:
District Register Office,
Tel: 01443 494024
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