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Booking an appointment to give notice to marry or form a civil partnership

How to book your appointment and what else you need to do.

Give notice to marry or form a civil partnership is now open for appointments

You can make an appointment to give notice by using our online booking form or call us on 020 8690 2128.

We understand that many people have been waiting a long time to register their notice of intention and we appreciate the patience of all those affected.

There is currently a high demand for notice appointments.

Therefore please be considerate when booking a notice appointment and only book an appointment date if your ceremony is due to take place within the next 3-6 months.

You must give at least 28 days’ notice before your ceremony (this can be extended 70 days by the Home Office if you are subject to immigration control).

If you feel you have exceptional circumstances requiring an urgent ceremony where one of those entering into the marriage or civil partnership is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery, please email us at register.office@lewisham.gov.uk and provide evidence of this.

Marriage and civil partnership law requires an in-person, face-to-face interview with a registrar to give notice, and so notice cannot be given by proxy, in writing, by video call, online or by any other method.

If you or your partner are from outside the UK

From 1 July 2021, the Home Office Referral Scheme will affect where and how EEA and non-EEA citizens give notice of intention to marry or enter civil partnership. EEA refers to people from countries of the European Economic Area plus Switzerland.

  • EEA citizens who do not have settled or pre-settled status will be in the scope of the referral scheme. This means there will be an additional Home Office statutory referral fee of £24. Civil preliminaries require a minimum notice period of 29 days and this may be extended to a maximum of 71 days if the Home Office wish to investigate the proposed marriage or civil partnership.
  • All register offices in England and Wales will become Designated Register Offices. This means that for the purpose of giving notice, a couple who are within the remit of the referral scheme will be required to give notice together in the district where one or both of them reside.
  • If you are a non-EEA citizen and you hold (pre-)settled status and you are marrying or forming a civil partnership with another party who is not in the scope of the Home Office Referral Scheme, you will be subject to a maximum notice waiting period of 29 days.
  • During your appointment, you must show evidence of your settled or pre-settled status. The six-digit code can be requested on the GOV.UK website
  • If you are an EEA or non-EEA citizen and you are unable to confirm your settled or pre-settled status during your appointment, you will be subject to the Home Office Referral Scheme. 

How to book an appointment

You can book an appointment to give notice using our online booking form. Please take time to read our terms and conditions before you complete the form.

If you receive a System Error message, choose another appointment date. This is due to the high number of notice bookings.

If either of you are from outside the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, appointments will be available on a Wednesday only.

Fees

Before you attend your appointment you will be expected to pay a non-refundable booking fee.

  • £35 per partner for British and EEA nationals
  • £47 per partner for foreign nationals, where one or both partners are subject to immigration control.

Payment

You will need to pay a booking fee when you book your appointment, which will become a notice fee upon attendance of your appointment. Booking fees are non-refundable.

  • you must pay by credit/debit card when you book your appointment online
  • cash payments cannot be taken online
  • if you are making a cash payment, you will have to partially complete your booking by telephone.

We recommend that you complete your booking using a credit/debit card as the process is quick and straightforward.

Changing an appointment

If you would like to change or cancel an appointment, you must give at least two full working days notice before the appointment date. Any changes or cancellations made after this period will result in losing your booking fee.

If you need to cancel your booking and request a refund, email register.office@lewisham.gov.uk:

  • your name
  • contact details
  • booking reference number (starting with CAS).

If you have any other problems rescheduling your appointment online call us on 020 8690 2128 (Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm).

COVID-19 restrictions

Follow the COVID-19 Government guidance at all times. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms.

When you arrive at the register office:

  • you need to follow social distancing measures at all times
  • you will be asked to wash and sanitise your hands on entering the building
  • face coverings although no longer legally required the government recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded or indoor spaces unless exempt for medical reasons
  • you will be asked to wait outside in a queue until you are called into the building for your appointment
  • only the people who need to give notice (and interpreters if required) should attend the appointment.