After registering your civil partnership

Contents

After registering your civil partnership, there are certain things that you may still need to do. These items are described below.

Getting a copy of a civil partnership certificate

After the civil partnership has been registered, it is possible to obtain a copy extract of the civil partnership certificate upon payment of the appropriate fee to the registrar.

If, at any stage, you require another copy, you can apply to the registration authority where you registered your partnership.

Correcting a civil partnership record at a later date

Each entry in the civil partnership register is an historic record of the facts as they were given at the time of the registration of the partnership. If errors are subsequently discovered, the law may allow for details to be changed or added for which there is no charge. If you would like to discuss a correction and would like some initial guidance, please contact the registration authority where the civil partnership was registered.

Converting a civil partnership into a marriage

If you are currently in a civil partnership registered in England, Wales or Scotland, you could convert it into a marriage. If you do this, you will be issued with a marriage certificate, which will show the marriage as existing from the date of your civil partnership.

In England and Wales, you have 2 ways to convert your civil partnership:

  • A simple process at a register office; or
  • A 2-stage process where a superintendent registrar or their deputy can complete the conversion at another venue. This will allow your family and friends to attend, and a ceremony can follow immediately after.

The conversion can take place at a wide range of approved premises such as hotels, stately homes and religious premises which have been registered for the marriage of same-sex couples. You will have to pay a fee for the conversion depending on when and how you do it.

Partnerships registered overseas

Can you register your details in the UK?

No, overseas civil partnerships may not be recorded at a register office. However, you may apply to have your overseas civil partnership documents – with translations if necessary – sent from the country where it took place and deposited with the General Register Office (GRO) (contact details can be found below under the heading 'General Register Office').

Certain conditions apply including that:

  • One of you must be a British citizen – and only that person can apply to deposit the details
  • The application has to be made in the first instance to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if you are in the UK or the nearest British Embassy or Consulate if you are living overseas

You can opt to arrange to create a record of your overseas civil partnership at any time after it has taken place – there is no time limit. The GRO will only accept original documents, or certified copies issued by the foreign authority, sent to the GRO by the consul for the district where the civil partnership took place. The GRO cannot release original documents once they are deposited.

The above is not an automatic process, so you will need to actively notify the General Register Office, using the application process, if you would like to do it. Once the documents have been deposited, the GRO will send you a letter confirming that they have received them. Overseas civil partnership documents which have been deposited with the GRO are also recorded in the public indices for research and certificate application purposes.

The GRO can issue certified copies of the documents – which saves you having to contact the overseas authority in question. These always take the form of black and white photocopies of the material, and are not presented in the form of a British-style certificate. Such photocopies are issued under the seal of the GRO and are usually acceptable as evidence in just the same way as if they were certificates issued by the authorities of the country where the civil partnership originally took place.

Contacts for further information and obtaining copies of civil partnership certificates

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

For further information, please contact:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

General Register Office

England & Wales

For further information relating to the General Register Office, you should visit the Gov.uk website.

To order certificates from the General Register office, you can visit the General Register Office at the General Register Office website.

Northern Ireland

To order certificates and to obtain information about the General Register Office in Northern Ireland, you can visit the nidirect website.

Scotland

To order certificates and to obtain information about the General Register Office in Scotland, visit the General Register Office for Scotland website.