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Converting a civil partnership to a marriage

Since 10 December 2014 couples who registered their civil partnership in England and Wales can convert their civil partnership into a marriage. This includes all civil partnerships registered according to the law of England and Wales (for example in a consulate or armed forces base overseas)

There are two ways to convert a civil partnership into a marriage:

  • a simple administrative process called a 'standard conversion' 
  • a two stage process where the conversion is followed by a ceremony

The 'standard conversion' process

The conversion will take less than 30 minutes. Both partners must attend a Register Office together. The Register Office that they attend does not need to be where they formed their civil partnership. Couples that are not having a conversion ceremony only need to attend the Register Office once. Those having a ceremony have the process broken down into two stages. Both can be planned for the same day or spread over different days and even different venues. 

At the conversion appointment

All couples must attend this appointment. At the time of their appointment the couple must present:

  • Evidence of name, age and address. This will be a current passport, Government ID card and recent utility bill, Council Tax Bill
  • Evidence of civil partnership e.g. Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Provide details of where they will be having their Conversion Ceremony if not at the same Register Office
  • Evidence of any consents if a conversion ceremony is to take place in a religious building

The Superintendent Registrar or a Deputy Superintendent Registrar will enter details about the couple and their civil partnership into a form. The information will be used to compile a Civil Partnership Conversion into Marriage Declaration. If a person is housebound or detained the process will take place at the location of the housebound or detained person.

If no ceremony is taking place the couple will be asked to read a declaration, they may speak it out loud if they wish. The wording of the declaration is:

"I solemnly and sincerely declare that we are in a civil partnership with each other and I know of no legal reason why we may not convert our civil partnership into a marriage. I understand that on signing this document we will be converting our civil partnership into a marriage and you will thereby become my lawful wife / husband."

The declaration continues

"I further declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief, all of the information given on this form, and the information and evidence supplied with this form, is true. I understand that if any of the information is false I may be liable to prosecution under the Perjury Act 1911."

The couple will sign the declaration in front of the Superintendent Registrar or a Deputy Superintendent Registrar. Marriage certificates can then be issued at a cost of £4 each if ordered on the day of the conversion.

If a conversion ceremony is to take place the couple will read the declaration and sign it prior to their ceremony. Where a ceremony is taking place outside of the area where the declaration was prepared, the Register Office will send the declaration to the Register Office covering the conversion ceremony. The couple are responsible for booking any venues and registrars.

There is a charge of £4 for each marriage certificate ordered before the conversion.

A conversion followed by a ceremony

The signing of the declaration can then be followed by a ceremony at venues where same sex couples are able to marry. For example:

  • Register Office
  • approved premises
  • religious buildings that are registered for the marriage of same sex couples
  • premises where a ceremony according to the Jewish faith of the Society of Friends is to immediately follow the conversion

Following the ceremony your marriage is registered, and a marriage certificate can then be issued. Your marriage certificate can either be collected or posted.

Fees for conversions

The statutory fee to convert a civil partnership to a marriage is £45.  There is an additional fee if you wish to have a conversion ceremony in our Four Seasons Room or approved venues.

A fee of £99 will apply for housebound and £117 for detained person conversions. 

Death bed conversions will be charged at £15.

All fees apart from attendance at approved premises are set by government. Marriage Certificates will cost £4 each.

Conversion ceremonies in the Four Seaons Room or at our Approved Premises will be charged at the same price as weddings and civil partnerships at these venues. Where a conversion takes place in a religious building the conversion will be done by the signing of the declaration before a Superintendent Registrar or Deputy Superintendent Registrar. Once the declaration has been signed registration staff will leave in order to register the conversion. The religious body will play no part in the actual legal conversion.

If you are in a civil partnership and are considering converting this to a marriage, or you would like more information on ceremony prices contact the Register Office 

Further information can be found on Gov.uk. There is also a question and answer section on the Stonewall website.



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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 11 Apr 2017 at 14:48