Legal requirements for a civil partnership

Before you can form a civil partnership in England or Wales, each party has to arrange to begin the legal process.

Giving notice

If you want to form a civil partnership in England or Wales, you must both give notice at the register office in the area where you live, regardless of where you intend to form your civil partnership.

If you and your partner live in different authorities, each of you must give notice to your own authority, unless one or both of you is not a relevant national*, in which case you MUST attend together in the district of residence of one party. You must have been resident in the district for at least seven days immediately prior to giving notice.

* A relevant national is someone who is British, Irish or a person that has EU settled or pre-settled status, or has applied for EUSS status on or before 30 June 2021.

If you live in Caerphilly county borough, the register office is at:

Penallta House
Tredomen Park
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7PG

You will need to make an appointment to give notice of civil partnership during our opening hours. Please contact us to book an appointment.

It isn’t possible to give notice more than 12 months in advance of your civil partnership although it is possible for a provisional booking to be made, sometimes up to 3 years in advance of the date.

Documents that you will need to bring with you

When you make an appointment to give notice, the registrar will explain what documents you will need to bring such as passport, birth certificate, divorce papers and proof of residence. These documents are legally prescribed so often other documents will not be acceptable. You may not be able to give legal notice unless you can provide the required documents so this must be discussed with the Superintendent Registrar before attendance at the Register Office.

There is a fee to pay for giving notice. Visit register office charges and fees for details.

Civil partnership schedule

The purpose of giving notice is to ensure you are lawfully free to form a civil partnership and to complete the preliminary legal documentation.

Once you have given notice, the details (not including the date and time of your ceremony) are on public display for 28 days. You cannot form a civil partnership until the 28 days have passed. In some cases, where a Home Office Referral is made, this waiting period can be extended to 70 days. The registration officers will clearly explain the waiting period when you contact them.

Following this legal waiting period your ‘civil partnership schedule’ can be issued in the district in which you will register the civil partnership.

Your civil partnership ceremony

A civil partnership is formed when the couple have signed before a civil partnership registrar and two witnesses. There is no requirement for a ceremony as part of the legal process, but at Caerphilly we will be more than happy to offer a ceremony if required, either at the Penallta House register office or one of our approved venues.

You may wish to exchange vows or enhance your ceremony with readings or music to make your day more memorable. We will be happy to discuss any requirements.

Marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales 

This table sets out the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage as it applies to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

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