Converting civil partnership to a marriage

From 10 December 2014, same sex couples in a civil partnership have the option to convert it into a marriage. For the first year, the government will waive £45 off the fee for all couples who formed their civil partnership before 29 March 2014.

You can have a simple conversion into a marriage at a local register office, which should cost no more than £45 or you can have a conversion into a marriage with a ceremony at an approved venue of your choice, including religious premises registered for marriages of same-sex couples. You will have to pay the local registrar to attend the venue - fees vary.

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.

two men on cake

Couples will be issued with a marriage certificate, which will show the marriage should be treated as existing from the date of the original civil partnership.

The Conversion Process

The conversion at a register office will take less than 30 minutes. Both partners must attend a register office together. It doesn't have to be the same one where they formed their civil partnership.

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

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 eg 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 unable to move from their house or detained the process will take place at the person's home or where they are detained.

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."

You will then sign the declaration and be married!

For further information