National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

I Want to Get Married Abroad. What Documents Will I Need to Provide?

I Want to Get Married Abroad. What Documents Will I Need to Provide?

You should contact the Consulate/Embassy for the relevant country for advice on what documentation will be required.

If you are asked to provide a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI) and you are resident in Scotland, you can apply no earlier than 3 months before the date of the wedding to your local registrar for this by submitting notice as if you were getting married in Scotland. You should complete a marriage notice form, Marriage Notice Form and Guidance Notes (Form M10) (240 KB PDF), and submit it with your birth certificate and, if you have been married before, your divorce decree plus the £30 fee to the registrar. The registrar will then be able to issue the CONI 29 days after submission of the marriage notice and fee. The CONI is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

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If you are not resident in Scotland you will not be able to obtain a CONI.  However, if the authorities of the country where your wedding is to take place require evidence that you are free to marry, Marriage Section can provide a “To Whom It May Concern” letter stating that a search of the marriage indexes in Scotland has been made and no trace of a marriage involving you has been found.  The letter can also be provided for other purposes, for example, taking up residence in another country.

If you require such a letter, you should forward the following information when you apply to Marriage Section at New Register House: 

  • Your full name and postal address.
  • The reason for requiring letter
  • Your date and place of birth.
  • Your mother’s maiden surname.
  • If you have been i) married before, name of previous spouse and date and place of divorce; or ii) widowed, spouse name and date of death

The fee for the letter is GBP5 for every 5 years or part of 5 years searched from:

i) age 16 if you were born in Scotland and have never been married before; or
ii) the date of divorce/death of spouse if widowed; or

iii) date of taking up residence in Scotland if you were born outside Scotland

If you are paying by cheque or postal order, it should be made payable to "The Scottish Government".

If you wish to pay by credit/debit card, you can email your details to Marriage Section at [email protected] who will advise you further.

The address of New Register House is on our where to find us page.