National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Registering Civil Partnership in Scotland

Registering Civil Partnership in Scotland

Marriage and Civil Partnership update

The latest Scottish Government guidance on dealing with Coronavirus can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Scotland has moved out of the levels system but everyone should continue to act carefully and remain cautious. There is published guidance for anyone who has developed coronavirus symptoms, however mild, about getting tested and the need for self-isolation.

Marriage ceremonies and civil partnership registrations

You should be aware that the wearing of a face covering is mandatory in certain indoor premises, such as registration offices, hotels and places of worship. This includes during marriage and CP ceremonies.

There are exemptions to this requirement, including for individuals who are leading a ceremony or registration.

In addition, a couple being married or registering their civil partnership will not have to wear a face covering during their ceremony or registration provided that the couple are able to maintain at least 1 metre from others present, or there is a screen or partition between them and others present. They must still wear a face covering in any public areas before going into the room where the ceremony is taking place, and once the ceremony is over.

If one party is being accompanied down the aisle, the accompanying guest or guests are not required to wear a face covering for that part of the ceremony.

Children under 12 are not required to wear a face covering.

Advice on the wearing of face coverings can be found on the Scottish Government website.

If you are planning a civil ceremony conducted by a registrar, please contact the registration office to discuss the arrangements for your ceremony. Contact details can be found here for local authority registrars (90 KB PDF).

Submitting notice of intention to marry or enter a civil partnership

If you intend to marry or register a civil partnership, the first step is to submit a notice of intention to marry or enter a civil partnership, to the registration office for the district where your marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration will take place.

Notices can be submitted in person or by post. We would encourage people to submit notices by post to reduce the amount of face to face contact time spent in the registration office.

Please see I Want to Get Married in Scotland. How Do I Go About It? or I Want to Register a Civil Partnership in Scotland. How Do I Go About It? for further information about completing notice forms, timescales, fees and the documents which should accompany your completed form.

Dealing with your marriage or civil partnership notice

As a consequence of COVID-19, registration offices may be dealing with a backlog of work, or they may have limited staff numbers. This may result in it taking longer than normal for your marriage or civil partnership notice to be processed.

Marriages and civil partnerships where there is a pressing need

Please contact a local registration office (90 KB PDF) or the National Records of Scotland at [email protected] if you believe there is a pressing need for your wedding or civil partnership to proceed to a shorter timescale than the normal notice period. You will be asked to provide details of your circumstances. The Registrar General for Scotland will consider your request carefully and let you know whether your marriage or civil partnership schedule can be completed without the 28 clear days’ notice period having taken place

Visiting the registration office

You may still need to visit a registration office to:

  • Hand in notices of intention to marry or enter a civil partnership. As indicated above, however, we would recommend that you submit notices by post at the moment, if at all possible, to minimise physical contact
  • Hand in supporting documents not previously submitted with a notice form (such as a passport or other identity document)
  • Deal with any inquiries arising from your notices which cannot be dealt with by phone or in writing
  • Collect the marriage or civil partnership schedule, if you are having a religious or belief marriage or civil partnership. (If your marriage is to be solemnised, or your civil partnership registered, by a civil registrar, the registrar will keep the schedule.)

Visits to the office will be kept as brief as possible. Registration offices will be following procedures put in place to keep everyone safe. Unless exempt, people must continue to wear a face covering in an indoor public place such as a registration office. Be prepared to show identification and be aware that you may be asked to remove your face covering.

Not all registration offices may be open. You may wish to contact the local authority where your marriage or civil partnership is to take place to discuss their hours of opening.

Issuing the marriage or civil partnership schedule

Once the registrar has processed your marriage or civil partnership notice, the registrar will prepare a marriage or civil partnership schedule.

If your marriage is to be solemnised, or your civil partnership registered, by a civil registrar, the registrar will retain the schedule for completion on the day of the marriage or civil partnership.

If you are having a religious or belief marriage or civil partnership, one of the parties will need to visit the registration office to collect the schedule to be completed on the day. The registrar who issues the schedule will discuss with you the best arrangements for returning the signed schedule after the marriage or civil partnership. You may be asked to return the completed schedule to the registration office by post, in order to minimise physical contact.

NATIONAL RECORDS OF SCOTLAND
August 12, 2021

The Registration Privacy Notice tells you what happens to personal information when a life event is registered.