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Marriage Act 1949

1949 CHAPTER 76 12 13 and 14 Geo 6

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the solemnization and registration of marriages in England with such corrections and improvements as may be authorised under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act, 1949.

[24th November 1949]

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Act extended to border parishes by Marriage (Wales and Monmouthshire) Act 1962 (c. 32), s. 2

C2Act applied with modifications by Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969 (c. 38), s. 6, Sch. 1

C4Words of enactment omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c. 62), s. 3

C5By S.I. 1978/1844, art. 12 the Act has effect as if The Isles (i.e. The Isles of Scilly as defined in art. 2(1) ) were a non-metropolitan county

Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at 1.1.1950 see s. 80(4)

Part IE+W Restrictions on Marriage

1 Marriages within prohibited degrees.E+W

(1)A marriage solemnized between a man and any of the persons mentioned in the first column of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, or [F1between a person and any person mentioned in the list in Part 1 of Schedule 1], shall be void.

[F2(2)Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a marriage solemnized [F3between a person and any person mentioned in the list in Part 2 of Schedule 1], shall be void.

(3)Any such marriage as is mentioned in subsection (2) of this section shall not be void by reason only of affinity if both the parties to the marriage have attained the age of twenty-one at the time of the marriage and the younger party has not at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other party.]

F4(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F4(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F4(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F4(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F4(8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 Marriages of persons under sixteen.E+W

A marriage solemnized between persons either of whom is under the age of sixteen shall be void.

3 Marriages of persons under twenty-one. E+W

(1)Where the marriage of [F5a child], not being a widower or widow [F6or a surviving civil partner], is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F7a marriage schedule], F8. . . the consent of the [F9appropriate persons] shall be required F10 . . .:

Provided that—

(a)if the superintendent registrar is satisfied that the consent of any person whose consent is so required cannot be obtained by reason of absence or inaccessibility or by reason of his being under any disability, the necessity for the consent of that person shall be dispensed with, if there is any other person whose consent is also required; and if the consent of no other person is required, the Registrar General may dispense with the necessity of obtaining any consent, or the court may, on application being made, consent to the marriage, and the consent of the court so given shall have the same effect as if it had been given by the person whose consent cannot be so obtained;

(b)if any person whose consent is required refuses his consent, the court may, on application being made, consent to the marriage, and the consent of the court so given shall have the same effect as if it had been given by the person whose consent is refused.

[F11(1A)The appropriate persons are—

(a)if none of paragraphs (b) to (h) apply, each of the following—

(i)any parent of the child who has parental responsibility for him; and

(ii)any guardian of the child;

(b)where a special guardianship order is in force with respect to a child, each of the child’s special guardians, unless any of paragraphs (c) to (g) applies;

(c)where a care order has effect with respect to the child, the local authority designated in the order, and each parent, guardian or special guardian (in so far as their parental responsibility has not been restricted under section 33(3) of the Children Act 1989), unless paragraph (e) applies;

(d)where a [F12child arrangements order to which subsection (1C) applies] has effect with respect to the child, the persons with whom the child lives, or is to live, as a result of the order, unless paragraph (e) applies;

(e)where an adoption agency is authorised to place the child for adoption under section 19 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, that agency or, where a care order has effect with respect to the child, the local authority designated in the order;

(f)where a placement order is in force with respect to the child, the appropriate local authority;

(g)where a child has been placed for adoption with prospective adopters, the prospective adopters (in so far as their parental responsibility has not been restricted under section 25(4) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002), in addition to those persons specified in paragraph (e) or (f);

(h)where none of paragraphs (b) to (g) apply but a [F13child arrangements order to which subsection (1C) applies] was in force with respect to the child immediately before he reached the age of sixteen, the persons with whom he lived, or was to live, as a result of the order.]

[F14(1B)In this section—

  • guardian of a child”, “parental responsibility”, [F15“child arrangements order”], “special guardian”, “special guardianship order” and “care order” have the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989;

  • adoption agency”, “placed for adoption”, “placement order” and “local authority” have the same meaning as in the Adoption and Children Act 2002;

  • appropriate local authority” means the local authority authorised by the placement order to place the child for adoption.]

[F16(1C)A child arrangements order is one to which this subsection applies if the order regulates arrangements that consist of, or include, arrangements which relate to either or both of the following—

(a)with whom the child is to live, and

(b)when the child is to live with any person.]

(2)[F17Subsection (1)] shall apply to marriages intended to be solemnized on the authority of a common licence, with the substitution of [F18a reference] to the ecclesiastical authority by whom the licence was granted for [F19the reference] to the superintendent registrar, and with the substitution of a reference to the Master of the Faculties for the reference to the Registrar General.

(3)Where the marriage of [F5a child], not being a widower or widow, is intended to be solemnized after the publication of banns of matrimony then, if any person whose consent to the marriage would have been required under this section in the case of a marriage intended to be solemnized otherwise than after the publication of the banns, openly and publicly declares or causes to be declared, in the church or chapel in which the banns are published, at the time of the publication, his dissent from the intended marriage, the publication of banns shall be void.

(4)A clergyman shall not be liable to ecclesiastical censure for solemnizing the marriage of [F5a child] after the publication of banns without the consent of the parents or guardians of [F5the child] unless he had notice of the dissent of any person who is entitled to give notice of dissent under the last foregoing subsection.

(5)For the purposes of this section, “the court” means the High Court [F20or the family court], and rules of court may be made for enabling applications under this section—

(a)if made to the High Court, to be heard in chambers;

F21(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)if made to [F22the family court], to be heard and determined otherwise than in open court,

and shall provide that, where an application is made in consequence of a refusal to give consent, notice of the application shall be served on the person who has refused consent.

(6)Nothing in this section shall dispense with the necessity of obtaining the consent of the High Court to the marriage of a ward of court.

Textual Amendments

F8Words in s. 3(1) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 4(b), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F12Words in s. 3(1A)(d) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), s. 139(6), Sch. 2 para. 42(2); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(f) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F13Words in s. 3(1A)(h) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), s. 139(6), Sch. 2 para. 42(2); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(f) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F15Words in s. 3(1B) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), s. 139(6), Sch. 2 para. 42(3); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(f) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F16S. 3(1C) inserted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), s. 139(6), Sch. 2 para. 42(4); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(f) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F20Words in s. 3(5) substituted (22.4.2014) by Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 13(a); S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

F21S. 3(5)(b) omitted (22.4.2014) by virtue of Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 13(b); S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

F22Words in s. 3(5)(c) substituted (22.4.2014) by Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 13(c); S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C11S. 3 applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 70, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

F234 Hours for solemnization of marriages.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part IIU.K. Marriage according to Rites of the Church of England

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

PreliminaryE+W

5 Methods of authorising marriages.E+W

[F24(1)]A marriage according to the rites of the Church of England may be solemnized—

(a)after the publication of banns of matrimony;

(b)on the authority of a special licence of marriage granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury or any other person by virtue of the M1Ecclesiastical Licences Act, 1533 (in this Act referred to as a “special licence”);

(c)on the authority of a licence of marriage (other than a special licence) granted by an ecclesiastical authority having power to grant such a licence (in this Act referred to as a “common licence”); or

(d)on the authority of [F25a marriage schedule] under Part III of this Act.

[F26[F27(2)Subsection (1)(a)] of this section shall not apply in relation to the solemnization of any marriage mentioned in subsection (2) of section 1 of this Act.]

[F28(3)In a case where one or both of the persons whose marriage is to be solemnized is not a relevant national—

(a)subsection (1)(a) shall not apply unless the banns are published in accordance with section 14 (whether or not the banns are also published otherwise);

(b)subsection (1)(c) shall not apply.]

[F295A Marriages between certain persons related by affinity.E+W

No clergyman shall be obliged—

(a)to solemnize a marriage which, apart from the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986 [F30or the Marriage Act 1949 (Remedial) Order 2007], would have been void by reason of the relationship of the persons to be married; or

(b)to permit such a marriage to be solemnized in the church or chapel of which he is the minister.]

[F315BMarriages involving person of acquired genderE+W

(1)A clergyman is not obliged to solemnise the marriage of a person if the clergyman reasonably believes that the person’s gender has become the acquired gender under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

(2)A clerk in Holy Orders of the Church in Wales is not obliged to permit the marriage of a person to be solemnised in the church or chapel of which the clerk is the minister if the clerk reasonably believes that the person’s gender has become the acquired gender under that Act.]

Textual Amendments

Marriage by bannsU.K.

6 Place of publication of banns.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, where a marriage is intended to be solemnized after the publication of banns of matrimony, the banns shall be published—

(a)if the persons to be married reside in the same parish, in the parish church of that parish;

(b)if the persons to be married do not reside in the same parish, in the parish church of each parish in which one of them resides:

Provided that if either of the persons to be married resides in a chapelry or in a district specified in a licence granted under section twenty of this Act, the banns may be published in an authorised chapel of that chapelry or district instead of in the parish church of the parish in which that person resides.

(2)In relation to a person who resides in an extra-parochial place, the last foregoing subsection shall have effect as if for references to a parish there were substituted references to that extra-parochial place, and as if for references to a parish church there were substituted references to an authorised chapel of that place.

(3)For the purposes of this section, any parish in which there is no parish church or chapel belonging thereto or no church or chapel in which divine service is usually solemnized every Sunday, and any extra-parochial place which has no authorised chapel, shall be deemed to belong to any adjoining parish or chapelry.

(4)Banns of matrimony may be published in any parish church or authorised chapel which is the usual place of worship of the persons to be married or of one of them although neither of those persons resides in the parish or chapelry to which the church or chapel belongs:

Provided that the publication of banns by virtue of this subsection shall be in addition to and not in substitution for the publication of banns required by subsection (1) of this section.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C15S. 6(3) applied (with modifications) by 2008 gsm 1, s. 1A (as inserted (1.6.2013) by Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Measure 2012 (No. 1), ss. 1(1), 3(2); 2013 No. 1, art. 2)

7 Time and manner of publication of banns.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of section nine of this Act, banns of matrimony shall be published on three Sundays preceding the solemnization of the marriage [F32during either the principal service or both the principal service and another service].

[F33(1A)In subsection (1) of this section “principal service” means the service at which, in the opinion of the clergyman or other person who, under section 9 of this Act, has the responsibility for publishing banns of matrimony, the greatest number of persons who habitually attend public worship are likely to attend.

(1B)Where banns of matrimony are published on a Sunday during both the principal service and another service, both of those occasions shall be deemed to be the same time of asking for the purposes of the form of words referred to in subsection (2) of this section.]

(2)Banns of matrimony shall be published in an audible manner and in accordance with the form of words prescribed by the rubric prefixed to the office of matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer [F34or set out in section 2 of the Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Measure 2012.], and all the other rules prescribed by the said rubric concerning the publication of banns and the solemnization of matrimony shall, so far as they are consistent with the provisions of this Part of this Act, be duly observed.

(3)The parochial church council of a parish shall provide for every church and chapel in the parish in which marriages may be solemnized, a register book of banns made of durable materials F35..., and all banns shall be published from the said register book of banns by the officiating clergyman, and not from loose papers, and after each publication the entry in the register book shall be signed by the officiating clergyman, or by some person under his direction.

[F36(3A)A register book of banns must be marked as follows—

(a)every place of entry is to be numbered consecutively from the beginning to the end of the book on each side of every page, beginning with the number one;

(b)every entry is to be divided from the following entry by a printed line;

(c)every entry must contain—

(i)the names of the parties to the marriage,

(ii)the parish or other place where each party to the marriage resides, and

(iii)the dates on which the banns of matrimony in respect of the marriage were published.]

(4)Any reference in [F37subsection (3)] to a parochial church council shall, in relation to an authorised chapel in an extra-parochial place, be construed as a reference to the chapel warden or other officer exercising analogous duties in the chapel or, if there is no such officer, such person as may be appointed in that behalf by the bishop of the diocese.

8 Notice to clergyman before publication of banns.E+W

[F38(1)]No clergyman shall be obliged to publish banns of matrimony unless the persons to be married, at least seven days before the date on which they wish the banns to be published for the first time, deliver or cause to be [F39delivered to him—

(a) a notice] in writing, dated on the day on which it is so delivered, stating the christian name and surname and the place of residence of each of them, and the period during which each of them has resided at his or her place of residence [F40, and

(b)specified evidence that both of the persons are relevant nationals.

(2)In this section “specified evidence” means evidence that is in accordance with regulations made under section 28G.]

Textual Amendments

F38S. 8(1): s. 8 renumbered as s. 8(1) (2.3.2015) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 57(3)(a), 75(3); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(2) (with art. 5)

F39Words in s. 8 substituted (2.3.2015) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 57(3)(b), 75(3); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(2) (with art. 5)

F40Words in s. 8 inserted (2.3.2015) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), ss. 57(3)(c), 75(3); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(2) (with art. 5)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C16S. 8 applied (with modifications) (E.) (1.10.2008) by Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 (No. 1), ss. 1(8)(a), 5(2); 2008 No. 2, Instrument made by Archbishops

C17S. 8 applied (with modifications) (18.3.2010) by Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 (c. 6), ss. 2(8)(a), 6(2) (with s. 1)

9 Persons by whom banns may be published.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section and of section fourteen of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any person other than a clergyman to publish banns of matrimony.

(2)Where on any Sunday in any church or other building in which banns of matrimony may be published a clergyman does not officiate at the service at which it is usual in that church or building to publish banns, the banns may be published—

(a)by a clergyman at some other service at which banns of matrimony may be published; or

(b)by a layman during the course of a public reading authorised by the bishop of the diocese of a portion or portions of the service of morning or evening prayer, the public reading being at the hour when the service at which it is usual to publish banns is commonly held or at such other hour as the bishop may authorise:

Provided that banns shall not be published by a layman unless the incumbent or minister in charge of the said church or building, or some other clergyman nominated in that behalf by the bishop, has made or authorised to be made the requisite entry in the register book of banns of the said church or building.

(3)Where a layman publishes banns of matrimony by virtue of this section the layman shall sign the register book of banns provided under section seven of this Act and for that purpose shall be deemed to be the officiating clergyman within the meaning of that section.

10 Publication of banns commenced in one church and completed in another.E

(1)Where the publication of banns of matrimony has been duly commenced in any church, the publication may be completed in the same church or in any other church which, by virtue of [F41the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011], has at the time of the completion taken the place of the first-mentioned church for the purpose of publication of banns of matrimony either generally or in relation to the parties to the intended marriage.

(2)Where the publication of banns of matrimony has been duly commenced in any building which by virtue of a reorganisation scheme under [F42the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011], ceases to be a parish church or, as the case may be, ceases to be licensed for marriages, the publication may be completed in such other building, being either a parish church or a building licensed for marriages, as may be directed by the bishop of the diocese to take the place of the first-mentioned building for the purposes of the publication of banns.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

11 Certificates of publication of banns.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized after the publication of banns of matrimony and the persons to be married do not reside in the same parish or other ecclesiastical district, a clergyman shall not solemnize the marriage in the parish or district in which one of those persons resides unless there is produced to him a certificate that the banns have been published in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act in the parish or other ecclesiastical district in which the other person resides.

(2)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized in a church or chapel of a parish or other ecclesiastical district in which neither of the persons to be married resides, after the publication of banns therein by virtue of subsection (4) of section six of this Act, a clergyman shall not solemnize the marriage unless there is produced to him—

(a)if the persons to be married reside in the same parish or other ecclesiastical district, a certificate that the banns have been published in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act in that parish or district; or

(b)if the persons to be married do not reside in the same parish or other ecclesiastical district, certificates that the banns have been published as aforesaid in each parish or district in which one of them resides.

(3)Where banns are published by virtue of subsection (3) of section six of this Act in a parish or chapelry adjoining the parish or extra-parochial place in which the banns would otherwise be required to be published, a certificate that the banns have been published in that parish or chapelry shall have the like force and effect as a certificate that banns have been published in a parish in which one of the persons to be married resides.

(4)Any certificate required under this section shall be signed by the incumbent or minister in charge of the building in which the banns were published or by a clergyman nominated in that behalf by the bishop of the diocese.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C20S. 11(2) applied (E.) (1.10.2008) by Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 (No. 1), ss. 1(7), 5(2); 2008 No. 2, Instrument made by Archbishops

C21S. 11(2) applied (18.3.2010) by Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 (c. 6), ss. 2(7), 6(2) (with s. 1)

C22S. 11(4) applied (E.) (1.10.2008) by Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 (No. 1), ss. 1(7), 5(2); 2008 No. 2, Instrument made by Archbishops

C23S. 11(4) applied (18.3.2010) by Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 (c. 6), ss. 2(7), 6(2) (with s. 1)

12 Solemnization of marriage after publication of banns.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, where banns of matrimony have been published, the marriage shall be solemnized in the church or chapel or, as the case may be, one of the churches or chapels in which the banns have been published.

(2)Where a marriage is not solemnized within three months after the completion of the publication of the banns, that publication shall be void and no clergyman shall solemnize the marriage on the authority thereof.

13 Publication of banns in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland.U.K.

Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized in England, after the publication of banns of matrimony, between parties of whom one is residing in England and the other is residing in Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, then, if banns have been published or proclaimed in any church of the parish or place in which that other party is residing according to the law or custom there prevailing, a certificate given in accordance with that law or custom that the banns have been so published or proclaimed shall as respects that party be sufficient for the purposes of section eleven of this Act, and the marriage shall not be void by reason only that the banns have not been published in the manner required for the publication of banns in England.

14 Publication of banns on board His Majesty’s ships.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized in England, after the publication of banns of matrimony, between parties of whom one is residing in England and the other is an officer, seaman or marine borne on the books of one of His Majesty’s ships at sea, the banns may be published on three successive Sundays during morning service on board that ship by the chaplain, or, if there is no chaplain, by the captain or other officer commanding the ship, and, where banns have been so published, the person who published them shall, unless the banns have been forbidden on any of the grounds on which banns may be forbidden, give a certificate of publication.

(2)A certificate issued under this section shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Admiralty and shall, as respects the party who is an officer, seaman or marine as aforesaid, be sufficient for the purposes of section eleven of this Act, and all provisions of this Act (including penal provisions) relating to the publication of banns and certificates thereof and all rules required by section seven of this Act to be observed shall apply in the case of banns published under this section subject to such adaptations therein as may be made by His Majesty by Order in Council.

Marriage by Common LicenceE+W

15 Places in which marriages may be solemnized by common licence.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a common licence shall not be granted for the solemnization of a marriage in any church or chapel other than—

(a)the parish church of the parish, or an authorised chapel of the ecclesiastical district, in which one of the persons to be married has had his or her usual place of residence for fifteen days immediately before the grant of the licence; or

(b)a parish church or authorised chapel which is the usual place of worship of the persons to be married or of one of them.

(2)For the purposes of this section, any parish in which there is no parish church or chapel belonging thereto or no church or chapel in which divine service is usually solemnized every Sunday, and any extra-parochial place which has no authorised chapel, shall be deemed to belong to any adjoining parish or chapelry.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C24S. 15 excluded (E.) (1.10.2008) by Church of England Marriage Measure 2008 (No. 1), ss. 2(1), 5(2); 2008 No. 2, Instrument made by Archbishops

C25S. 15 excluded (18.3.2010) by Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 (c. 6), ss. 3(1), 6(2) (with s. 1)

16 Provisions as to common licences.E+W

(1)A common licence shall not be granted unless one of the persons to be married has sworn before a person having authority to grant such a licence—

(a)that he or she believes that there is no impediment of kindred or alliance or any other lawful cause, nor any suit commenced in any court, to bar or hinder the solemnization of the marriage in accordance with the licence;

(b)that one of the persons to be married has had his or her usual place of residence in the parish or other ecclesiastical district in which the marriage is to be solemnized for fifteen days immediately before the grant of the licence or that the parish church or authorised chapel in which the marriage is to be solemnized is the usual place of worship of those persons or of one of them;

(c)where one of the persons to be married is [F43a child] and is not a widower or widow, that the consent of the person or persons whose consent to the marriage is required under section three of this Act has been obtained, that the necessity of obtaining any such consent has been dispensed with under that section, that the court has consented to the marriage under that section, or that there is no person whose consent to the marriage is so required.

[F44(1A)A common licence shall not be granted for the solemnization of a marriage mentioned in subsection (2) of section 1 of this Act unless—

(a)the person having authority to grant the licence is satisfied by the production of evidence that both the persons to be married have attained the age of twenty-one; and

(b)he has received a declaration in writing made by each of those persons specifying their affinal relationship and declaring that the younger of those persons has not at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other.]

F45(1B). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F46(1C)A common licence shall not be granted unless the persons to be married deliver to the person granting the licence specified evidence that both of the persons are relevant nationals.

(1D)For that purpose “specified evidence” means evidence that is in accordance with regulations made under section 28G.]

(2)[F47Subject to subsection (2A) of this section] if any caveat is entered against the grant of a common licence, the caveat having been duly signed by or on behalf of the person by whom it is entered and stating his place of residence and the ground of objection on which the caveat is founded, no licence shall be granted until the caveat or a copy thereof is transmitted to the ecclesiastical judge out of whose office the licence is to issue, and the judge has certified to the registrar of the diocese that he has examined into the matter of the caveat and is satisfied that it ought not to obstruct the grant of the licence, or until the caveat is withdrawn by the person who entered it.

[F48(2A)Where in the case of a marriage mentioned in subsection (2) of section 1 of this Act a caveat is entered under subsection (2) of this section on the ground that the persons to be married have not both attained the age of twenty-one or that one of those persons has at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other, then, notwithstanding that the caveat is withdrawn by the person who entered it, no licence shall be issued unless the judge has certified that he has examined into that ground of objection and is satisfied that that ground ought not to obstruct the grant of the licence.

(2B)In the case of a marriage mentioned in subsection (2) of section 1 of this Act, one of the persons to be married may apply to the ecclesiastical judge out of whose office the licence is to issue for a declaration that, both those persons having attained the age of twenty-one and the younger of those persons not having at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other, there is no impediment of affinity to the solemnization of the marriage; and where any such declaration is obtained the common licence may be granted notwithstanding that no declaration has been made under the said subsection (1A).]

(3)Where a marriage is not solemnized within three months after the grant of a common licence, the licence shall be void and no clergyman shall solemnize the marriage on the authority thereof.

(4)No surrogate deputed by an ecclesiastical judge who has power to grant common licences shall grant any such licence until he has taken an oath before that judge, or a commissioner appointed under the seal of that judge, faithfully to execute his office according to law, to the best of his knowledge, . . . F49.

Marriage under [F50marriage schedule]E+W

Textual Amendments

F50Words in s. 17 cross-heading substituted (4.5.2021) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 4 (with Sch. 2)

17 Marriage under [F51marriage schedule].E+W

A marriage according to the rites of the Church of England may be solemnized on the authority of [F52a marriage schedule] in force under Part III of this Act in any church or chapel in which banns of matrimony may be published [F53or in the case of a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act the place specified in the [F54notices of marriage [F55and (if so specified) in the marriage schedule]] as the place where the marriage is to be solemnized]:

Provided that a marriage shall not be solemnized as aforesaid in any such church or chapel without the consent of the minister thereof or [F56(wherever the marriage is solemnized)] by any person other than a clergyman.

Publication of banns and solemnization of marriages during disuse of churchesE+W

18 Publication of banns and solemnization of marriages during repair and rebuilding of churches.E+W

(1)Where any church or chapel in which banns may be published and marriages solemnized is being rebuilt or repaired, and on that account is not being used for divine service, banns of matrimony which could otherwise have been published therein and marriages which could otherwise have been solemnized therein may be published or solemnized, as the case may be,—

(a)in any building licensed by the bishop of the diocese for the performance of divine service during the disuse of the church or chapel, being a building within the parish or other ecclesiastical district in which the disused church or chapel is situated; or

(b)if no building has been licensed as aforesaid, in any such consecrated chapel as the bishop of the diocese may in writing direct, being a chapel within the said parish or district; or

(c)if no building has been licensed as mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection and no direction has been given by the bishop under the last foregoing paragraph, in a church or chapel of any adjoining parish or other ecclesiastical district, being a church or chapel in which banns may be published and marriages solemnized.

(2)Any fees paid in respect of marriages solemnized by virtue of paragraph (b) of the last foregoing subsection in a consecrated chapel specified in a direction given by the bishop of the diocese under that paragraph shall be applied as the bishop, with the consent of the incumbent of the disused church or chapel, may in writing direct.

F57(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19 Publication of banns and solemnization of marriage where church injured by war damage.E

Where an order made by the Church Commissioners under section three of the M2Diocesan Reorganisation Committees Measure, 1941, (which enables orders to be made deferring the restoration of churches injured by war damage) is in force as respects any church, banns of matrimony of persons entitled to be married in that church may be published, and marriages of such persons may be solemnized, in such other church, chapel or place of worship within the diocese as the bishop of the diocese shall in writing direct.

Marginal Citations

Licensing of chapels for publication of banns and solemnization of marriagesE+W

20 Licensing of chapels for publication of banns and solemnization of marriages for persons residing in specified district. E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, the bishop of the diocese in which a public chapel is situated may—

(a)if he thinks it necessary so to do for the due accommodation and convenience of the inhabitants of any district; and

(b)if the F58. . . incumbent of the church of the parish in which the public chapel is situated have signified their consent under their respective hands and seals,

authorise by a licence under his hand and seal the publication of banns and the solemnization of marriages in that public chapel between parties both or either of whom reside or resides within a district of which the limits shall be specified in the licence; and any such licence may include such F59... particulars as the bishop thinks fit.

(2)Notwithstanding anything in the last foregoing subsection, the bishop of the diocese may grant a licence under this section without the consent of the F60. . . incumbent of the church of the parish in which the public chapel is situated after two months notice in writing given to the F60. . . incumbent by the registrar of the diocese:

Provided that where any F60. . . incumbent who refuses or withholds his consent to the grant of a licence under this section delivers to the bishop under his hand and seal a statement of the reasons for which the consent has been refused or withheld, no licence shall be granted by the bishop until he has inquired into the reasons contained in the statement.

(3)Where a bishop grants a licence under this section without the consent of the F60. . . incumbent, the F60. . . incumbent may, within one month from the grant of the licence, appeal to the archbishop of the province who shall hear the appeal in a summary manner, and shall make such order confirming, revoking or varying the licence as seems to him expedient.

(4)Any licence granted or order made under this section may at any time be revoked in writing under the hand and seal of the bishop of the diocese with the consent in writing of the archbishop of the province; and the registrar of the diocese shall notify the revocation in writing to the minister officiating in the chapel concerned and shall give public notice of the revocation by advertisement in some newspaper circulating within the county in which the chapel is situated and in the London Gazette.

(5)There shall be displayed in some conspicuous part of the interior of any chapel licensed under this section the words “Banns may be published and marriages may be solemnized in this chapel”.

(6)Every consent of a F60. . . incumbent delivered under subsection (1) of this section, a copy of every notice given by the registrar of a diocese under subsection (2) of this section, every statement of reasons delivered by a F60. . . incumbent under the said subsection (2), together with the bishop’s decision thereon under his hand and seal, every order made by an archbishop under subsection (3) of this section and every revocation and consent made or given under subsection (4) of this section, shall be registered in the registry of the diocese.

(7)The district specified in a licence granted under this section may be taken out of more than one parish; and where any such licence specifies a district taken out of more than one parish the expressions F60. . . “incumbent” shall for the purposes of this section mean the F60. . . incumbent, F60. . . , of the church of every parish out of which the district so specified is taken.

[F61(7A)In the case of a benefice to which a suspension period within the meaning of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 applies and for which a priest in charge has been appointed, this section has effect as if each reference to the incumbent were a reference to the priest in charge.]

(8)In this section the expression “public chapel” means any public chapel with or without a chapelry annexed thereto, or any chapel duly licensed for the celebration of divine service according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, or any chapel the minister of which is duly licensed to officiate therein according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.

Extent Information

E1S. 20(7) does not extend to Wales; see s. 80(3), Sixth Sch.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

21 Authorising of publication of banns and solemnization of marriages in churches and chapels of extra-parochial places. E+W

(1)Where any extra-parochial place has belonging to it or within it any church or chapel of the Church of England, the bishop of the diocese in which the church or chapel is situated may, if he thinks fit, authorise in writing under his hand and seal the publication of banns and the solemnization of marriages by banns or licence in that church or chapel between parties both or either of whom reside or resides in that extra-parochial place.

(2)Every authorisation given under the last foregoing subsection shall be registered in the registry of the diocese.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F62Issue of marriage document after publication of banns or the grant of a special or common licenceU.K.

Textual Amendments

F62S. 21A and cross-heading inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 19.4.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(4)(c)(7)(a), Sch. 1 para. 7 (with Sch. 2)

21AIssue of marriage document after publication of banns or the grant of a special or common licenceU.K.

(1)This section applies to a marriage solemnized—

(a)after the publication of banns,

(b)on the authority of a special licence, or

(c)on the authority of a common licence.

(2)Before the solemnization of the marriage, the clergyman who is to solemnize the marriage must issue a document, or ensure a document is issued and provided to the clergyman, in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed.

(3)The document issued under subsection (2) is to be known as a “marriage document”.

(4)The clergyman must retain the marriage document until it is delivered to a registrar in accordance with section 53D(2).]

Miscellaneous ProvisionsE+W

22 Witnesses.E+W

All marriages solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England shall be solemnized in the presence of two or more witnesses in addition to the clergyman by whom the marriage is solemnized.

23 Benefices held in plurality. E+W

Where two or more benefices are held in plurality under the M3Pastoral Reorganisation Measure, 1949, the bishop of the diocese in which the benefices are situated or, during a vacancy in the see, the guardian of the spiritualities thereof, may in writing direct where banns of matrimony of persons entitled to be married in any church of those benefices may be published and where marriages of those persons may be solemnized:

Provided that—

(a)nothing in this section shall deprive a person of the right to be married in any church in which he would have been entitled to be married if no directions had been given under this section; and

(b)a person may be married in a church in which he would have been entitled to be married as aforesaid notwithstanding that the banns of matrimony have, by virtue of this section, been published only in some other church.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C30S. 23 extended (with modifications) by Pastoral Measure 1983 (No. 1, SIF 21:4) ss. 27, 29, 40, Sch. 3 para. 14(4)

C31S. 23 extended with modifications (W.) by Marriage (Wales) Act 1986 (c. 7, SIF 49:1), s. 1

C32S. 23 applied (with modifications) (1.7.2012) by Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (No. 3), s. 112(3), Sch. 3 para. 12(4) (with ss. 100, 105(4), 107, 108(6), Sch. 8); 2012 No. 1, art. 2

Marginal Citations

24 Proof of residence not necessary to validity of marriage by banns or common licence.E+W

(1)Where any marriage has been solemnized after the publication of banns of matrimony, it shall not be necessary in support of the marriage to give any proof of the residence of the parties or either of them in any parish or other ecclesiastical district in which the banns were published, and no evidence shall be given to prove the contrary in any proceedings touching the validity of the marriage.

(2)Where any marriage has been solemnized on the authority of a common licence, it shall not be necessary in support of the marriage to give any proof that the usual place of residence of one of the parties was for fifteen days immediately before the grant of the licence in the parish or other ecclesiastical district in which the marriage was solemnized, and no evidence shall be given to prove the contrary in any proceedings touching the validity of the marriage.

25 Void marriages.E+W

[F63(1)A marriage shall be void in any of the following cases.]

[F64(2)][F65Case A is where any persons] knowingly and wilfully intermarry according to the rites of the Church of England (otherwise than by special licence)—

(a)[F66except in the case of a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act,] in any place other than a church or other building in which banns may be published;

(b)without banns having been duly published, a common licence having been obtained, or [F67a marriage schedule] having been duly issued under Part III of this Act F68...; or

(c)on the authority of a publication of banns which is void by virtue of subsection (3) of section three or subsection (2) of section twelve of this Act, on the authority of a common licence which is void by virtue of subsection (3) of section sixteen of this Act, or on the authority of [F69a marriage schedule which is] void by virtue of subsection (2) of section thirty-three of this Act;

(d)in the case of a marriage on the authority of [F70a marriage schedule], in any place other than the church [F71building or other place specified in the [F72notices of marriage [F73and (if so specified) in the marriage schedule]] as the place where the marriage is to be solemnized].

[F74(3)Case B is where any persons knowingly and wilfully consent to or acquiesce in the solemnization of a Church of England marriage between them by a person who is not in Holy Orders.

(4)Case C is where any persons of the same sex consent to or acquiesce in the solemnization of a Church of England marriage between them.

(5)In subsections (3) and (4) “Church of England marriage” means a marriage according to the rites of the Church of England.]

Textual Amendments

F72Words in s. 25(2)(d) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 7(c); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F74S. 25(3)-(5) substituted for words in s. 25(2) (13.3.2014) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 7 para. 4(4); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(k)(i)

Part IIIU.K. Marriage under [F75marriage schedule]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C33Pt. III applied (S.) as to issue of certificates for marriage by Marriage (Scotland) Act 1956 (c. 70), s. 1(3)

Issue of [F76a marriage schedule] U.K.

Textual Amendments

F76Words in s. 26 cross-heading substituted (4.5.2021) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 10 (with Sch. 2)

[F7726Marriage of a man and a woman; marriage of same sex couples for which no opt-in necessaryE+W

(1)The following marriages may be solemnized on the authority of [F78a marriage schedule]

(a)a marriage of a man and a woman, in a building registered under section 41, according to such form and ceremony as the persons to be married see fit to adopt;

(b)a marriage of any couple in the office of a superintendent registrar;

(bb)a marriage of any couple on approved premises;

(c)a marriage of a man and a woman according to the usages of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers);

(d)a marriage between a man and a woman professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews;

(dd)a qualifying residential marriage;

(e)a marriage of a man and a woman according to the rites of the Church of England in any church or chapel in which banns of matrimony may be published.

(2)In this section “qualifying residential marriage” means—

(a)the marriage of a man and a woman (other than a marriage in pursuance of subsection (1)(c) or (d) above), one or each of whom is house-bound or a detained person, at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons, or

(b)the marriage of a same sex couple (other than a marriage according to the rites of the Church of England or other religious rites or usages), one or each of whom is house-bound or a detained person, at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons.]

[F7926AOpt-in to marriage of same sex couples: places of worshipU.K.

(1)A marriage of a same sex couple in an appropriately registered building according to such form and ceremony as the persons to be married see fit to adopt may be solemnized on the authority of [F80a marriage schedule].

(2)For the purposes of this section “appropriately registered building” means a building which has been registered under section 43A.

(3)An application for registration of a building under section 43A may not be made unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same sex couples.

(4)For that purpose, in relation to a building—

  • relevant governing authority” means the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section;

  • relevant religious organisation” means the religious organisation for whose religious purposes the building is used.

(5)Nothing in this section is to be taken to relate or have any reference to marriages solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England.

(6)This section is subject (in particular) to sections 44A to 44C (registration of shared buildings for marriage of same sex couples) and regulations made under any of those sections.]

Textual Amendments

F79S. 26A inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), ss. 4(1), 21(3); S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(b)

[F8126BOpt-in to marriage of same sex couples: other religious ceremoniesU.K.

(1)A marriage may, in any of the following cases, be solemnized on the authority of [F82a marriage schedule].

(2)Case A is where—

(a)the marriage is of a same sex couple according to the usages of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers), and

(b)the relevant governing authority has given written consent to such marriages of same sex couples.

(3)For that purpose “relevant governing authority” means the recording clerk for the time being of the Society of Friends in London.

(4)Case B is where—

(a)the marriage is of a same sex couple professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews, and

(b)the relevant governing authority has given written consent to such marriages of same sex couples.

(5)For that purpose the meaning of “relevant governing authority” is to be determined in accordance with this table—

The “relevant governing authority” is......if the marriage falls to be registered by...
the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealththe secretary of a synagogue certified under paragraph (a) of the relevant definition (certification by the President of the Board of Deputies)

the person or persons duly recognised by the members of—

(i)

the West London Synagogue of British Jews (“the West London Synagogue”), and

(ii)

the other synagogues that are constituents of or affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism

— either the secretary of the West London Synagogue, as certified under paragraph (b) of the relevant definition

— or the secretary of another synagogue in a case where:

(i)

the secretary is certified under paragraph (d) of the relevant definition by the secretary of the West London Synagogue, and

(ii)

the synagogue is one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism

the person or persons duly recognised by the members of—

(i)

the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St. John's Wood (“the St. John's Wood Synagogue”), and

(ii)

the other synagogues that are constituents of or affiliated to Liberal Judaism

— either the secretary of the St. John's Wood Synagogue, as certified under paragraph (c) of the relevant definition

— or the secretary of another synagogue in a case where:

(i)

the secretary is certified under paragraph (d) of the relevant definition by the secretary of the St. John's Wood Synagogue, and

(ii)

the synagogue is one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to Liberal Judaism

the person or persons duly recognised by the members of the synagogue by whose secretary the marriage falls to be registered

the secretary of a synagogue certified under paragraph (d) of the relevant definition (certification by the secretary of the West London Synagogue or the secretary of the St. John's Wood Synagogue) in a case where the synagogue is not one of those which are constituents of or affiliated to:

(i)

the Movement for Reform Judaism, or

(ii)

Liberal Judaism

In that table—

(a)relevant definition” means the definition of “secretary of a synagogue” in section 67;

(b)a reference to a person or persons being duly recognised is a reference to the person or persons being recognised for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section.

(6)Case C is where—

(a)the marriage is of a same sex couple according to religious rites or usages (other than the rites of the Church of England),

(b)one or each of the couple is house-bound or a detained person,

(c)the marriage is at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons, and

(d)the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same sex couples according to those religious rites or usages.

(7)For that purpose—

  • relevant governing authority” means the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section;

  • relevant religious organisation” means the religious organisation according to whose rites or usages the marriage is to be solemnized.

(8)Subsection (6) does not authorise a marriage that may be solemnized under subsection (2) or (4).]

27 Notice of marriage.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F83a marriage schedule] F84. . ., notice of marriage in the prescribed form shall be given—

(a)if the persons to be married have resided in the same registration district for the period of seven days immediately before the giving of the notice, by [F85each] of those persons to the superintendent registrar of that district;

(b)if the persons to be married have not resided in the same registration district for the said period of seven days as aforesaid, by [F86each] of those persons to the superintendent registrar of [the registration district in which he or she has resided] for that period.

F87(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)A notice of marriage shall state [F88the name and surname, [F89the date of birth,] marital status, occupation [F90, place of residence and nationality] of each of the persons to be married] [F88the name and surname, occupation, place of residence and nationality of each of the persons to be married, whether either of them has previously been married or formed a civil partnership and, if so, how the marriage or civil partnership ended] and [F91in the case of a marriage intended to be solemnized at a person’s residence in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act, which residence is to be the place of solemnization of the marriage and, in any other case,] [F92the church or other building or premises in or on which] the marriage is to be solemnized and—

(a)F93. . . shall state the period, not being less than seven days, during which each of the persons to be married has resided in his or her place of residence;

F94(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

[F95(4)A superintendent registrar in receipt of a notice of marriage must, as soon as reasonably practicable—

(a)file the notice of marriage and keep it with the records of the superintendent registrar’s office, and

(b)record the notice of marriage by entering in the marriage register the particulars given in that notice together with the date of the notice.

(4A)A superintendent registrar must ensure that the following are open to inspection free of charge at all reasonable hours—

(a)the particulars and date referred to in subsection (4)(b) in respect of notices given in the superintendent registrar’s registration district;

(b)any marriage notice book that was required to be kept in the office of the superintendent registrar before the introduction of the marriage register on 4th May 2021;

(c)particulars given in a notice of marriage, the date of the notice and the name of the person by whom the notice was given, where such information has been entered in an approved electronic form in the superintendent registrar’s registration district before the introduction of the marriage register on 4th May 2021.]

(5)If the persons to be married wish to be married in the presence of a registrar in a registered building for which an authorised person has been appointed, they shall, at the time when notice of marriage is given to the superintendent registrar under this section, give notice to him that they require a registrar to be present at the marriage.

F96(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F96(7). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F83Words in s. 27(1) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(4)(d), Sch. 1 para. 12(2) (with Sch. 2)

F84Words in s. 27(1) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 160(2)(a), 169(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F85Word in s. 27(1)(a) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 161(1)(a); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F86Words in s. 27(1)(b) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 161(1)(b); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F87S. 27(2) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 160(2)(b), 169(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F88Words in s. 27(3) substituted (15.4.2005 for specified purposes, 5.12.2005 in so far as not already in force) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), s. 263(10)(b), Sch. 27 para. 14; S.I. 2005/1112, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2)

F90Words in s. 27(3) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 161(2); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F92Words in s. 27(3) substituted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 2; S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(a)

F93Words in s. 27(3)(a) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 160(2)(c), 169(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F94S. 27(3)(b) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 160(2)(d), 169(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F95S. 27(4)(4A) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(5)(b), Sch. 1 para. 12(3) (with Sch. 2)

F96S. 27(6)(7) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 9; S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

[F9727ZA[F98Circumstances in which a notice of marriage is not to be recorded in the marriage register]U.K.

The superintendent registrar shall not [F99record a notice of marriage in the marriage register] in a case where any of the following requirements is applicable but is not complied with—

(a)a requirement imposed by or under any of the following provisions of this Act—

  • section 27A(2) or (3);

  • section 27A(4);

  • section 27B(2);

  • section 27E(3) to (7);

  • section 27E(8);

  • section 28B(1);

  • [F100section 28B(1A);]

  • section 28C(4) or (6);

(b)the requirement imposed by section 19(2) of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004.]

[F10127A Additional information required in certain cases.E+W

(1)This section applies in relation to any marriage intended to be solemnized at a person’s residence in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) [F102or 26B(6)] of this Act, and in the following provisions of this section that person is referred to as “the relevant person”.

(2)Where the relevant person is not a detained person, [F103each notice] of marriage required by section 27 of this Act shall be accompanied by a medical statement relating to that person made not more than fourteen days before the date on which the notice is given.

(3)Where the relevant person is a detained person, [F103each notice] of marriage required by section 27 of this Act shall be accompanied by a statement made in the prescribed form by the responsible authority not more than twenty-one days before the date on which notice of the marriage is given under section 27—

(a)identifying the establishment where the person is detained; and

(b)stating that the responsible authority has no objection to that establishment being specified in the notice of marriage as the place where that marriage is to be solemnized.

(4)[F104Each person] who gives notice of the marriage to the superintendent registrar in accordance with section 27 of this Act shall give the superintendent registrar the prescribed particulars, in the prescribed form, of the person by or before whom the marriage is intended to be solemnized.

F105(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)The fact that a superintendent registrar has received a statement under subsection (2) or (as the case may be) (3) of this section shall be entered in the [F106marriage register] together with the particulars given in the notice of marriage and any such statement together with the form received under subsection (4) of this section shall be filed and kept with the records of the office of the superintendent register or, where notice of marriage is required to be given to two superintendent registrars, of [F107each] of them.

F108(6A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)In this section—

  • medical statement”, in relation to any person, means a statement made in the prescribed form by a registered medical practitioner that in his opinion at the time the statement is made—

(a)by reason of illness or disability, he or she ought not to move or be moved from the place where he or she is at the time, and

(b)it is likely that it will be the case for at least the following three months that by reason of the illness or disability he or she ought not to move or be moved from that place; and

  • registered medical practitioner” has the meaning given by Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act M41978; and

  • responsible authority” means—

(a)if the person is detained in a hospital (within the meaning of Part II of the Mental Health Act M51983), the managers of that hospital (within the meaning of section 145(1) of that Act); or

(b)if the person is detained in a prison or other place to which the Prison Act M61952 applies, the governor or other officer for the time being in charge of that prison or other place.]

[F10927B Provisions relating to section 1(3) marriages.E+W

(1)This section applies in relation to any marriage mentioned in subsection (2) of section 1 of this Act which is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F110a marriage schedule].

(2)The superintendent registrar shall not [F111record notice of the marriage in the marriage register] [F112,] unless—

(a)he is satisfied by the production of evidence that both the persons to be married have attained the age of twenty-one; and

(b)he has received a declaration made in the prescribed form by each of those persons, each declaration having been signed and attested in the prescribed manner, specifying their affinal relationship and declaring that the younger of those persons has not at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other.

(3)The fact that a superintendent registrar has received a declaration under subsection (2) of this section shall be entered in the [F113marriage register] together with the particulars given in the notice of marriage and any such declaration shall be filed and kept with the records of the office of the superintendent registrar or, where notice of marriage is required to be given to two superintendent registrars, of each of them.

F114(3A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)Where the superintendent registrar receives from some person other than the persons to be married a written statement signed by that person which alleges that the declaration made under subsection (2) of this section is false in a material particular, [F115a marriage schedule may not be issued] F116. . . unless a declaration is obtained F117... under subsection (5) of this section.

(5)Either of the persons to be married may, whether or not any statement has been received by the superintendent registrar under subsection (4) of this section, apply to the High Court [F118or the family court] for a declaration that, both those persons having attained the age of twenty-one and the younger of those persons not having at any time before attaining the age of eighteen been a child of the family in relation to the other, there is no impediment of affinity to the solemnization of the marriage; and where such a declaration is obtained the superintendent registrar may enter notice of the marriage in the [F119marriage register and a marriage schedule may be issued] F120. . . whether or not any declaration has been made under subsection (2) of this section.

(6)Section 29 of this Act shall not apply in relation to a marriage to which this section applies, except so far as a caveat against the issue of a [F121marriage schedule] F116. . . for the marriage is entered under that section on a ground other than the relationship of the persons to be married.]

Textual Amendments

F116Words in s. 27B(4)(6) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 10(b), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F117Words in s. 27B(4) omitted (22.4.2014) by virtue of Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 14(2); S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

F118Words in s. 27B(5) inserted (22.4.2014) by Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22), s. 61(3), Sch. 11 para. 14(3); S.I. 2014/954, art. 2(e) (with art. 3) (with transitional provisions and savings in S.I. 2014/956, arts. 3-11)

F120Words in s. 27B(5) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 10(c), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F12227C Provisions relating to section 1(5) marriages.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

[F12327DAdditional information required for certain marriages of same sex couplesU.K.

(1)This section applies in relation to any marriage intended to be solemnized in pursuance of section 26B(2), (4) or (6) (marriage of same sex couples: Quaker marriage, Jewish marriage, marriage of house-bound or detained person).

(2)The superintendent registrar to whom notice of such a marriage is given under section 27 may require the relevant governing authority to provide a copy of the consent mentioned in section 26B(2)(b), (4)(b) or (6)(d).

(3)In this section, “relevant governing authority”, in relation to an intended marriage under section 26B(2), (4) or (6), has the same meaning as in that provision.]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C35S. 27D applied (with modifications) by 1970 c. 34, s. 2(4) (as inserted (13.3.2014) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 7 para. 24; S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(k)(ii))

[F12427EAdditional information if party not relevant nationalU.K.

(1)This section applies to notice of marriage given to a superintendent registrar in accordance with section 27 if one, or each, of the parties to the proposed marriage is not a relevant national.

(2)But this section does not apply if section 39A applies to the proposed marriage.

(3)For each party to the proposed marriage who is not a relevant national, the notice must include whichever of statements A, B or C is applicable to that person.

(4)Statement A is a statement that the person has the appropriate immigration status.

(5)Statement B is a statement that the person holds a relevant visa in respect of the proposed marriage.

(6)Statement C is a statement that the person neither—

(a)has the appropriate immigration status, nor

(b)holds a relevant visa in respect of the proposed marriage.

(7)If the notice contains the statement referred to in the first column of an entry in this table, the notice must be accompanied by the information and photographs referred to in the second column of that entry (insofar as that entry is applicable to the parties to the proposed marriage)—

If the notice includes this statement......the notice must be accompanied by...
Statement A (in respect of one or both of the parties to the proposed marriage)For each party in respect of whom statement A is made, details of the particular immigration status which that party has
Statement B (in respect of one or both of the parties to the proposed marriage)

1For each party, a specified photograph of that party

2For each party in respect of whom statement B is made, details of the relevant visa which that party has

Statement C (in respect of one or both of the parties to the proposed marriage)

1For each party, a specified photograph of that party

2For each party, the usual address of that party

3For each party whose usual address is outside the United Kingdom, an address in the United Kingdom at which that party can be contacted by post

4For each party who has previously used any name or names other than the person's name stated in the notice in accordance with section 27(3), a statement of the other name or names

5For each party who currently uses, or has previously used, an alias or aliases, a statement of the alias or aliases

(8)If the notice contains more than one of statements A, B and C, subsection (7) must be complied with in relation to each of those statements; but where the notice contains statements B and C, subsection (7) does not require the notice to be accompanied by more than one specified photograph of each party.

(9)If the notice includes statement C for a party to the proposed marriage—

(a)the notice may be accompanied by a statement (“statement D”) of that person's immigration position in the United Kingdom;

(b)if the notice is accompanied by statement D for a party to the proposed marriage, the person may provide the superintendent registrar with details of his or her immigration position in the United Kingdom; and

(c)if any such details are provided, the superintendent registrar must record them [F125in the marriage register].

(10)In this section—

(a)a reference—

(i)to a person having the appropriate immigration status, or

(ii)to a person holding a relevant visa,

has the same meaning as in section 49 of the Immigration Act 2014;

(b)a reference to the particular immigration status which a person has is a reference to the immigration status set out in any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 49(2) of that Act which the person has;

(c)a reference to a person's immigration position in the United Kingdom includes a reference to the person's not being entitled to be in the United Kingdom.

(11)In this section “specified photograph” means a photograph that is in accordance with regulations made under section 28G (and for this purpose “photograph” includes other kinds of images).]

Textual Amendments

F124S. 27E inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 4 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28 Declaration to accompany notice of marriage. E+W

(1)No [F126marriage schedule] shall be issued by a superintendent registrar unless the notice of marriage is accompanied by a solemn declaration in writing, in the body or at the foot of the notice, made and signed at the time of the giving of the notice by the person by whom the notice is given and attested as mentioned in subsection (2) of this section—

(a)that he or she believes that there is no impediment of kindred or alliance or other lawful hindrance to the marriage;

[F127(b)that the persons to be married have for the period of 7 days immediately before the giving of the notice had their usual places of residence within the registration district or registration districts in which notice is given;]

(c)where one of the persons to be married is [F128a child] and is not a widower [F129, widow or surviving civil partner], that the consent of the person or persons whose consent to the marriage is required under section three of this Act has been obtained, that the necessity of obtaining any such consent has been dispensed with under that section, that the court has consented to the marriage under that section, or that there is no person whose consent to the marriage is so required.

[F130(d)that he or she believes all of the information stated in the notice, and all information and evidence supplied with the notice, is true.]

(2)Any such declaration as aforesaid shall be signed by the person giving the notice of marriage in the presence of the superintendent registrar to whom the notice is given or his deputy, or in the presence of a registrar of births and deaths or of marriages for the registration district in which the person giving the notice resides or his deputy, and that superintendent registrar, deputy superintendent registrar, registrar or deputy registrar, as the case may be, shall attest the declaration by adding thereto his name, description and place of residence.

Textual Amendments

F127S. 28(1)(b) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 11, Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F128Words in s. 28(1)(c) substituted (E.W.) by Family Law Reform Act 1987 (c. 42), ss. 33(1), 34(2)(5), Sch. 2 para. 9

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C36S. 28 except para. 1(b) applied with modification by Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (c. 34), s. 2(3)

C37S. 28(1) applied with modification by Marriage (Scotland) Act 1956 (c. 70), s. 1(2)(c)

[F13228A[F131Power to require evidence of consent to marriages of same sex couples]E+W

F133(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F134(1A)In the case of an intended marriage to which section 27D applies, the superintendent registrar to whom the notice of the marriage is given may require the relevant governing authority to produce evidence relating to the consent mentioned in section 26B(2)(b), (4)(b) or (6)(d).]

(2)[F135A requirement under subsection (1A)] may be imposed at any time—

(a)on or after the giving of the notice of marriage; but

[F136(b)before a marriage schedule is issued.]

F137(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

Textual Amendments

F132S. 28A and sidenote inserted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 162(1); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C38S. 28A(1A) applied (with modifications) by 1970 c. 34, s. 2(4) (as inserted (13.3.2014) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 7 para. 24; S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(k)(ii))

C39S. 28A(2) applied (with modifications) by 1970 c. 34, s. 2(4) (as inserted (13.3.2014) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 7 para. 24; S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(k)(ii))

[F13828BProvision of evidenceU.K.

(1)A notice of marriage under section 27 must, in relation to each of the parties to the marriage, be accompanied by specified evidence of the following matters—

(a)the person's name and surname;

(b)the person's date of birth;

(c)the person's place of residence;

(d)the person's nationality.

[F139(1A)If a party to the marriage is a relevant national within the meaning of paragraph (ab) of the definition of “relevant national” in section 78(1), the notice of marriage under section 27 must also be accompanied—

(a)where the party falls within paragraph (ab)(i) of that definition, by an electronic certificate which confirms that the leave referred to in that provision has been granted; or

(b)where the party falls within paragraph (ab)(ii) of that definition—

(i)by a certificate of application which confirms that the application referred to in regulation 4 of the Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 has been made; and

(ii)by evidence that the relevant period referred to in regulation 4 of those Regulations has not expired.]

(2)A person giving a notice of marriage under section 27 must provide the superintendent registrar to whom the notice is given with specified evidence—

(a)as to whether the person has previously been married or formed a civil partnership; and

(b)if so, as to the ending of the marriage or civil partnership.

(3)In this section “specified evidence” means evidence that is in accordance with regulations made under section 28G.

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28CAdditional evidence if party not relevant nationalU.K.

(1)This section applies to notice of marriage given to a superintendent registrar in accordance with section 27 if one, or each, of the parties to the proposed marriage is not a relevant national.

(2)If the notice includes statement A (referred to in section 27E(4)), and accordingly is accompanied by details of the particular immigration status which a party to the proposed marriage has, the notice must be accompanied by specified evidence of that status.

(3)If the notice includes statement B (referred to in section 27E(5)), the notice must be accompanied by specified evidence of the holding of the relevant visa by the party to the proposed marriage.

(4)If, in accordance with section 27E(7), the notice is accompanied by the usual address of a party to the proposed marriage, the notice must also be accompanied by specified evidence that it is that party's usual address.

(5)If the notice includes statement D (referred to in section 27E(9)), the notice may be accompanied by evidence of the person's immigration position in the United Kingdom.

(6)If subsection (2) or (3) applies to the notice, and the notice is not accompanied by the specified evidence required by that subsection, the notice must be accompanied by—

(a)photographs and addresses of the kinds referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 in the relevant entry in section 27E(7);

(b)as respects the usual address of each party that is provided in accordance with paragraph (a), specified evidence that the address provided is that party's usual address; and

(c)addresses, names and aliases of the kinds referred to in paragraphs 3 to 5 in the relevant entry in section 27E(7) (insofar as those paragraphs are applicable to the parties to the proposed marriage).

(7)In this section—

  • relevant entry in section 27E(7)” means the second column of the last entry in the table in section 27E(7);

  • specified evidence” means evidence that is in accordance with regulations made under section 28G.

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28DChange of usual address or UK contact addressU.K.

(1)The Secretary of State may, by regulations, make provision about the giving to the Secretary of State of—

(a)notice of a person's usual address, if the person's notified usual address changes;

(b)notice of a UK contact address, if the person's notified usual address is not in the United Kingdom;

(c)notice of a person's UK contact address, if the person's notified UK contact address changes;

(d)evidence of any address notified in accordance with regulations under paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(2)The provision that may be made in regulations under this section includes—

(a)provision imposing a requirement on a person;

(b)provision about the rejection of information or evidence which there are reasonable grounds to suspect to be false.

(3)Regulations under subsection (1)(d) may, in particular, make any provision of the kind that may be made under section 28G(3).

(4)Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument; and a statutory instrument containing such regulations is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5)In this section—

  • notified UK contact address” means an address in the United Kingdom, at which a person can be contacted by post, that has been notified in accordance with—

    (a)

    section 27E(7) or 28C(6), or

    (b)

    regulations under this section;

  • notified usual address” means the usual address of a person that has been notified in accordance with—

    (a)

    section 27E(7) or 28C(6), or

    (b)

    regulations under this section.

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28ERejection of false information or evidenceU.K.

(1)A superintendent registrar may reject—

(a)any information or photograph provided under section 27, 27E or 28C, or

(b)any evidence provided under section 28A, 28B or 28C,

if (in particular) the superintendent registrar has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the information, photograph or evidence is false.

(2)If the superintendent registrar rejects any information, photograph or evidence, the superintendent registrar may proceed under this Act as if the rejected information, photograph or evidence had not been provided.

(3)This section does not limit the powers of superintendent registrars to reject anything provided under any other enactment.

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28FAmendment of notice and evidence provisionsU.K.

(1)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)amend section 27, 27E or 28C so as to vary the information that must or may be given in cases where that section applies;

(b)amend section 28B or 28C so as to vary the matters in respect of which evidence must or may be given in cases where that section applies;

(c)make such provision (including provision amending section 27ZA, 28D or 28G or any other enactment) as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in consequence of provision made under paragraph (a) or (b).

(2)The Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General before making an order under this section.

(3)An order under this section is to be made by statutory instrument; and no statutory instrument containing such an order may be made unless a draft of it has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

28GSpecified evidenceU.K.

(1)The Registrar General may make regulations about the evidence that is required to be given for the purposes of section 8, 16 or 28B.

(2)The Secretary of State may make regulations about the evidence that is required to be given for the purposes of section 28C.

(3)Regulations under this section may, in particular, make provision about—

(a)the kind of evidence which is to be supplied;

(b)the form in which evidence is to be supplied;

(c)the manner in which evidence is to be supplied;

(d)the period within which evidence is to be supplied;

(e)the supply of further evidence;

(f)the sufficiency of evidence supplied;

(g)the consequences of failing to supply sufficient evidence in accordance with the regulations (including provision to secure that, in such a case, a particular decision is made or is to be treated as having been made);

(h)the retention or copying of evidence supplied.

(4)In this section “evidence” includes a photograph or other image.

(5)The Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General before making regulations under this section.

(6)The Registrar General must obtain the approval of the Secretary of State before making regulations under this section.

(7)Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

(8)A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section made by the Secretary of State is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.]

Textual Amendments

F138Ss. 28B-28G inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 7 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

[F14028HReferral of proposed marriage to Secretary of StateU.K.

(1)On every occasion when notice of marriage is given under section 27, a superintendent registrar must decide whether or not each of the parties to the proposed marriage is an exempt person.

(2)But this section does not apply if section 39A applies to the proposed marriage.

(3)In making a decision under subsection (1) about a party to a proposed marriage, a superintendent registrar may rely on any advice given in relation to that decision by the Secretary of State.

(4)In a case where—

(a)section 27E applies to the notice of marriage, and

(b)specified evidence required by section 28C(2) or (3) in relation to a party to the proposed marriage is not produced in accordance with that section,

the superintendent registrar must decide that that party to the proposed marriage is not an exempt person.

(5)If the superintendent registrar decides that either of the parties is not an exempt person, or that both of the parties are not exempt persons, the superintendent registrar must—

(a)refer the proposed marriage to the Secretary of State;

(b)notify the parties to the proposed marriage that the proposed marriage must be referred to the Secretary of State;

(c)give the parties to the proposed marriage prescribed information about—

(i)the effects of the referral;

(ii)the requirement under regulations under section 28D to notify the Secretary of State of changes of address.

(6)The superintendent registrar must act in accordance with regulations when complying with the duty in subsection (5)(a) to refer a proposed marriage to the Secretary of State.

(7)Regulations may, in particular, make provision about—

(a)the form, manner or timing of the referral of a proposed marriage;

(b)information, photographs or evidence — or copies of any of those things — to be included with the referral of a proposed marriage.

(8)Regulations are to be made by statutory instrument; and a statutory instrument containing regulations is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(9)If the superintendent registrar refers the proposed marriage to the Secretary of State, this Act has effect in relation to the proposed marriage subject to the modifications in Schedule 3A.

(10)In this section—

(a)a reference to a person being an exempt person has the same meaning as in section 49 of the Immigration Act 2014;

(b)prescribed information” means information prescribed in regulations;

(c)regulations” means regulations made by the Secretary of State after consulting the Registrar General.]

Textual Amendments

F140S. 28H inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 8 (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

29 Caveat against issue of [F141marriage schedule]. E+W

[F142(1)Any person may enter a caveat with any superintendent registrar against the issue of a marriage schedule in respect of any person named in the caveat and that superintendent registrar must ensure that the fact that it has been entered and the information in it are recorded in the marriage register as soon as reasonably practicable.]

(2)If any caveat is entered as aforesaid, the caveat having been signed by or on behalf of the person by whom it was entered and stating his place of residence and the ground of objection on which the caveat is founded, no [F143marriage schedule] F144. . . shall be issued [F145until the relevant superintendent registrar] has examined into the matter of the caveat and is satisfied that it ought not to obstruct the issue of the [F143marriage schedule] F144. . ., or until the caveat has been withdrawn by the person who entered it; and if the superintendent registrar is doubtful whether to issue a [F143marriage schedule] F144. . . he may refer the matter of the caveat to the Registrar General.

[F146(2A)For the purposes of subsection (2), the relevant superintendent registrar is the superintendent registrar who first records that a notice of marriage has been given by one of the parties to the marriage.]

(3)Where a superintendent registrar refuses, by reason of any such caveat as aforesaid, to issue a [F147marriage schedule] F144. . ., the person applying therefor may appeal to the Registrar General who shall either confirm the refusal or direct that a [F147marriage schedule] F144. . . shall be issued.

(4)Any person who enters a caveat against the issue of a [F148marriage schedule] F144. . . on grounds which the Registrar General declares to be frivolous and to be such that they ought not to obstruct the issue of the [F148marriage schedule] F144. . ., shall be liable for the costs of the proceedings before the Registrar General and for damages recoverable by the person against whose marriage the caveat was entered.

(5)For the purpose of enabling any person to recover any such costs and damages as aforesaid, a copy of the declaration of the Registrar General purporting to be sealed with the seal of the General Register Office shall be evidence that the Registrar General has declared the caveat to have been entered on grounds which are frivolous and such that they ought not to obstruct the issue of the [F149marriage schedule] F144. . ..

Textual Amendments

F144Words in s. 29 repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 12, Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C40S. 29 applied with modification by Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (c. 34), s. 5

C41Ss. 29-31A applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

[F15030 [F150Forbidding of issue of marriage schedule.]E+W

(1)Any person whose consent is required under section 3 in respect of a marriage intended to be solemnized on the authority of a marriage schedule may, after notice of marriage has been given, forbid the issue of the marriage schedule by attending the office of any superintendent registrar in person and informing the superintendent registrar that they forbid the issue of the marriage schedule.

(2)A person informing the superintendent registrar under subsection (1) that they forbid the issue of a marriage schedule must provide the superintendent registrar with—

(a)their name and place of residence;

(b)the capacity, in relation to either of the parties to be married, in which they forbid the issue of the marriage schedule.

(3)When a superintendent registrar is informed under subsection (1) that a person forbids the issue of a marriage schedule, the superintendent registrar must—

(a)as soon as reasonably practicable, record in the marriage register the fact that the person forbids the issue of the marriage schedule and the information provided under subsection (2);

(b)ensure that the information recorded under paragraph (a) is open to inspection free of charge at all reasonable hours.

(4)Where the issue of a marriage schedule has been forbidden under subsection (1) the notice of marriage and all proceedings in relation to it are void unless a court has consented to the marriage concerned under section 3(1)(b).]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41Ss. 29-31A applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

31 Marriage under [F151marriage schedule].E+W

[F152(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of a marriage schedule, the superintendent registrar to whom notice of marriage is given must display in some conspicuous place in their office, for 28 successive days beginning with the day after the day on which the notice was recorded in the marriage register—

(a)the notice of marriage,

(b)the particulars given in the notice, in an approved electronic form, or

(c)an exact copy, signed by the superintendent registrar, of the particulars given in the notice, as entered in the marriage register.

(2)The superintendent registrar for the registration district in which a marriage is to be solemnized must, once satisfied that any of the conditions in subsection (3) is met, issue a document to be known as a “marriage schedule” in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed, unless—

(a)the superintendent registrar is not satisfied that there is no lawful impediment to the issue of the marriage schedule, or

(b)the issue of the marriage schedule has been forbidden under section 30.

(3)The conditions are that—

(a)the waiting period in relation to each notice of marriage has expired;

(b)where one party to the marriage resides in Scotland, the superintendent registrar has received a certificate issued to that party under section 7(2) of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 and the waiting period in relation to the notice of marriage given by the party residing in England or Wales has expired;

(c)where one party to the marriage is an officer, seaman or marine borne on the books of one of Her Majesty’s ships at sea, the superintendent registrar to whom notice of marriage was given by the other party has received a certificate issued under section 39 to the party borne on the books of one of Her Majesty’s ships at sea and the waiting period in relation to the notice of marriage given by the party residing in England or Wales has expired.

(3A)A marriage schedule must include a statement that the issue of the marriage schedule has not been forbidden under section 30.

(4)A marriage schedule issued under subsection (2) is to be issued to one or both of the parties to the marriage, except in a case where the marriage is to be solemnized in the presence of a registrar, in which case the marriage schedule is to be issued to that registrar.]

[F153(4A)The waiting period”, in relation to a notice of marriage, means—

(a)the period of [F15428 days], or

(b)such shorter period as may be determined by the Registrar General under subsection (5A) or by a superintendent registrar under any provision of regulations made under subsection (5D),

after the day on which the notice of marriage was [F155recorded in the marriage register].]

(5)Where a marriage is to be solemnized in a registered building for which an authorised person has been appointed and no notice requiring a registrar to be present at the marriage has been given to the superintendent registrar under subsection (5) of section twenty-seven of this Act, the superintendent registrar shall, when issuing a [F156marriage schedule], give to [F157the person by whom notice of marriage was given] printed instructions in the prescribed form for the due solemnization of the marriage.

[F158(5A)If, on an application made to the Registrar General, he is satisfied that there are compelling reasons for reducing the [F15928 day period] because of the exceptional circumstances of the case, he may reduce that period to such shorter period as he considers appropriate.

(5B)The [F15928 day period]” means [F160the period mentioned in subsection (4A), ignoring paragraph (b)].

F161(5C). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5D)The Registrar General may by regulations make provision with respect to the making, and granting, of applications under subsection (5A).

(5E)The regulations—

(a)may provide for the power conferred by subsection (5A) to be exercised by a superintendent registrar on behalf of the Registrar General in cases falling within a category prescribed in the regulations;

(b)may provide for the making of an appeal to the Registrar General against a decision taken by a superintendent registrar in accordance with regulations made by virtue of paragraph (a);

(c)may make different provision in relation to different cases;

(d)require the approval of [F162the Secretary of State].

[F163(5EA)If a proposed marriage is referred to the Secretary of State under section 28H—

(a)any application under subsection (5A) is to be made to the Secretary of State; and

(b)the power conferred by subsection (5A) is exercisable by the Secretary of State;

F164....

(5EB)If the Secretary of State grants an application made under subsection (5A), the Secretary of State must give notice of the grant of the application to the applicant and to the superintendent registrar to whom notice of the marriage was given [F165and (if different) to the superintendent registrar responsible for issuing the marriage schedule].

(5EC)Regulations under subsection (5D) do not apply to applications made to the Secretary of State in accordance with subsection (5EA).

(5ED)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision with respect to the making, and granting, of applications made in accordance with subsection (5EA).

(5EE)The Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General before making regulations under subsection (5ED).]

F166(5F). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F166(5G). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5H)The power to make regulations under subsection (5D) [F167or (5ED)] F168... is exercisable by statutory instrument.

F169(5I). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

F170(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F171(7)This section has effect subject to section 31ZA.]

Textual Amendments

F151Words in s. 31 heading substituted (4.5.2021) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2), 5(2) (with Sch. 2)

F152S. 31(1)-(4) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(a)(8)(a), 5(3) (with Sch. 2)

F153S. 31(4A) inserted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 160(5); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F154Words in s. 31 substituted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 10(2)(b) (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

F156Words in s. 31(5) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(a)(8)(a), 5(5) (with Sch. 2)

F157Words in s. 31(5) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 14(b); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F158S. 31(5A)-(5I) inserted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 160(6); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F159Words in s. 31 substituted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 10(2)(c) (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

F163S. 31(5EA)-(5EE) inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 10(3) (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

F164Words in s. 31(5EA) omitted (4.5.2021) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2), 5(8) (with Sch. 2)

F165Words in s. 31(5EB) inserted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(8)(a), 5(9) (with Sch. 2)

F166S. 31(5F)(5G) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 10(a); S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

F167Words in s. 31(5H) inserted (20.10.2014 for specified purposes, 1.3.2015 in so far as not already in force) by Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 10(4) (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2014/2771, art. 3(e); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

F168Words in s. 31(5H) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 10(b); S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

F170S. 31(6) repealed by S.I. 1968/1242

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41Ss. 29-31A applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

[F17231ZANotice of marriage: false information or evidenceU.K.

(1)A superintendent registrar may refuse to issue a [F173marriage schedule] under section 31(2) in a case where—

(a)notice of marriage has been given under section 27, and

(b)a superintendent registrar has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a relevant decision was made incorrectly because of the provision of false information or evidence.

(2)If the superintendent registrar refuses to issue the [F174marriage schedule], the parties to the proposed marriage are to be taken not to have given notice under section 27; but that does not prevent criminal proceedings from being brought against either party, or any other person, in relation to the giving of the notice.

(3)This section does not limit the powers of superintendent registrars to refuse to issue [F175a marriage schedule] under section 31 in respect of marriages.

(4)In this section—

  • evidence” includes a photograph or other image;

  • exempt person” has the same meaning as in section 28H;

  • relevant decision” means a decision of a superintendent registrar that a party to a proposed marriage is an exempt person.]

Textual Amendments

F173Words in s. 31ZA(1) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(b), Sch. 1 para. 21(2) (with Sch. 2)

F174Words in s. 31ZA(2) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(b), Sch. 1 para. 21(2) (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41Ss. 29-31A applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

[F17731A Appeal on refusal under section 31(2)(a) [F176or 31ZA].E+W

(1)If, relying on section 31(2)(a) [F178or 31ZA], a superintendent registrar refuses to issue a [F179marriage schedule, the parties to the marriage] may appeal to the Registrar General.

(2)On such an appeal, the Registrar General must—

(a)confirm the refusal; or

(b)direct that a [F180marriage schedule] be issued.

[F181(2A)In a case where—

(a)in reliance on section 31ZA, a superintendent registrar refuses to issue a [F182marriage schedule], and

(b)on an appeal against the refusal, the Registrar General directs that a [F182marriage schedule] be issued,

section 31ZA(2) is of no effect — and is to be taken to have never had any effect — in relation to the parties' giving of notice under section 27.]

(3)If—

(a)relying on section 31(2)(a), a superintendent registrar refuses to issue a [F183marriage schedule] as a result of a representation made to him, and

(b)on an appeal against the refusal, the Registrar General declares the representation to have been frivolous and to be such that it ought not to obstruct the issue of a [F184marriage schedule],

the person making the representation is liable for the costs of the proceedings before the Registrar General and for damages recoverable by the [F185parties making the appeal].

[F186(3A)If—

(a)relying on section 31ZA, a superintendent registrar refuses to issue a [F187marriage schedule], and

(b)on an appeal against the refusal, the Registrar General declares the appeal to have been frivolous,

the [F188parties making the appeal are] liable for the costs of the proceedings before the Registrar General.]

(4)For the purpose of enabling a person to recover any [F189costs and damages in accordance with subsection (3) or (3A)], a copy of the declaration of the Registrar General purporting to be sealed with the seal of the General Register Office is evidence that the Registrar General has declared the representation to have been frivolous and to be such that it ought not to obstruct the issue of a [F190marriage schedule] [F191(in the case of subsection (3)) or evidence that the Registrar General has declared the appeal to have been frivolous (in the case of subsection (3A))].]

Textual Amendments

F177S. 31A and sidenote inserted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 163(2); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F179Words in s. 31A(1) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(2) (with Sch. 2)

F180Words in s. 31A(2)(b) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(3) (with Sch. 2)

F182Words in s. 31A(2A) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(4) (with Sch. 2)

F183Words in s. 31A(3)(a) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(5)(a) (with Sch. 2)

F184Words in s. 31A(3)(b) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(5)(b) (with Sch. 2)

F185Words in s. 31A(3) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(5)(c) (with Sch. 2)

F187Words in s. 31A(3A)(a) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(6)(a) (with Sch. 2)

F188Words in s. 31A(3A) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(6)(b) (with Sch. 2)

F190Words in s. 31A(4) substituted (19.4.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(8)(c), Sch. 1 para. 22(7) (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41Ss. 29-31A applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

F19232. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

Textual Amendments

F192S. 32 repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 160(3), 169(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

[F19433 Period of validity of [F193marriage schedule].E+W

(1)A marriage may be solemnized on the authority of [F195a marriage schedule] at any time within the period which is the applicable period in relation to that marriage.

(2)If the marriage is not solemnized within the applicable period—

(a)the notices of marriage and the [F196marriage schedule] are void; and

(b)no person may solemnize the marriage on the authority of [F197that marriage schedule].

(3)The applicable period, in relation to a marriage, is the period beginning with the day on which the notice of marriage was [F198recorded in the marriage register] and ending—

(a)in the case of a marriage which is to be solemnized in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd), 37 or 38, on the expiry of three months; and

(b)in the case of any other marriage, on the expiry of twelve months.

(4)If the notices of marriage given by each person to be married are not [F199recorded in the marriage register] on the same date, the applicable period is to be calculated by reference to the earlier of the two dates.]

Textual Amendments

F194S. 33 and sidenote substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 15; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C43S. 33 applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1956 c. 79, s. 1(3) (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 53(2) (with Sch. 2))

[F20034 Marriages normally to be solemnized in registration district in which one party resides.E+W

Subject to section 35, a superintendent registrar may not issue a [F201marriage schedule] for the solemnization of a marriage elsewhere than within a registration district in which one of the persons to be married has resided for 7 days immediately before the giving of the notice of marriage.]

Textual Amendments

F200S. 34 and sidenote substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

35 Marriages in registration district in which neither party resides.E+W

(1)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F202marriage schedule] F203. . . for the solemnization of a marriage in a registered building which is not within a registration district in which either of the persons to be married resides, where the person giving the notice of marriage declares by endorsement thereon in the prescribed form—

[F204(a)that the persons to be married desire the marriage to be solemnized according to a specified form, rite or ceremony, being a form, rite or ceremony of a body or denomination of christians or other persons meeting for religious worship to which one of them professes to belong.]

(b)that, to the best of his or her belief, there is not within the registration district in which one of them resides any registered building in which marriage is solemnized according to that form, rite or ceremony;

(c)the registration district nearest to the residence of that person in which there is a registered building in which marriage may be so solemnized; and

(d)the registered building in that district in which the marriage is intended to be solemnized;

and where any such [F202marriage schedule] [F205is issued F206...], the marriage may be solemnized in the registered building stated in the notice.

[F207(2)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F208marriage schedule] F209. . . for the solemnization of a marriage in a registered building which is the usual place of worship of the persons to be married, or of one of them, notwithstanding that the building is not within a registration district in which either of those persons resides.]

[F210(2A)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F211marriage schedule] F212. . . for the solemnization of a marriage in [F213the superintendent registrar’s office], notwithstanding that the office is not within a registration district in which either of the persons to be married resides.]

[F214(2B)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F215marriage schedule] F212. . . for the solemnization of a marriage on approved premises, notwithstanding that the premises are not within a registration district in which either of the persons to be married resides.]

(3)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F216marriage schedule] for the solemnization of a marriage in any parish church or authorised chapel which is the usual place of worship of the persons to be married, or of one of them, notwithstanding that the church or chapel is not within a registration district in which either of those persons resides.

[F217(3A)In a case where one or both of the persons to be married (“the couple”) are not relevant nationals, a superintendent registrar may issue a [F218marriage schedule] for the solemnization of a marriage in a qualifying church or chapel, notwithstanding that it is not within a registration district in which either of the couple resides.

(3B)In subsection (3A) “qualifying church or chapel” means a church or chapel which is not the usual place of worship of the couple but in which it would be possible—

(a)(if section 5(3)(a) were disregarded) for the marriage of the couple to be solemnized in accordance with section 5(1)(a) (marriage after publication of banns), or

(b)(if section 5(3)(b) were disregarded) for the marriage of the couple to be solemnized in accordance with section 5(1)(c) (marriage on authority of common licence).]

(4)A superintendent registrar may issue a [F219marriage schedule] F209. . . for the solemnization of a marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or in accordance with the usages of persons professing the Jewish religion, notwithstanding that the building or place in which the marriage is to be solemnized is not within a registration district in which either of the persons to be married resides.

(5)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F220a marriage schedule] issued under subsection (2) or subsection (3) of this section, [F221each notice] of marriage F222... and [F223the marriage schedule] shall state, in addition to the description of the registered building or, as the case may be, the parish church or authorised chapel, in which the marriage is to be solemnized, that it is the usual place of worship of the persons to be married or of one of them and, in the latter case, shall state the name of the person whose usual place of worship it is.

[F224(6)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F225a marriage schedule] issued under subsection (3A), each notice of marriage F226... and [F227the marriage schedule] shall state, in addition to the description of the church or chapel in which the marriage is to be solemnized, that it would be possible for the marriage of the couple to be solemnized in that church or chapel after the publication of banns or on the authority of a common licence (if section 5(3) were disregarded).]

Textual Amendments

F205Words in s. 35(1) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 17(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F209Words in s. 35(2)(4) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 17(1)(3), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F210S. 35(2A) inserted (1.1.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 2(1); S.I. 1994/3116, art. 2(a)

F212Words in s. 35(2A)(2B) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 17(1)(4), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F214S. 35(2B) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 2(1); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)

F221Words in s. 35(5) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 17(1)(5)(b); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F22836. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

Textual Amendments

37 One party resident in Scotland.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized in England on the authority of [F229a marriage schedule] F230. . . between parties of whom one is residing in Scotland and the other is residing in England, the following provisions shall have effect—

[F231(a)the party residing in Scotland may give notice of the intended marriage in accordance with section 7 of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977;]

(b)the party residing in England may, subject to and in accordance [F232with section 27 and the other provisions of this Act], give notice of the intended marriage as if both parties were residing in different registration districts in England, and the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to notices of marriage and the issue of [F233a marriage schedule apply accordingly];

[F234(c)if a certificate is issued under section 7(2) of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 that certificate must be provided for the purposes of section 31(3)(b) of this Act to the superintendent registrar in the registration district in which the marriage is to be solemnized before the marriage schedule is issued;

(ca)the superintendent registrar must, as soon as reasonably practicable, record in the marriage register the fact that the superintendent registrar has been provided with the certificate issued under section 7(2) of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977;]

(d)for the purposes of section thirty-three of this Act the notice given in Scotland shall be deemed to have been [F235recorded in the marriage register] by a superintendent registrar in England on the day on which it was given.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F236

Textual Amendments

F230Words in s. 37(1) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 19(b), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F231S. 37(1)(a) substituted by Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 (c. 15, SIF 49:2), Sch. 2 para. 4(a) (subject to a saving in s. 27(3) in relation to marriages before 1.1.1978)

F234S. 37(1)(c)(ca) substituted for s. 37(1)(c) (4.5.2021) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 26(c) (with Sch. 2)

F236S. 37(2) repealed by Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 (c. 15, SIF 49:2), s. 28(2), Sch. 3 (subject to a saving in s. 27(3) in relation to marriages before 1.1.1978)

F23738 One party resident in Northern Ireland.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

39 Issue of certificates on board His Majesty’s ships.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized in England on the authority of [F238a marriage schedule] F239. . . between parties of whom one is residing in England and the other is an officer, seaman, or marine borne on the books of one of His Majesty’s ships at sea, the last-mentioned party may give notice of his intention to the captain or other officer commanding the ship, together with the name and address of the other party to the marriage, and such other information as may be necessary to enable the captain or other officer to fill up a certificate under this section, and shall at the same time make and sign such a declaration as is required by section twenty-eight of this Act, and the captain or other officer may attest the declaration and thereupon issue a certificate to the officer, seaman or marine giving the notice.

(2)A certificate issued under this section shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the Admiralty F240..., and all provisions of this Act (including penal provisions [F241but [F242excluding sections 27A and 27B]]) relating to notices and declarations for obtaining [F243a marriage schedule and to the issue of a marriage schedule apply in relation to a notice and declaration under subsection (1) and the issue of a certificate under this section], subject to such adaptations therein as may be made by His Majesty by Order in Council.

[F244(3)Subsections (4) to (6) apply where—

(a)the party who is an officer, seaman or marine borne on the books of one of Her Majesty’s ships at sea has been issued with a certificate under this section, and

(b)the superintendent registrar for the registration district in which the other party resides has received that certificate.

(4)That superintendent registrar may accept notice of marriage from that other party under section 27 and in accordance with this Part, as if both parties were residing in different registration districts.

(5)The superintendent registrar must then, as soon as reasonably practicable—

(a)file the certificate issued under this section and keep it with the records of the superintendent registrar’s office, and

(b)record in the marriage register—

(i)the fact that the certificate has been received, and

(ii)the date on which the certificate was received.

(6)The superintendent registrar must also ensure the information recorded under subsection (5)(b) is open to inspection free of charge at all reasonable hours.]

Textual Amendments

F238Words in s. 39(1) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(6)(a), Sch. 1 para. 27(2) (with Sch. 2)

F239Words in s. 39(1) repealed (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1)(3), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 21(b), Sch. 16; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F240Words in s. 39(2) omitted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(6)(a), Sch. 1 para. 27(3)(a) (with Sch. 2)

F243Words in s. 39(2) substituted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(6)(a), Sch. 1 para. 27(3)(b) (with Sch. 2)

F244S. 39(3)-(6) substituted for s. 39(3) (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2)(6)(a), Sch. 1 para. 27(4) (with Sch. 2)

[F24539AMarriage of former civil partners one of whom has changed sexU.K.

(1)This section applies if—

(a)a court—

(i)makes final a nullity order which annuls a civil partnership on the ground that an interim gender recognition certificate has been issued to one of the civil partners, or

(ii)(in Scotland) grants a decree of dissolution of a civil partnership on that ground,

and, on doing so, issues a full gender recognition certificate (under section 5A(1) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004) to that civil partner, and

(b)the former civil partners wish to marry each other in England or Wales in accordance with this Part without being delayed by the waiting period.

(2)For the purposes of this section the relevant period is the period—

(a)beginning with the issue of the full gender recognition certificate, and

(b)ending at the end of 1 month from the day on which it is issued.

(3)If either of the former civil partners —

(a)gives notice of marriage in accordance with this Part during the relevant period, and

(b)on doing so, makes an election under this section,

this Act applies with the modifications set out in subsections (4) to (6).

(4)In section 31 (marriage under [F246marriage schedule])—

(a)omit subsections (1), [F247(3)], (4A) and (5A) to (5I), and

[F248(b)in subsection (2), for “The superintendent registrar for the registration district in which a marriage is to be solemnized must, once satisfied that any of the conditions in subsection (3) is met,” substitute “As soon as notice of the marriage has been given, the superintendent registrar for the registration district in which a marriage is to be solemnized must”.]

(5)For section 33(3) (period of validity of [F249marriage schedule]: applicable period) substitute —

(3)The applicable period, in relation to a marriage, is the period of 1 month beginning with the day on which the notice of marriage was [F250recorded in the marriage register].

(6)In section 75 (offences relating to solemnization of marriages), omit subsections (2)(d)F251... and (3)(a).

(7)Where one of the former civil partners is residing in Scotland—

(a)this section applies as if subsection (3) referred to the giving of notice and the making of an election by the former civil partner residing in England or Wales, and

(b)section 37(d) does not apply.

(8)In subsection (1)(b), “the waiting period” has the meaning given by section 31(4A).]

F25240 Forms of certificates to be furnished by Registrar General.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

Marriages in registered buildingsE+W

41 Registration of buildings [F253: marriage of a man and a woman].E+W

(1)Any proprietor or trustee of a F254. . . building, which has been certified as required by law as a place of religious worship may apply to the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated for the building to be registered for the solemnization of marriages therein.

[F255(1A)A reference in this section to the solemnization of marriage is a reference to the solemnization of marriage of a man and a woman.]

[F256(2)Any person making such an application as aforesaid shall deliver to the superintendent registrar a certificate, signed in duplicate by at least twenty householders and dated not earlier than one month before the making of the application, stating that the building is being used by them as their usual place of public religious worship and that they desire that the building should be registered as aforesaid, and both certificates shall be countersigned by the proprietor or trustee by whom they are delivered.]

(3)The superintendent registrar shall send both certificates delivered to him under the last foregoing subsection to the Registrar General who shall register the building in a book to be kept for that purpose in the General Register Office.

[F257(3A)The duty imposed by subsection (3) to register the building in a book may be discharged by registering the building in an approved electronic form.]

(4)The Registrar General shall endorse on both certificates sent to him as aforesaid the date of the registration, and shall keep one certificate with the records of the General Register Office and shall return the other certificate to the superintendent registrar who shall keep it with the records of his office.

(5)On the return of the certificate under the last foregoing subsection, the superintendent registrar shall—

(a)enter the date of the registration of the building in a book to be provided for that purpose by the Registrar General;

(b)give a certificate of the registration signed by him, on durable materials, to the proprietor or trustee by whom the certificates delivered to him under subsection (2) of this section were countersigned; and

(c)give public notice of the registration of the building by advertisement in some newspaper circulating in the county in which the building is situated and in the London Gazette.

F258(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F259(7)A building may be registered for the solemnization of marriages under this section whether it is a separate building or forms part of another building.]

42[F260Cancellation of registration under section 41: building no longer used]E+W

(1)Where, on an application made by or through the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated, it is shown to the satisfaction of the Registrar General that a [F261building registered under section 41] is no longer used for the purpose of public religious worship by the congregation on whose behalf it was registered, he shall cause the registration to be cancelled F262. . .

F263(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Where the Registrar General cancels the registration of any building, F262. . . , under this section, he shall inform the superintendent registrar who shall enter that fact and the date thereof in the book provided for the registration of buildings, and shall certify and publish the cancellation F262. . . , in the manner provided by subsection (5) of the last foregoing section in the case of the F262. . . registration of a building.

[F264(3A)In a case where—

(a)the registration of a building is cancelled under this section, and

(b)the building is also registered under section 43A,

the Registrar General must also cancel the registration under section 43A.]

F263(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)Where the registration of any building has been cancelled, F262. . . under this section, it shall not be lawful to solemnize any marriage in the disused building, unless the building has been registered again in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act.

43 [F265Buildings registered under section 41: appointment of authorised persons]E+W

(1)For the purpose of enabling marriages to be solemnized in a [F266building registered under section 41] without the presence of a registrar, the trustees or governing body of that building may authorise a person to be present at the solemnization of marriages in that building and, where a person is so authorised in respect of any [F266building registered under section 41], the trustees or governing body of that building shall, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, certify the name and address of the person so authorised to the Registrar General and to the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated.

[F267(1A)The power conferred by this section may only be exercised after the end of the relevant one year period (and, if that period has ended before the date of the registration under section 41, the power may accordingly be exercised immediately).

(1B)The relevant one year period is the period of one year beginning with the date of the registration of the building under section 41 (the “new registration”).

(1C)But if—

(a)there is any earlier registration of the building under section 43A which is still in force at the date of the new registration, or

(b)there has been any earlier qualifying registration of a previous building,

the relevant one year period is the period of one year beginning with the date of that registration (or the earlier of those dates).

(1D)For that purpose there is a qualifying registration of a previous building if—

(a)the congregation on whose behalf the new registration is made previously used another building for the purpose of public religious worship,

(b)that building was registered under section 41 or 43A, and

(c)that registration was cancelled not more than one month before the date of the new registration.]

F268(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Nothing in this section shall be taken to relate or have any reference to marriages solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends or of persons professing the Jewish religion.

[F26943ARegistration of buildings: marriage of same sex couplesE+W

(1)A building that has been certified as required by law as a place of religious worship may be registered under this section for the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples.

(2)Any application for registration of a building under this section is to be made—

(a)by a proprietor or trustee of the building;

(b)to the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated.

(3)An application for registration of a building under this section must be accompanied by—

(a)a certificate, given by the applicant and dated not earlier than one month before the making of the application, that the persons who are the relevant governing authority in relation to the building have given written consent to marriages of same sex couples as mentioned in section 26A(3),

(b)a copy of that consent, and

(c)if the building is not already registered under section 41, a certificate of use for religious worship.

(4)The superintendent registrar must send to the Registrar General—

(a)the certificate or certificates, and

(b)the copy of the consent,

which accompany an application under this section.

(5)The Registrar General must then register the building.

(6)A building may be registered for the solemnization of marriages under this section whether it is a separate building or forms part of another building.

(7)In this section, in relation to an application under this section, “certificate of use for religious worship” means a certificate given by at least twenty householders and dated not earlier than one month before the making of the application, stating that they—

(a)use the building as their usual place of public religious worship, and

(b)wish the building to be registered under this section.

Textual Amendments

F269Ss. 43A-43D inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 1 para. 2; S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(g)

43BBuildings registered under section 43A: appointment of authorised personsE+W

(1)For the purpose of enabling marriages to be solemnized in a building registered under section 43A without the presence of a registrar, the trustees or governing body of that building may authorise a person to be present at the solemnization of marriages in that building.

(2)Where a person is so authorised in respect of any building registered under section 43A, the trustees or governing body of that building must certify the name and address of the person so authorised to—

(a)the Registrar General, and

(b)the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated.

(3)The power conferred by this section may only be exercised after the end of the relevant one year period (and, if that period has ended before the date of the registration under section 43A, the power may accordingly be exercised immediately).

(4)The relevant one year period is the period of one year beginning with the date of the registration of the building under section 43A (the “new registration”).

(5)But if—

(a)there is any earlier registration of the building under section 41 which is still in force at the date of the new registration, or

(b)there has been any earlier qualifying registration of a previous building,

the relevant one year period is the period of one year beginning with the date of that registration (or the earlier of those dates).

(6)For that purpose there is a qualifying registration of a previous building if—

(a)the congregation on whose behalf the new registration is made previously used another building for the purpose of public religious worship,

(b)that building was registered under section 41 or 43A, and

(c)that registration was cancelled not more than one month before the date of the new registration.

(7)A reference in this section to the solemnization of marriage is a reference to the solemnization of marriage of a same sex couple.

(8)Nothing in this section is to be taken to relate or have any reference to marriages solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends or of persons professing the Jewish religion.

Textual Amendments

F269Ss. 43A-43D inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 1 para. 2; S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(g)

43CCancellation of registration under section 43AE+W

(1)The registration of a building under section 43A may be cancelled under this section.

(2)Any application under this section is to be made—

(a)by a proprietor or trustee of the building;

(b)to the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the building is situated.

(3)The superintendent registrar must forward any application under this section to the Registrar General; and the Registrar General must then cancel the registration of the building.

(4)This section is subject (in particular) to sections 44A to 44C (registration of shared buildings for marriage of same sex couples) and regulations made under any of those sections.

Textual Amendments

F269Ss. 43A-43D inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 1 para. 2; S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(g)

43DRegulations about sections 41 and 43 and 43A to 43CE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make regulations about the procedures to be followed F270... —

(a)on registration applications;

(b)in relation to section 43B authorisations;

(c)on cancellation applications.

(2)The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make—

(a)regulations modifying the application of section 41 or 43 in relation to buildings that are already registered under section 43A;

(b)regulations about cases where a person makes applications under sections 41 and 43A, or gives or certifies authorisations under sections 43 and 43B, in respect of the same building at the same time (including provision modifying any requirement imposed by any of those sections or by regulations under subsection (1) of this section).

(3)A statutory instrument containing regulations made under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(4)In this section—

  • cancellation application” means an application under section 43C for the cancellation of the registration of a building;

  • registration application” means an application under section 43A for the registration of a building;

  • section 43B authorisation” means the authorisation of a person under section 43B to be present at the solemnization of marriages in a building registered under section 43A.]

Textual Amendments

F269Ss. 43A-43D inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 1 para. 2; S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(g)

F270Words in s. 43D(1) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 12; S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

44 Solemnization of marriage in registered building.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, where [F271the notices of marriage and [F272the marriage schedule]] state that a marriage between the persons named therein is intended to be solemnized in a registered building, the marriage may be solemnized in that building according to such form and ceremony as those persons may see fit to adopt:

Provided that no marriage shall be solemnized in any registered building without the consent of the minister or of one of the trustees, owners, deacons or managers thereof, or in the case of a registered building of the Roman Catholic Church, without the consent of the officiating minister thereof.

(2)Subject to the provisions of this section, a marriage solemnized in a registered building shall be solemnized with open doors in the presence of two or more witnesses and in the presence of either—

(a)a registrar of the registration district in which the registered building is situated, or

(b)an authorised person whose name and address have been certified in accordance with [F273section 43 (in the case of the marriage of a man and a woman), or section 43B (in the case of the marriage of a same sex couple),] by the trustees or governing body of that registered building or of some other registered building in the same registration district.

(3)Where a marriage is solemnized in a registered building each of the persons contracting the marriage shall, in some part of the ceremony and in the presence of the witnesses and the registrar or authorised person, make the following declaration:—

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I,AB, may not be joined in matrimony toCD

and each of them shall say to the other:—

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I,AB, do take thee,CD, to be my lawful wedded wife [orhusband]”:

[F274(3A)As an alternative to the declaration set out in subsection (3) of this section the persons contracting the marriage may make the requisite declaration either—

(a)by saying “I declare that I know of no legal reason why I [name] may not be joined in marriage to [name]”; or

(b)by replying “I am” to the question put to them successively “Are you [name] free lawfully to marry [name]?”;

and as an alternative to the words of contract set out in that subsection the persons to be married may say to each other “I [name] take you [or thee] [name] to be my wedded wife [or husband]”.]

F275(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)If the Registrar General is not satisfied with respect to any building registered or proposed to be registered for the solemnization of marriages therein that sufficient security exists for the [F276solemnization of marriages or signing of marriage schedules in accordance with the provisions of this Act], he may in his discretion attach to the continuance of the registration, or to the registration, of the building a condition that no marriage may be solemnized therein without the presence of a registrar.

Textual Amendments

F271Words in s. 44(1) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 23; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F274S. 44(3A) substituted for s. 44(3) proviso (1.2.1997) by 1996 c. 34, s. 1(1); S.I. 1996/2506, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F277Registration of shared buildings for marriage of same sex couplesU.K.

Textual Amendments

F277Ss. 44A-44D inserted (31.10.2013 for specified purposes, 13.3.2014 in so far as not already in force) by Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (c. 30), s. 21(3), Sch. 1 para. 3; S.I. 2013/2789, art. 2(a); S.I. 2014/93, art. 3(g)

44ABuilding subject to Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969: registrationU.K.

(1)This section applies to a registration application relating to a building that is—

(a)subject to a sharing agreement, or

(b)used as mentioned in section 6(4) of the 1969 Act.

(2)The registration application must be made in accordance with section 43A (as read with section 26A(3)).

(3)But those provisions have effect subject to the following provisions of this section.

(4)Each of the sharing churches is a relevant religious organisation for the purposes of section 26A(3).

(5)A consent given under section 26A(3) (a “consent to marriages of same sex couples”) by the relevant governing authority of any of the sharing churches is therefore sufficient for the registration application to be made in compliance with section 26A(3) (and references to the consent of the relevant governing authority in section 43A are to be read accordingly).

(6)But the registration application may not be made unless the relevant governing authorities of each of the sharing churches (other than those which have given consents to marriages of same sex couples) have given a separate written consent to the use of the shared building for the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples (a “consent to use”).

(7)The registration application must also be accompanied by—

(a)a certificate, given by the applicant and dated not more than one month before the making of the application, that the relevant governing authorities mentioned in subsection (6) have given written consents to use, and

(b)copies of those consents.

(8)The superintendent registrar must also send to the Registrar General—

(a)the certificate, and

(b)the copies of the consents,

which accompany the application in accordance with subsection (7).

(9)The Registrar General must not register the shared building unless and until subsection (8) and the requirements of section 43A have been complied with.

(10)The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make regulations containing such provision supplementing this section as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

44BBuilding subject to Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969: cancellationU.K.

(1)This section applies to a cancellation application relating to a building that is—

(a)subject to a sharing agreement, or

(b)used as mentioned in section 6(4) of the 1969 Act.

(2)The cancellation application must be made in accordance with section 43C.

(3)But section 43C has effect subject to the following provisions of this section.

(4)The cancellation application may be made either—

(a)by a proprietor or trustee of the building, or

(b)by the relevant governing authority of any of the sharing churches.

(5)For that purpose, in relation to a sharing church, “relevant governing authority” means the person or persons recognised by the members of the sharing church as competent for the purpose of making an application under section 43C in the circumstances to which this section applies.

(6)In a case where the cancellation application is made by a relevant governing authority in accordance with subsection (4)(b)—

(a)the application must be accompanied by a certificate, given by persons making the application, that they are the relevant governing authority of one of the sharing churches; and

(b)the superintendent registrar must (in addition to forwarding the application in accordance with section 43C(3)) send a copy of that certificate to the Registrar General.

(7)The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make regulations containing such provision supplementing this section as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

44COther shared places of worship: registration and cancellationU.K.

(1)The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make regulations about—

(a)registration applications relating to other shared places of worship;

(b)cancellation applications relating to other shared places of worship;

(c)the sharing churches' use of other shared places of worship (in cases where those places are registered under section 43A) for the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples.

(2)The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(a) or (b) includes provision about the procedures to be followed on registration applications or cancellation applications.

(3)In this section “other shared place of worship” means a shared building—

(a)which has been certified as required by law as a place of religious worship, but

(b)to which sections 44A and 44B do not apply because the building is neither—

(i)subject to a sharing agreement, nor

(ii)used as mentioned in section 6(4) of the 1969 Act.

44DSections 44A to 44C: supplementary provisionU.K.

(1)In sections 44A to 44C (and this section)—

  • 1969 Act” means the Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1969;

  • cancellation application” means an application under section 43C for the cancellation of the registration of a building;

  • registration application” means an application under section 43A for the registration of a building;

  • sharing agreement” has the meaning given in section 1 of the 1969 Act;

  • shared building” means a building that is—

    (a)

    subject to a sharing agreement,

    (b)

    used as mentioned in section 6(4) of the 1969 Act, or

    (c)

    otherwise shared;

  • shared building provisions” means sections 44A to 44C;

  • sharing churches” means—

    (a)

    in the case of a building subject to a sharing agreement, the churches that have made the agreement;

    (b)

    in the case of a building used as mentioned in section 6(4) of the 1969 Act, the churches that so use it;

    (c)

    in the case of any other shared building, the religious organisations (whether Christian or of another faith) that share it.

(2)Regulations under any of the shared building provisions may provide for a registration application relating to a shared building to be made otherwise than by the proprietor or trustee of the building (whether or not the proprietor or trustee retains power to make such an application).

(3)Regulations under any of the shared building provisions may make provision about any of these cases—

(a)the case where a building registered under section 43A becomes a shared building;

(b)the case where a building registered under section 43A ceases to be a shared building;

(c)the case where a building is registered under section 43A and there is a change in the churches which are sharing churches;

and the provision that may be made about such a case includes provision for the modification, suspension or cancellation of the registration under section 43A.

(4)Regulations under any of the shared building provisions may make provision about the use of shared buildings for the solemnization of—

(a)marriages of same sex couples according to the usages of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers), and

(b)marriages of same sex couples professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews.

(5)The provision that may be made about the use of shared buildings for the solemnization of such marriages includes—

(a)provision about the giving of consent by the relevant governing authority for the purposes of a registration application or cancellation application (including provision for identifying the relevant governing authority);

(b)provision corresponding to, or applying, any provision of section 43B (with or without modifications).

(6)Regulations under any of the shared buildings provisions may amend any England and Wales legislation.

(7)Subsections (2) to (6) do not limit the power under any of the shared building provisions to make regulations.

(8)A statutory instrument containing regulations under any of the shared building provisions may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.]

Marriages in register officesU.K.

45 Solemnization of marriage in register office.E+W

(1)Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of [F278a marriage schedule], the persons to be married may state in the [F279notices] of marriage that they wish to be married in the office of the superintendent registrar or one of the superintendent registrars, as the case may be, to whom notice of marriage is given, and where any such [F280notices have] been given and the [F281marriage schedule has] been issued accordingly, the marriage may be solemnized in the said office, with open doors, in the presence of the superintendent registrar and a registrar of the registration district of that superintendent registrar and in the presence of two witnesses, and the persons to be married shall make the declarations and use the form of words set out in subsection (3) [F282or (3A)] of [F283section 44] in the case of marriages in registered buildings in the presence of a registrar.

(2)No religious service shall be used at any marriage solemnized in the office of a superintendent registrar.

[F28445A Solemnization of certain marriages.U.K.

(1)This section applies to marriages solemnized, otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England, in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) [F285or 26B(6)] of this Act at the place where a person usually resides.

(2)The marriage may be solemnized according to a relevant form, rite or ceremony in the presence of a registrar of the registration district in which the place where the marriage is solemnized is situated and of two witnesses and each of the persons contracting the marriage shall make the declaration and use the form of words set out in subsection (3) [F286or (3A)] of section 44 of this Act in the case of marriages in registered buildings in the presence of a registrar.

(3)Where the marriage is not solemnized in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section it shall be solemnized in the presence of the superintendent registrar and a registrar of the registration district in which the place where the marriage is solemnized is situated and in the presence of two witnesses, and the persons to be married shall make the declarations and use the form of words set out in subsection (3) [F286or (3A)] of section 44 of this Act in the case of marriages in registered buildings in the presence of a registrar.

(4)No religious service shall be used at any marriage solemnized in the presence of a superintendent registrar.

(5)In subsection (2) of this section a “relevant form, rite or ceremony” means a form, rite or ceremony of a body of persons who meet for religious worship in any registered building being a form, rite or ceremony in accordance with which members of that body are married in any such registered building.]

Textual Amendments

F286Words in s. 45A(2)(3) inserted (1.2.1997) by 1996 c. 34, s. 1(2)(a); S.I. 1996/2506, art. 2

46 Register office marriage followed by religious ceremony.E+W

(1)If the parties to a [F287relevant marriage] desire to add the religious ceremony ordained or used by the church or persuasion of which they are members, they may present themselves, after giving notice of their intention so to do, to the clergyman or minister of the church or persuasion of which they are members, and the clergyman or minister, upon the production of a certificate of their marriage before the superintendent registrar and upon the payment of the customary fees (if any), may, if he sees fit, read or celebrate in the church or chapel of which he is the regular minister [F288, or (in the case of the conversion of a civil partnership at a place of residence) at that place of residence,] the marriage service of the church or persuasion to which be belongs or nominate some other minister to do so.

[F289(1A)In this section F290...

  • [F291“place of residence”, in relation to the conversion of a civil partnership, means a place that a superintendent registrar attends for the purpose of the conversion because one of the parties to the civil partnership—

    (a)

    is housebound there,

    (b)

    is detained there as a patient in a hospital or in a prison or other place to which the Prison Act 1952 applies, or

    (c)

    is (being a person who is seriously ill and not expected to recover) present there;

  • “relevant marriage” means—]

    (a)

    the marriage of a man and a woman solemnized in the presence of a superintendent registrar,

    (b)

    the marriage of a same sex couple solemnized in the presence of a superintendent registrar, and

    (c)

    a marriage which arises from the conversion of a civil partnership under regulations under section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

(1B)This section does not authorise the marriage service of the Church of England to be read or celebrated in the case of a relevant marriage of a same sex couple.

(1C)This section does not authorise any other marriage service to be read or celebrated in the case of a relevant marriage of a same sex couple unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to the reading or celebration of that service in the case of such marriages.

(1D)For that purpose—

  • [F292“relevant governing authority” means—

    (a)

    except in a case falling within paragraph (b) or (c), the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section;

    (b)

    in the case of a ceremony according to the usages of the Society of Friends, the recording clerk for the time being of the Society of Friends in London; and

    (c)

    in the case of a ceremony according to the usages of the Jews, the person or persons who would be the relevant governing authority (in accordance with section 26B(5)) if the ceremony were a marriage that was to be registered in accordance with [F293section 53D];]

  • relevant religious organisation” means the religious organisation whose marriage service is to be read or celebrated.]

(2)Nothing in the reading or celebration of a marriage service under this section shall supersede or invalidate [F294the relevant marriage], and the reading or celebration shall not be entered as a marriage in [F295the marriage register] [F296or in the register of conversions of civil partnerships into marriages kept by the Registrar General in accordance with section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and regulations made under that section.]

(3)No person who is not entitled to solemnize marriages according to the rites of the Church of England shall by virtue of this section be entitled to read or celebrate the marriage service in any church or chapel of the Church of England.

[F297(4)In this section a reference to a church or chapel includes a reference to—

(a)a place of meeting for members of the Society of Friends;

(b)a Jewish synagogue; and

(c)a place of worship certified under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.

(5)Subsection (4) does not limit—

(a)the churches or persuasions to which this section applies; or

(b)the interpretation of this section in its application to a particular church or persuasion.

(6)In the case of a religious ceremony which follows the conversion of a civil partnership in a country or territory outside of the United Kingdom in accordance with provision made by regulations under section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 in relation to—

(a)a member of Her Majesty’s forces (within the meaning of the Armed Forces Act 2006) serving in the country or territory in which it is proposed they convert their civil partnership;

(b)a relevant civilian (as defined in Part 3 of Schedule 6 to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and any Order in Council made under that Part) who is employed in that country or territory; or

(c)a child of a person falling within paragraph (a) or (b) and whose home is with that person in that country or territory (including a person who is or has been treated as the child of a person (“P”) in relation to a marriage or civil partnership to which P is or was a party);

this section is to be read in accordance with subsection (7).

(7)In a case to which subsection (6) applies—

(a)subsection (1) is to be read as if—

(i)the reference to a clergyman or minister (including a reference to a clergyman or minister of a particular church or persuasion) includes a reference to a chaplain serving in any of Her Majesty’s forces;

(ii)there is no reference to a superintendent registrar; and

(iii)the reference to the place of worship of which a person is a regular minister is a reference to the place where the conversion occurs (including any place of worship that is provided by the Secretary of State); and

(b)subsection (1C) is to be read as if it —

(i)requires the relevant governing authority’s written consent to the reading or celebrating of the marriage service to be given to the Secretary of State; and

(ii)additionally, requires the clergyman, minister or chaplain who is to read or celebrate the service to have the consent of the relevant governing authority to do so.]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F298 Marriages on approved premisesE+W

Textual Amendments

F298Heading inserted (24.2.1995) by 1994 c. 34, ss. 1(2), 3(2); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(1)(a)

F29946A Approval of premises.E+W

(1)The [F300Secretary of State] may by regulations make provision for and in connection with the approval by local authorities of premises for the solemnization of marriages in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act.

(2)The matters dealt with by the regulations may include—

(a)the kinds of premises in respect of which approvals may be granted;

(b)the procedure to be followed in relation to applications for approval;

(c)the considerations to be taken into account by a local authority in determining whether to approve any premises;

(d)the duration and renewal of approvals;

(e)the conditions that must or may be imposed by a local authority on granting or renewing an approval;

(f)the determination and charging by local authorities of fees in respect of applications for the approval of premises and in respect of the renewal of approvals;

(g)the circumstances in which a local authority must or may revoke an approval;

(h)the review of any decision to refuse an approval or the renewal of an approval, to impose conditions on granting or renewing an approval or to revoke an approval;

(i)the notification to the Registrar General of all approvals granted, renewed or revoked;

(j)the keeping by local authorities of registers of approved premises;

(k)the issue by the Registrar General of guidance supplementing the provision made by the regulations.

(3)In this section “local authority” means a county council, metropolitan district council [F301London borough council or the Common Council of the City of London].

(4)Regulations under this section may make different provision for different cases or circumstances.

(5)Any regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument, subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Textual Amendments

F299S. 46A inserted (24.2.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(2); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(1)(a)

F301Words in s. 46A(3) substituted (18.7.1996) by 1996 c. iv, s. 3(2) (with s. 5)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C47S. 46A: transfer of functions (1.4.1996) by S.I. 1996/273, art. 3(1), Sch. 1 para. 7

S. 46A: functions of local authority not to be responsibility of an executive of the authority (E.)(16.11.2000) by virtue of S.I. 2000/2853, reg. 2(1), Sch. 1 para. B36

F30246B Solemnization of marriage on approved premises.E+W

(1)Any marriage on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act shall be solemnized in the presence of—

(a)two witnesses, and

(b)the superintendent registrar and a registrar of the registration district in which the premises are situated.

(2)Without prejudice to the width of section 46A(2)(e) of this Act, the [F303Secretary of State] shall exercise his power to provide for the imposition of conditions as there mentioned so as to secure that members of the public are permitted to attend any marriage solemnized on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act.

(3)Each of the persons contracting such a marriage shall make the declaration and use the form of words set out in section 44(3) [F304or (3A)]of this Act in the case of marriages in registered buildings F305. . ..

(4)No religious service shall be used at a marriage on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act.]

Textual Amendments

F302S. 46B inserted (in force for specified purposes on 24.2.1995 and 1.4.1995 respectively) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(2); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(1)(a)(2)(b)

F304Words in s. 46B(3) inserted (1.2.1997) by 1996 c. 34, s. 1(2)(b); S.I. 1996/2506, art. 2

F305Words in s. 46B(3) omitted (1.2.1997) by virtue of 1996 c. 34, s. 1(2)(b); S.I. 1996/2506, art. 2

Marriages according to usages of Society of FriendsE+W

47 Marriages according to usages of Society of Friends.E+W

(1)No person who is not a member of the Society of Friends shall be married according to the usages of that Society unless he or she is authorised to be so married under or in pursuance of a general rule of the said Society in England.

(2)A marriage solemnized according to the said usages shall not be valid unless either—

(a)[F306each person] giving notice of marriage declares, either verbally or, if so required, in writing, that each of the parties to the marriage is either a member of the Society of Friends or is in profession with or of the persuasion of that Society; or

(b)there is produced to the superintendent registrar, at the time when notice of marriage is given, a certificate purporting to be signed by [F307an] officer of the Society of Friends in England to the effect that any party to the marriage who is not a member of the Society of Friends or in profession with or of the persuasion of that Society, is authorised to be married according to the said usages under or in pursuance of a general rule of the said Society in England.

(3)Any such certificate as aforesaid shall be for all purposes conclusive evidence that any person to whom it relates is authorised to be married according to the usages of the said Society, and [F308a certified copy of the entry of the marriage in the marriage register made under Part 4 of this Act], shall be conclusive evidence of the production of such a certificate.

(4)A copy of any general rule of the Society of Friends purporting to be signed by the recording clerk for the time being of the said Society in London shall be admitted as evidence of the general rule in all proceedings touching the validity of any marriage solemnized according to the usages of the said Society.

Textual Amendments

F306Words in s. 47(2)(a) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 25; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

Miscellaneous ProvisionsE+W

48 Proof of certain matters not necessary to validity of marriages. E+W

(1)Where any marriage has been solemnized under the provisions of this Part of this Act, it shall not be necessary in support of the marriage to give any proof—

(a)that before the marriage either of the parties thereto resided, or resided for any period, in the registration district stated in the [F309notices] of marriage to be that of his or her place of residence;

(b)that any person whose consent to the marriage was required by section three of this Act had given his consent;

(c)that the registered building in which the marriage was solemnized had been certified as required by law as a place of religious worship;

(d)that that building was the usual place of worship of either of the parties to the marriage; F310...

[F311(da)that, in the case of a marriage under section 26B(2), (4) or (6), the relevant governing authority had given consent as mentioned in section 26B(2)(b), (4)(b) or (6)(d);]

(e)that the facts stated in a declaration made under subsection (1) of section thirty-five of this Act were correct; F312[F313...

(ea)that, in the case of a marriage under section 26A, the relevant governing authority had given consent as mentioned in section 26A(3);] [F314or

(eb)that, in the case of a marriage to which Schedule 3A applied, any of the events listed in paragraph 2(2) to (6) of that Schedule occurred.]

nor shall any evidence be given to prove the contrary in any proceedings touching the validity of the marriage.

(2)A marriage solemnized in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act in a registered building which has not been certified as required by law as a place of religious worship shall be as valid as if the building had been so certified.

Textual Amendments

F309Word in s. 48(1)(a) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 26; S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F312Word in s. 48(1)(e) omitted (1.3.2015) by virtue of Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22), s. 75(3), Sch. 4 para. 14(a) (with Sch. 9 para. 66); S.I. 2015/371, art. 2(1)(f)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C49S. 48 applied with modifications by Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (c. 34), s. 12

49 Void marriages. E+W

If any persons knowingly and wilfully intermarry under the provisions of this Part of this Act—

(a)without having given due notice of marriage to the superintendent registrar;

[F315(b)without a marriage schedule having been duly issued by the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized;]

F316(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(d)on the authority of [F317a marriage schedule which is] void by virtue of subsection (2) of section thirty-three of this Act;

(e)in any place other than the church, chapel, registered building, office or other place specified in the [F318notices] of marriage and [F319(if so specified) in the marriage schedule];

[F320(ee)in the case of a marriage purporting to be in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act, on any premises that at the time the marriage is solemnized are not approved premises;]

(f)in the case of a marrige in a registered building (not being a marriage in the presence of an authorised person), in the absence of a registrar of the registration district in which the registered building is situated; F321. . .

(g)in the case of a marriage in the office of a superintendent registrar, in the absence of the superintendent registrar or of a registrar of the registration district of that superinentdent registrar;

the marriage shall be void F321[F322. . .

[F323(gg)in the case of a marriage on approved premises, in the absence of the superintendent registrar of the registration district in which the premises are situated or in the absence of a registrar of that district; or]

(h)in the case of a marriage to which section 45A of this Act applies, in the absence of any superintendent registrar or registrar whose presence at that marriage is required by that section;]

Textual Amendments

F318Words in s. 49(e) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3, 27(d); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F320S. 49(ee) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 3(a); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

F321Word in s. 49(f)(g) omitted (1.4.1995) by virtue of 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 3(b); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

F322S. 49(h) and word “or” immediately preceding it inserted (E.W.) by Marriage Act 1983 (c. 32, SIF 49:1), s. 1(7), Sch. 1 para. 13

F323S. 49(gg) inserted (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 3(c); S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(2)(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C50S. 49 applied with modifications by Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (c. 34), s. 13

[F32449AVoid marriages: additional provision about same sex couplesE+W

(1)If a same sex couple knowingly and wilfully intermarries under the provisions of this Part of this Act in the absence of the required consent, the marriage shall be void.

(2)In this section, in relation to a marriage of a same sex couple, “required consent” means consent under—

(a)section 26A(3), in a case where section 26A applies to the marriage (but section 44A does not apply to it);

(b)section 26A(3) and section 44A(6), in a case where section 26A and section 44A apply to the marriage;

[F325(ba)section 26A(3) and under any regulations made under section 44C that require the consent to use of a building for the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples, in a case where section 26A and section 44C apply to the marriage;]

(c)section 26B(2)(b), in a case where section 26B(1), (2) and (3) apply to the marriage;

(d)section 26B(4)(b), in a case where section 26B(1), (4) and (5) apply to the marriage;

(e)section 26B(6)(d), in a case where section 26B(1), (6) and (7) apply to the marriage.]

50 Person to whom [F326marriage schedule] to be delivered.E+W

[F327(A1)This section applies where the parties to a marriage have been issued a marriage schedule under section 31(4).]

(1)[F328The parties to the marriage must deliver the marriage schedule to the following person] :—

F329(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)if the marriage is to be solemnized in a registered building without the presence of a registrar, the authorised person in whose presence the marriage is to be solemnized;

F330(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F331(cc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(d)if the marriage is to be solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends, [F332an] officer of that Society for the place where the marriage is to be solemnized;

(e)if the marriage is to be solemnized according to the usages of persons professing the Jewish religion, the officer of a synagogue by whom the marriage [F333schedule is required to be signed in accordance with section 53C];

(f)if the marriage is to be solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, the officiating clergyman.

F334(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F335(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

51[F336 Fees of superintendent registrars for attending marriages in approved premises]E+W

F337[F338(1)]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F339(1A)In the case of persons married on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act—

F340(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)the superintendent registrar in whose presence the persons are married shall be entitled to receive from them a fee of an amount determined in accordance with regulations under section 46A of this Act by the local authority that approved the premises.]

F341(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F338S. 51(1): s. 51 renumbered as s. 51(1) (E.W.) by Marriage Act 1983 (c. 32, SIF 49:1), s. 1(7), Sch. 1 para. 15

F339S. 51(1A) inserted (24.2.1995) by 1994 c. 34, s. 1(3), Sch. para. 5; S.I. 1995/424, art. 2(1)(b)

F340S. 51(1A)(a) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 13(c); S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

52 Provision for marriages in Welsh language.E+W

The Registrar General shall furnish to every registrar in Wales and in every place in which the Welsh language is commonly used a true and exact translation into the Welsh language of the [F342declarations and forms of words] required to be used under section forty-four of this Act, and the said translation may be used in any place in which the Welsh language is commonly used in the same manner as is prescribed by the said section forty-four for the use of the [F342declarations and forms of words] in the English language.

Textual Amendments

F342Words in s. 52 substituted (1.2.1997) by 1996 c. 34, s. 1(3); S.I. 1996/2506, art. 2

Part IVE+W Registration of Marriages

F34353 Persons by whom marriages are to be registered.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

[F34453ARegister of marriagesE+W

(1)The Registrar General must maintain a register for the recording of information relating to marriages and the registration of marriages, which is to be known as the “marriage register”.

(2)The marriage register must be accessible in electronic form.

(3)Where a marriage is registered under section 53D(10)(a), the entry must be available to—

(a)the Registrar General, and

(b)the superintendent registrar in whose registration district the marriage was solemnized,

immediately after the entry has been made.

(4)Subject to subsection (5), information entered in the marriage register under any provision of this Act other than sections 29(1) or 53D(10)(a) must not be made available to the Registrar General.

(5)Subsection (4) does not apply to information entered in the marriage register under section 27(4) where the superintendent registrar who entered the information has agreed that it may be made available.

Textual Amendments

F344Ss. 53A-53E inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(b)(5)(a), 7 (with Sch. 2)

53BSigning of a marriage documentE+W

(1)This section applies to a marriage solemnized—

(a)after the publication of banns,

(b)on the authority of a special licence, or

(c)on the authority of a common licence.

(2)Before the marriage document is signed, the clergyman by whom the marriage is to be or has been solemnized may ask the parties to the marriage questions regarding the contents of the marriage document.

(3)The parties to a marriage to which this section applies must sign the marriage document, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the solemnization of the marriage, in the presence of—

(a)each other,

(b)the clergyman by whom the marriage was solemnized, and

(c)two witnesses.

(4)Immediately after the marriage document has been signed in accordance with subsection (3) it must also be signed in the presence of the parties to the marriage and each other by—

(a)the clergyman by whom the marriage was solemnized, and

(b)the two witnesses.

Textual Amendments

F344Ss. 53A-53E inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(b)(5)(a), 7 (with Sch. 2)

53CSigning of a marriage scheduleE+W

(1)This section applies to a marriage solemnized on the authority of a marriage schedule.

(2)Before the marriage schedule is signed, the specified person may ask the parties to the marriage questions regarding the contents of the marriage schedule.

(3)In the case of a marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or according to the usages of the Jews, before the specified person signs the marriage schedule, the specified person must be satisfied that the proceedings in relation to the marriage were conformable to the usages of the said Society or (as the case may be) to the usages of the Jews.

(4)Subsections (2) and (3) apply whether or not the specified person was present at the marriage.

(5)The parties to a marriage to which this section applies must sign the marriage schedule, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the solemnization of the marriage, in the presence of—

(a)each other,

(b)the specified person,

(c)(if different to the specified person) the person by or before whom the marriage was solemnized, and

(d)two witnesses.

(6)Immediately after the marriage schedule has been signed in accordance with subsection (5), the specified person, the person by or before whom the marriage was solemnized (if different to the specified person) and the two witnesses must sign the marriage schedule in the presence of the parties to the marriage and each other.

(7)In the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends or according to the usages of the Jews where the specified person is not present at the solemnization of the marriage—

(a)the persons referred to in subsection (5)(a), (c) and (d) may sign the marriage schedule without being in the presence of the specified person;

(b)the specified person must sign the marriage schedule as soon as is convenient after the persons referred to in subsection (5)(a), (c) and (d) have signed the marriage schedule;

(c)the specified person may sign the marriage schedule without being in the presence of the persons referred to in subsection (5)(a), (c) and (d).

(8)For the purposes of this Part, the specified person is—

(a)in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, the clergyman by whom the marriage is solemnized;

(b)in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends, an officer of that Society;

(c)in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Jews—

(i)where the parties to the marriage are both members of the same synagogue, a secretary of that synagogue, or

(ii)where the parties to the marriage are members of different synagogues, a secretary of whichever of those synagogues the parties to the marriage nominate;

(d)in the case of a marriage solemnized in the presence of a registrar, that registrar;

(e)in the case of a marriage solemnized in a registered building without the presence of a registrar, the authorised person in whose presence the marriage is solemnized.

Textual Amendments

F344Ss. 53A-53E inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(b)(5)(a), 7 (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C51S. 53C applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1970 c. 34, s. 14A (as inserted by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 56(10) (with Sch. 2))

53DRegistration of marriageE+W

(1)Subsection (2) applies in the case of a marriage that is solemnized—

(a)after the publication of banns,

(b)on the authority of a special licence, or

(c)on the authority of a common licence.

(2)Once the marriage document for the marriage is signed in accordance with section 53B, the clergyman who solemnized the marriage must ensure that the marriage document is delivered to a registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized within 21 days beginning with the day on which the signing of the marriage document was completed.

(3)In the case of a marriage that is solemnized on the authority of a marriage schedule—

(a)where the marriage is attended by a registrar, that registrar must take custody of the marriage schedule once it is signed in accordance with section 53C;

(b)otherwise, once the marriage schedule is signed in accordance with section 53C, the specified person must ensure that it is delivered to a registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized within 21 days beginning with the day on which the signing of the marriage schedule was completed.

(4)The duty imposed by subsections (2) or (3)(b) to ensure the marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule is delivered to a registrar may be discharged by sending a copy in an approved electronic form.

(5)Subsection (6) applies if the signed marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule is not delivered to a registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized within 21 days beginning with the day on which the signing of the marriage document or marriage schedule was completed.

(6)A registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized may issue a notice, in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed, to the specified person requiring them to deliver the marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule to a registrar, in that registration district, within 8 days beginning with the day on which the notice is issued.

(7)Subsection (8) applies if the signed marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule is not delivered in accordance with a notice issued under subsection (6).

(8)A registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized may issue a further notice, in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed, to the specified person, requiring the personal attendance of the specified person at premises in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized, for the purpose of—

(a)delivering the signed marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule to the registrar, or

(b)if the specified person is not able to do so, explaining to the registrar why this is the case.

(9)A specified person who is issued with a notice under subsection (8) must comply with the requirements of the notice within 8 days beginning with the day on which the notice was issued.

(10)A registrar who has a signed marriage document or marriage schedule—

(a)must, as soon as reasonably practicable, register the marriage by entering the particulars in the marriage document or marriage schedule into the marriage register;

(b)may issue a certified copy of the entry in the marriage register.

(11)Information regarding a signed marriage document or marriage schedule may be provided by a registrar for the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized to a specified person in that registration district for the purposes of establishing—

(a)whether the marriage document or marriage schedule is authentic, or

(b)whether every marriage document signed under section 53B and every marriage schedule signed under section 53C in that registration district has been registered under subsection (10).

(12)Where a registrar has provided information to a specified person in accordance with subsection (11), that specified person may, for any of the purposes mentioned in that subsection, provide that registrar with information regarding any marriage document or marriage schedule signed or alleged to have been signed in the registration district concerned.

Textual Amendments

F344Ss. 53A-53E inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(b)(5)(a), 7 (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C52S. 53D applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1970 c. 34, s. 15 (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 56(11) (with Sch. 2))

53ERegistration of marriage where documentation lost or destroyedE+W

(1)This section applies where the Registrar General is satisfied that—

(a)a marriage has been solemnized, and

(b)the marriage document or (as the case may be) the marriage schedule in respect of the marriage has been lost or destroyed.

(2)In the case of a marriage document, the Registrar General may direct a relevant church official, in writing, to—

(a)reproduce the marriage document, and

(b)arrange, before the signing period expires and so far as reasonably practicable, for the reproduction to be signed by—

(i)the relevant church official, and

(ii)the relevant original signatories.

(3)The relevant church official to whom the direction is given under subsection (2) must—

(a)ensure that the reproduction, signed in accordance with subsection (2)(b), is delivered to a relevant registrar before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the first day after the end of the signing period, and

(b)if any of the relevant original signatories have not signed the reproduction, explain to the registrar why that is so.

(4)In the case of a marriage schedule, the Registrar General may direct the superintendent registrar for the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized, in writing, to—

(a)reproduce the marriage schedule, and

(b)provide the reproduction to a relevant person and require them in writing to arrange, before the signing period expires and so far as reasonably practicable, for the reproduction to be signed by—

(i)the relevant person, and

(ii)the relevant original signatories.

(5)If the relevant person to whom the reproduction is provided under subsection (4)(b) is not a registrar, the relevant person must—

(a)ensure that the reproduction, signed in accordance with subsection (4)(b), is delivered to a relevant registrar before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the first day after the end of the signing period, and

(b)if any of the relevant original signatories have not signed the reproduction, explain to the registrar why that is so.

(6)The duty imposed by subsection (3)(a) or (5)(a) to ensure a reproduction is delivered to a registrar may be discharged by sending a copy in an approved electronic form.

(7)Subsection (8) applies if—

(a)the Registrar General gives a direction under subsection (2) or (4), and

(b)the reproduction is not in the possession of a relevant registrar at the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the first day after the end of the signing period.

(8)A relevant registrar may issue a notice, in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed, to (as the case may be)—

(a)the relevant church official to whom the direction was given, or

(b)the relevant person to whom the reproduction was provided,

requiring the reproduction to be delivered to the registrar within 8 days beginning with the day on which the notice is issued.

(9)Subsection (10) applies if the reproduction is not delivered in accordance with the notice issued under subsection (8).

(10)A relevant registrar may issue a further notice, in any form, and with any content, that may be prescribed, to the relevant church official or (as the case may be) relevant person, requiring the personal attendance of the official or (as the case may be) relevant person at premises in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized, for the purpose of—

(a)delivering the reproduction, signed so far as is reasonably practicable by the original signatories, to the registrar, or

(b)if the official or (as the case may be) relevant person is not able to do so, explaining why this is the case.

(11)A person who is issued with a notice under subsection (10) must comply with the requirements of the notice within 8 days beginning with the day on which the notice was issued.

(12)Where a registrar is satisfied that, so far as is reasonably practicable, a marriage document or marriage schedule reproduced under this section has been signed by the persons mentioned in subsection (2)(b) or (as the case may be) (4)(b), the reproduction is to be treated as a signed marriage document or (as the case may be) marriage schedule for all purposes under this Act (and see, in particular, subsections (10) to (12) of section 53D).

(13)In this section—

  • “relevant church official”, in relation to a marriage document, means—

    (a)

    the clergyman who solemnized the marriage, or

    (b)

    if the Registrar General is satisfied that clergyman is not available to carry out the direction under subsection (2), a person appointed by the bishop of the diocese to carry out such directions;

  • “relevant original signatories” means—

    (a)

    in relation to a marriage document, the parties to the marriage and the witnesses, who signed the first marriage document in accordance with section 53B;

    (b)

    in relation to a marriage schedule, the parties to the marriage, the person by or before whom the marriage was solemnized if different to the specified person in relation to the marriage and the two witnesses, who signed the first marriage schedule in accordance with section 53C;

  • “relevant person”, in relation to a marriage schedule, means—

    (a)

    the specified person in relation to the marriage,

    (b)

    if the superintendent registrar to whom the direction is given under subsection (4) is satisfied that the specified person is not available to arrange for the reproduction to be signed by the original signatories—

    (i)

    in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, a person appointed by the bishop of the diocese to carry out the functions of a relevant person under this section,

    (ii)

    in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Society of Friends, another officer of that Society in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized,

    (iii)

    in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Jews where both parties to the marriage are members of the same synagogue, another secretary of that synagogue,

    (iv)

    in the case of a marriage solemnized according to the usages of the Jews where the parties to the marriage are members of different synagogues, a secretary for either of those synagogues,

    (v)

    in the case of a marriage solemnized in a registered building without the presence of a registrar, an authorised person in relation to that building or of some other registered building in the same registration district or a registrar of that district, or

    (c)

    if the superintendent registrar is satisfied that there is no person falling within paragraph (a) or (b) available to arrange for the reproduction to be signed by the original signatories, a registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized;

  • “relevant registrar” means a registrar in the registration district in which the marriage was solemnized;

  • “the signing period” means 28 days beginning with—

    (a)

    in the case of a marriage document, the day on which the Registrar General gives the direction under subsection (2);

    (b)

    in the case of a marriage schedule, the day on which the superintendent registrar provides the reproduction to a relevant person and requires them in writing to arrange for the reproduction to be signed under subsection (4)(b) (and if the superintendent registrar does those things on different days, the later of those two days).]

Textual Amendments

F344Ss. 53A-53E inserted (27.3.2021 for specified purposes, 4.5.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(4)(b)(5)(a), 7 (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C53S. 53E applied (with modifications) (4.5.2021) by 1970 c. 34, s. 15 (as amended by The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), reg. 1(2), Sch. 1 para. 56(11) (with Sch. 2))

F34354 Provision of marriage register books by Registrar General.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34355 Manner of registration of marriages. E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

F34356 Power to ask for particulars of marriage.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34357 Quarterly returns to be made to superintendent registrar.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34358 Quarterly returns to be made by superintendent registrar to Registrar General.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C55S. 58: transfer of functions (1.4.1996) by S.I. 1996/273, art. 3(1), Sch. 1 para. 7

F34359 Custody of register books.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34360 Filled register books.E+W

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Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34361 Correction of errors in register book.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

F34362 Disposal of register books on church ceasing to be used for solemnization of marriages.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F343Ss. 53-62 omitted (4.5.2021 except for the omission of ss. 57, 58, 62(2)(a), 1.8.2021 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of The Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/411), regs. 1(2)(10)(a), 6 (with Sch. 2)

63 Searches in register books.E+W

(1)Every incumbent, F345... officer of the Society of Friends, secretary of a synagogue and registrar by whom a marriage register book is kept [F346may] allow searches to be made in any marriage register book in his keepingF347... F348...

(2)The last foregoing subsection shall apply in the case of a registered building for which an authorised person has been appointed with the substitution for the reference to the incumbent of a reference to the person [F349responsible for keeping] a marriage register book in accordance with regulations made under section seventy-four of this Act.

Textual Amendments

F348Words in s. 63(1) omitted (12.7.2016) by virtue of Immigration Act 2016 (c. 19), s. 94(1), Sch. 15 para. 15; S.I. 2016/603, reg. 3(w)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F35064 Searches of indexes kept by superintendent registrars.E+W

(1)Every superintendent registrar must—

(a)cause indexes of all entries in the marriage register made under section 53D(10)(a) in respect of their registration district to be made and kept in their office, and

(b)keep in their office indexes of the marriage register books kept in their office.

(2)A person is entitled—

(a)to search the indexes of the entries in the marriage register and the indexes of the marriage register books kept at the office of a superintendent registrar at all reasonable hours, and

(b)to obtain a certified copy under the hand of the superintendent registrar of an entry made in the marriage register under section 53D(10)(a) or of an entry made in a marriage register book.]

65 Searches of indexes kept by Registrar General.E+W

[F351(1)The Registrar General must—

(a)cause indexes of all entries in the marriage register made under section 53D(10)(a) to be made and kept in the General Register Office, and

(b)keep in the General Register Office indexes of certified copies of marriage register books kept in the General Register Office.

(2)A person is entitled—

(a)to search the indexes of entries in the marriage register and indexes of certified copies of marriage register books at any time when the General Register Office is open for that purpose, and

(b)to obtain from the Registrar General a certified copy of an entry made in the marriage register under section 53D(10)(a) or a certified copy of an entry made in a certified copy of a marriage register book.]

(3)The Registrar General shall cause all certified copies of entries given in the General Register Office to be sealed or stamped with the seal of that Office; and any certified copy of an entry purporting to be sealed or stamped with the said seal shall be received as evidence of the marriage to which it relates without any further or other proof of the entry, and no certified copy purporting to have been given in the said Office shall be of any force or effect unless it is sealed or stamped as aforesaid.

F352(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F35365ASearches and records of information: additional provisionE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may make regulations for the purpose of enabling the Registrar General—

(a)to carry out, on request, a search to find out whether [F354the entries in the marriage register to which the Registrar General has access under section 53A(3) or] the Registrar General's certified copies contain a particular entry;

(b)to provide, on request, a record of information contained in [F355such an entry], otherwise than in the form of a certified copy.

F356(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)The regulations may make provision—

(a)as to how a request for a search or a record may be made;

(b)as to the forms in which a record may be provided.

(4)The provision that may be made in the regulations includes provision for a record to be provided in a form that does not include all of the information contained in an entry.

(5)Before making regulations under this section, the Secretary of State must consult the Registrar General.

(6)Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

(7)A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(8)This section does not affect the entitlement of any person to a certified copy of an entry [F357in the marriage register under section 53D(10)(a) or] in the Registrar General's certified copies.

(9)In this section, “the Registrar General's certified copies” means the certified copies of entries in marriage register books F358... kept in the General Register Office.]

Textual Amendments

F353S. 65A inserted (26.5.2015) by Deregulation Act 2015 (c. 20), ss. 99(1), 115(3)(k)