Who can register a Civil Partnership in Scotland?
Any two persons, regardless of where they live, may register a civil partnership in Scotland provided that:
- both persons, are at least 16 years of age on the day they wish to register their civil partnership.
- They are not related to one another in a way that would prevent them registering their civil partnership.
- Each is unmarried and not already registered as a civil partner (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership registration has ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissolution),
- They are capable of understanding the nature of civil partnership
Where to register a Civil Partnership in Scotland?
A civil partnership may be registered by a District or Assistant Registrar or a religious or belief celebrant who has been authorised by the Registrar General for that purpose or whose religious or belief body has been prescribed in regulations under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The registration of a civil partnership by a district registrar or an assistant registrar may take place either in a registration office or in a place that the local authority agrees to. Therefore, it is important that you should contact as early as possible the registrar for the registration district in which you want to register your civil partnership.
Civil Partnership Paperwork
By law both parties to a proposed civil partnership registration in Scotland are required to submit civil partnership notice forms to the Registrar of the district in which the civil partnership registration is to take place informing them of their intention to form a civil partnership.
Forms and guidance for giving notice can be obtained from any Registration Office in Argyll and Bute. You will each require a CP10 registration form, guidance notes are also available and a form for your witnesses. All forms can be found on our website, National Records of Scotland Website or your Registrar can email the paperwork to you.
Notice must be given in the three-month period prior to the date of the civil partnership registration and NOT LATER THAN 29 DAYS BEFORE THAT DATE. If you intend to lodge Notice in person please contact the local Registrar before doing so as an appointment may be required. Please contact your local Registrar for further information.
How and When to Give Notice
- Each of you must complete and submit a civil partnership notice, along with the required documents and the appropriate fee, to the registrar for the district in which you want to register your civil partnership.
- Timing is important. The notices must be submitted early enough to enable the registrar to satisfy themself that you are free to register a civil partnership. Normally notices should with the registrar about 10-12 weeks. The minimum period is 29 days before the civil partnership, but if you leave things late you could be faced with the need to postpone your civil partnership registration.
- Although both parties do not need to attend personally to hand in your civil partnership notice, at least one of you may be asked to attend personally before the date of the civil partnership registration. This might be necessary to finalise arrangements with the registrar.
Documents to Produce
When giving or sending the civil partnership notice forms to the register each of you must supply the following:
- Both parties have to submit their birth certificates (originals not photocopies and translations if needed)
- Copies of passports to verify nationality
- Evidence of EUSS status for EEA passport holders (please see below for more details)
- Proof of residency for each of you (copies of valid driving licence, council tax bill for the current year, utility bill dated within 3 months or a bank statement dated within the month)
- If either of you have previously been married or in a civil partnership we will require relevant documentation to prove you are free to marry e.g. Original Divorce Documents, Death Certificate. (originals not photocopies and translations if required)
*Please note * – if submitting foreign divorce documents then a separate questionnaire will also need to be completed.
- Full names and addresses of your two witnesses who must be over 16 years of age
- The appropriate fee for the civil partnership registration and, if applicable, for the attendance of the registrar at an agreed authorised place is payable to the registrar in advance.
- If subject to immigration control you should contact the UK Border Agency (Tel: 0300 123 2241) for advice about entry requirements to the UK under the immigration rules for marriage and civil partnership.
Persons Subject to Immigration Control
A civil partnership visa is not required to give notice of a civil partnership but it may be required to enter the UK. We strongly suggest that you check what is required by the Border Agency if this applies to you. Anyone who is not a British Citizen must complete a Declaration Status by Non UK Nationals form.
Registrars have a statutory duty to report any civil partnership they suspect has been registered for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.
For EEA Passport Holders
From 1 July 2021, changes have come into effect which bring European Economic Area (“EEA”) citizens within scope of the referral and investigation scheme.
The referral and investigation marriage scheme applies to couples where one or both parties could gain an immigration advantage from the marriage or civil partnership and allows the Home Office to investigate and take enforcement action where appropriate. Holders of relevant marriage visas (such as a marriage visitor visa or fiancé visa) or those with an appropriate immigration status (exemption from immigration control or settled in the UK) are exempt from referral to the Home Office.
However EEA citizens with
- an immigration status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) or
- a pending application to the EUSS, or
- Irish citizens
are exempt from the referral scheme. These groups also remain exempt from the requirement for a mandatory marriage visitor visa if they are travelling to the UK for that purpose.
EEA citizens (with the exception of Irish nationals) are no longer be able to use their national ID card as evidence of nationality when giving notice of intention to marry or register a civil partnership.
A person with EUSS status are required to share their status through the online EUSS status checker tool. The holder must request a six digit ‘share code’ and provide this code to the registrar when they give notice to marry. This code can be requested by the individual on the ‘view and prove your settled or pre-settled status page’ on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.
Making arrangements for a Civil Partnership Registration
It is important to make early arrangements with the person registering your civil partnership
- Contact the person registering your civil partnership before completing the notice of civil partnership if you are having a religious or belief celebrant.
- Make advance arrangements with the registrar
- Arrange for 2 persons, aged 16 or over, to be present at your civil partnership registration to act as witnesses
- Be sure to let the person registering your civil partnership know if you make any change to your plans or decide to postpone your civil partnership registration
Civil partnerships have two registration options – Registration Option and Ceremonial Option.
If a couple would prefer not to have a ceremony they can opt to meet with the registrar to check and sign the Schedule in the presence of the registrar and two witnesses. No ceremony would be carried out.
The ceremony option would give the couple the same options as with a civil marriage, the ceremony can be held within the registration office, venue or a location agreed with the Registrar.