Getting Married Abroad - Certificate of No Impediment

Each country is different in their requirements and so, in the first instance, you must contact the government of the country in which you wish to marry in order to establish exactly what their requirements are.
Getting Married Abroad


You can use the Getting Married abroad tool on gov.uk to find out who you need to contact in order to confirm requirements.

 

Some countries will request a Certificate of No Impediment.  These can only be provided for British nationals via the Register Office in the district in which you live.  

You must find out, from the authorities in the country in which you wish to marry, how long the certificate is valid for in that country, as it must be valid on the day of the wedding.  

You should also find out if they require you to take it to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for legalisation (called an Apostille) once the certificate has been collected from the Register Office in the district where you live.

Once you have this information you should contact your local Register Office to arrange an appointment.  As there can often be an 8 week wait for appointments you should plan well ahead.

You will need to know at least the town and country where the marriage is taking place along with any unusual spellings.

 

At the appointment you will need to provide evidence of: 

Nationality – one of the following

  • Valid passport; or
  • Nationality identity card; or
  • Citizenship certificate confirming British Citizenship; or
  • British birth certificates 
    • If you were born prior to 1 January 1983 we will need to see either your full or short birth certificate.
    • If you were born after 1 January 1983 we will need to see your full birth certificate, which includes your parents' details, PLUS either your mother or father's birth certificate if your parents were married when you were born.  If your parents were unmarried when you were born then only your mother's birth certificate can be accepted.  If your parents were born outside the UK, then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.

Address – one of the following:

  • Utility bill dated no more than 3 months prior to the date of the appointment; or
  • Bank or building society statement or passbook dated no more than one month prior to the date of the appointment; or
  • Council tax bill dated no more than one year prior to the date of the appointment; or 
  • Mortgage statement from the last 12 months; or
  • Current residential tenancy agreement; or
  • Valid driving license in the name of the person giving Notice of Marriage; or
  • Letter from the owner or proprietor of the address which is the person's place of residence.  This letter must include:
    • the name, address, date and signature of the owner / proprietor;
    • confirmation that this person is the owner / proprietor; and
    • confirmation of the name of the person giving Notice and that they have been resident at the address for at least the 8 days immediately prior to the Notice appointment.

Evidence of your age - If either of you are under the age of 18 we will need to see proof that your parent, or guardians, agree to the marriage.  If your parents are divorced we may also need to see the court order that gives custody to one of them

Name – evidence of any name change (marriage certificate; deed poll etc)

Evidence of condition – one of the following (as appropriate) 

  • Decree absolute – if granted outside England and Wales, then the final divorce documents issued along with a full translation, if written in any language other than English.
  • The death certificate of the spouse – if the person remarrying is not mentioned on the death certificate then you must also provide a certified copy of the marriage certificate.
  • The presumed death certificate of the spouse

Only original documents can be provided.  Photocopies will not be accepted.

There is a fee for booking and using this service.  If you do not bring all the required original, valid documentation we will not be able to complete your notice and a further appointment will have to be booked and paid for.

Once notice is taken it is then displayed for a legal waiting period of 28 clear days before the Certificate of No Impediment can be issued.

Please note that as long as you follow the law for the country you marry in, and it is legally recognised by that government, then there is no reason why your marriage would not be recognised in this country. A marriage can only be registered in one place and there is no provision in English law to register your marriage in this country if the marriage takes place abroad.

Last Updated: 18 March 2019