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Converting a civil partnership into a marriage

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013: Conversion of civil partnership into marriage

The provisions for couples to convert their civil partnership into marriage were implemented on 10 December 2014.

Couples can choose how and where they convert their civil partnership to marriage. It does not have to be done in the same district or at the same venue as where the civil partnership took place.

The standard procedure allows couples to convert their civil partnership into marriage at the register office.

Additionally, there is an extended process where the signing of the declaration to convert a civil partnership into marriage can take place in the range of venues where marriage of same sex couples can be solemnized.

The extended process allows those couples who wish to follow the conversion into marriage with a non-statutory ceremony to sign the declaration at the same venue as where the ceremony is taking place. In these circumstances the completion and signing of the declaration will be split into two stages:

  • Stage 1: Providing the information for the declaration - Completion of the declaration and checking the evidence of name, date of birth, address and the civil partnership. This can take place in a register office or local registration service point

  • Stage 2: Completion of the conversion into marriage - Signing of the declaration by the parties and the superintendent registrar.

Where can the ceremony take place?

This can take place in:

  • Approved premises
  • Religious buildings registered for the marriage of same sex couples where a religious blessing or ceremony under Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1949 is to immediately follow the conversion into marriage. (This includes naval, military and air force chapels)
  • A place where a ceremony according to the Jewish faith or the Society of Friends under Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1949 is to immediately follow the conversion into marriage

The attendance of a superintendent registrar (or a deputy) will be required at all -conversions into marriage, including those on religious premises.

Fees and charges

The fees for couples to convert their civil partnership into marriage under the various procedures is available on our converting a civil partnership to marriage fees section.

Marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales 

This table sets out the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage as it applies to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

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