Civil Partnership Registration: Embracing Relationship Equality

Legally recognised relationship

In the United Kingdom, fairness and equality in relationships are important values. Civil partnership registration emerges as a beacon, allowing couples, irrespective of their gender or the depths of their love, to embark on a legally recognised commitment. Let’s understand how civil partnerships are registered in the UK, exploring the steps involved.

Understanding Civil Partnerships

Civil partnerships are relationships recognised by the law that can be officially registered by two unrelated individuals. It seeks to add a commitment to a relationship and make it legally recognised. Civil partnerships can be done for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

When you register for a civil partnership, your relationship becomes legally recognised, which gives you additional rights and responsibilities. To register a civil partnership, both you and your partner need to sign a special document called a civil partnership document. This signing ceremony occurs in the presence of a registrar and two witnesses.

In certain circumstances, couples who haven’t registered a civil partnership may have the same legal rights and responsibilities as those who have. This is particularly true when determining entitlement to welfare benefits and tax credits.

Eligibility to Register a Civil Partnership

Registering a civil partnership in the United Kingdom comes with certain eligibility criteria that need to be met. Here are the key requirements for couples who wish to enter into a civil partnership:

Age Requirement

Both individuals seeking to register a civil partnership must be aged 18 or above. It is important to note that parental consent is not required, regardless of the age of the individuals involved.


To be eligible for civil partnership registration, both partners must have lived in the same area in England or Wales for at least seven consecutive days. This residency requirement ensures the couple has a genuine connection to the jurisdiction where they intend to register their partnership.

Marital Status

Neither of the individuals seeking to enter into a civil partnership should be married or in a civil partnership. This requirement ensures that the institution of a civil partnership is exclusive and cannot be entered into while legally bound to another person.

Prohibition on Close Blood Relatives

To maintain the integrity of civil partnerships, individuals closely related by blood are not allowed to register a civil partnership together. This prohibition is in place to adhere to legal and ethical standards regarding consanguinity and familial relationships.

Registering a Civil Partnership

Registering a civil partnership in the United Kingdom involves two important steps. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps:

Giving Notice

Before civil partnership registration can occur, both partners must give notice at the local registration office. This involves providing essential information, such as names, dates of birth, and addresses. It is advisable to contact the registration office in advance to schedule an appointment to give notice.

During the notice period, which is usually 28 days, the information provided will be displayed publicly at the registration office. This allows anyone with a legal objection to the civil partnership to raise concerns. If no objections are raised during this period, the couple can proceed with the registration.


The couple can proceed with the civil partnership registration once the notice period has passed without any objections. The registration can take place at a registered office or at any venue that has been approved for civil partnership ceremonies. Some couples may choose a simple ceremony, while others may opt for a more elaborate celebration. The choice is entirely up to the couple and their preferences.

During the registration ceremony, both partners, along with two witnesses, are required to be present. A registrar will officiate the ceremony and guide the couple through the necessary steps. The key moment in the registration process is the signing of the civil partnership document by both partners, which formalises the legal recognition of the partnership.

After the ceremony, the registrar will issue a civil partnership certificate to the couple. This certificate serves as legal proof of the registered partnership and may be required for various purposes, such as changing surnames or updating legal documents.

Final Thoughts

Registering a civil partnership in the UK is a significant step towards embracing relationship equality and providing legal recognition to couples, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. By promoting inclusivity and celebrating diverse partnerships, we can foster a society that values love, respect, and equal rights for all individuals.