Although a civil partnership is not a marriage, it is a union of two people. The Civil Partnership Act allows same-sex couples to make a formal, legal commitment to each other by entering into a civil partnership through a statutory civil registration procedure. Through confirming a civil partnership, couples can gain important rights and responsibilities.
A Civil Partnership Notice Form (CP10) must be submitted by each party in the three month period prior to the date of your partnership and not later than 29 days before that date. Please also download or complete a Witness & Contact Details Form.
The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which applies throughout the UK, came into force on 5th December 2005. The process brings a range of new rights and responsibilities to those involved.
Stirling Council Registration Service gives you the option to choose to either have a Civil Partnership ceremony or a Civil Partnership registration.
A registration can be as simple as appearing at a Registrar’s office with two witnesses and signing the official documentation. A registration can take place at any of our Registration offices.
A Civil Partnership ceremony can take place at any of our Registration offices or at a venue of your choice. If you decide to have a ceremony, you can include the exchanging of rings/gifts, readings, music etc.
As soon as you have decided on your preferred date and venue, please contact the Registrar to book your ceremony or registration.
What you will need
The appropriate fees and both birth certificates should accompany the completed civil partnership notice (CP10) forms. Additional documents will be required to accompany the forms if either party has been previously married or in a civil partnership. The Registrar will be able to help you with this.
If a person is subject to immigration controls, they will need to satisfy certain immigration eligibility requirements before notice can be accepted. In particular, you will need to provide a Declaration of Immigration Status form which can be obtained from the Registrar or on the NRS (National Records of Scotland) website. Evidence to support the statement you make on the Declaration of Immigration Status form will also be required. If you are in any doubt about what is required, or if you need further information, you should consult the Registrar or contact NRS. If you are a foreign national, it is advisable to allow sufficient time for submitting civil partnership notice forms where additional documentation is required.
You will need to arrange for two people to be present to act as witnesses to your civil partnership. The two witnesses must be aged 16 or over and be capable of fully understanding the proceedings. The Registrar must be notified of the full names and addresses of both witnesses. Please also complete a Contact & Witness form and return with your paperwork.
If either party to the marriage or either of the two witnesses to the marriage are unable to understand or converse fluently in English, an interpreter will have to be present at the marriage. Please consult the Registrar for advice.
If you are unable to download the civil partnership notice forms and the Registering a Civil Partnership in Scotland leaflet, these documents are available from any Registrar in Scotland.
Please note that all documentation submitted to the Registrar must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted.
Converting a civil partnership to marriage
As of 16 December 2014, couples in a civil partnership that was registered in Scotland are able to convert their civil partnership to a marriage in Scotland if they wish.
Many couples will want to be married, while many others prefer civil partnership.
You can keep your civil partnership if you prefer, and new civil partnerships will continue to be available as an alternative to marriage in Scotland.
How to convert a civil partnership to a marriage
If you do decide to convert your civil partnership to marriage, there are two ways you can do this:
- By ceremony – Download Form M10 You can convert your civil partnership to marriage by marrying in the usual way, with a civil, religious or belief ceremony. You may decide that you prefer this option if you want to have a ceremony.
- By the administrative route – Download Application Form Alternatively, you can make an appointment with your local registrar, show up with photo ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, etc), and get a marriage certificate there and then without a ceremony.
In either case, legally your marriage will be treated as having started on the date you registered your civil partnership, and the marriage certificate you get will state that your marriage is treated as having started on that earlier date.
See also Guidance Notes.
How to obtain a marriage or civil partnership certificate
If required, you can purchase replacement certificates online here: