Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 to legally recognise a same sex union. Since 30 June 2021 (in Scotland), opposite sex couples have been able to enter a civil partnership.

A civil partnership is a legal relationship entered by a couple, which is then registered and provides them with similar legal rights as married couples.

More information about civil partnerships can be found on the Scottish Government website.

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Civil partnerships in Scotland

You don't need to be resident in Scotland to enter a civil partnership here.

If you are subject to immigration control you should read the information provided by the Home Office carefully.

You can choose to have either:

  • A civil partnership registration – where both parties and the witnesses come to a registration office to complete the registration.


Civil ceremony

This ceremony may take place in a registration office or at any place mutually agreed between the couple and the local registration authority.  We can personalise this to your wishes.

This ceremony may take place in a registration office or at any place mutually agreed between the couple and the local registration authority. We can personalise this to your wishes.

Please note from 01 April 2025 we can only offer the use of a small ceremony room with the couple and 2 witnesses in attendance.

Religious or belief ceremony

This ceremony can be solemnised only by a minister, clergyman, pastor, priest or other person entitled to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004. 

If you are planning on registering a civil partnership, you must by law submit civil partnership notice forms, submit the associated documents, and pay the statutory fee, to the registrar in whose district you intend to register the civil partnership.

Booking a civil partnership ceremony

A civil partnership ceremony led by an authorised registrar can take place in a registration office or an agreed place within the Falkirk Council area.

Our experienced team will help you organise your ceremony so that it's exactly what you want. You can choose your own vows, readings, ceremony enhancements and music to personalise your ceremony. You will also get the opportunity to have a pre-ceremony meeting/rehearsal before the big day.

Our civil partnership readings document offers suggestions:

Civil partnership readings
witness form

Once you have decided on a date and venue for your special day you can make a booking online. Once we have checked our availability, we will confirm the provisional booking and you will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee to secure your ceremony in our diary.

Civil partnership fees

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Statutory fees

The fees set by the Registrar General by Act of Parliament are:

Detail Fee
Civil partnership notice fee: (£45 per person, non-refundable) £90
Civil partnership certificate £10
Civil partnership registration fee £55
Total £155

These fees are for civil partnership registration with or without ceremony. See below for additional council fees which may apply.

Additional fees set by Falkirk Council (with effect from 01 May 2024)

In addition to the above statutory fees, we charge for an authorised registrar to conduct a civil partnership ceremony during normal working hours within the larger Falkirk Council Ceremony Suite allowing guests to attend. There would be an additional fee of £66.

There is also an additional charge for an authorised Registrar to conduct a civil partnership registration (with or without a ceremony) within an agreed venue or Falkirk Council Ceremony Suite out with normal working hours.

A non-refundable booking fee deposit of £100 is required at time of booking; however, the deposit will be deducted from the attendance fee on submission of your legal paperwork.

There is a concession available to those on means tested income related state benefits.

Day(s) Statutory fee Attendance fee Total
Monday - Friday £155 £198 £353
Saturday £155 £275 £430
Sunday £155 £275 £430
Public holiday £155 £275 £430


Payment can be made via:

  • Debit/Credit Card
  • Cheques should be made payable to Falkirk Council

When to submit my notice of civil partnership?

The notices must be submitted early enough to enable the Registrar to be satisfied that you are free to enter in to a civil partnership with one another. Notices should be submitted about 10-12 weeks before the civil partnership.

The minimum period is 29 days before the date of the proposed civil partnership but if you leave things as late as this you may need to postpone your civil partnership.

Only in exceptional circumstances will the Registrar General authorise a civil partnership to take place if 29 days' notice has not been given.

How to submit civil partnership notices

Civil partnership notices can be submitted in person by appointment, please telephone the office on 01324 506580 to arrange. Notice Forms can also be submitted by post to:

Falkirk Registration Office
Old Burgh Buildings
Newmarket Street

Notice forms cannot be accepted by email.

If posting your paperwork, please include photocopies of the appropriate documents. We do not advise you include any original documents in the post at this time, eg original passports, birth certificates etc. We will make arrangements for you to attend the office to show your original documentation.

You must include contact details so that a member of our team can contact you to take payment over the phone by credit/debit card or to check any additional information. Contact details should include a UK landline or mobile number and email address. If you are including a cheque or postal order for payment of your Civil partnership fees please make this payable to Falkirk Council.

What documents will I need when submitting civil partnership notices?

When submitting the civil partnership notice forms to the registrar, you both must include:

  • completed Partnership Notice Form (Form CP 10) (PDF, 184KB)
  • your birth certificate
  • your passport
  • proof of current/usual residence - for eg Utility bill (not older than 3 months); bank/building society statement (not older than 1 month); most recent council tax bill; valid UK driving licence; letter signed by someone able to confirm period of residence at address eg relative accommodating individual (further supporting evidence may be needed)
  • a decree of divorce, dissolution or annulment if the person giving notice has previously been married or in a registered civil partnership and the marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved. A decree of divorce granted out with Scotland must be absolute or final, a decree nisi is not acceptable
  • if you are a widow or widower, the death certificate of your former spouse
  • if you are a person who is subject to the civil partnership laws of a country outside the United Kingdom you may be required to obtain a certificate of no impediment
  • if any of these documents is in a language other than English, a certified translation in English must also be provided
  • if you are a non-UK national you must complete and include a Declaration of Status by Non-UK Nationals Form (PDF, 131KB)
  • include a completed witness form (PDF, 29KB)

If any of these documents are in a language other than English, they must be translated.

These documents must be given to the registrar before the civil partnership. If time is getting short it is better to give notice and pass the documents to the registrar when they become available.

If you are not a permanent resident of the United Kingdom

If you are a national of a country outside the United Kingdom you are subject to the civil partnership laws of that country.

You must complete and include a Declaration of Status by Non-UK Nationals Form (PDF, 131KB).

You must follow the normal procedure of giving notice to the Registrar in Scotland. You should also provide a 'certificate of no impediment' to show you are not married in the country you are a national of. If you do not have this certificate, it may not be possible for you to marry in Scotland.

If you have lived in the United Kingdom for the last 2 years or more you do not need to submit this certificate.

For more information, please contact the registration team.

Are you subject to immigration controls?

If you visit Scotland to get married or register a civil partnership and are a national of a country outside the UK, you will need an entry clearance. The application form is available on the GOV.UK website.

Please check the UK Visas website if you intend to come to the UK to get married or have a civil partnership and settle here. If you have any questions, please contact the UK Border Agency Immigration Enquiry Bureau.

Registrars have a duty to report any civil partnership they suspect has been registered to evade immigration controls.

The civil partnership schedule

When the registrar is satisfied there is no legal impediment to the civil partnership, they will prepare a civil partnership schedule from the information that you have given. The schedule is the most important document - no civil partnership can proceed without it.

  • If you are having a religious or belief civil partnership the civil partnership schedule will be issued to you by the registrar. The schedule cannot be issued more than 7 days before the civil partnership and the registrar will advise you when to attend to collect it. The schedule can only be collected by the couple entering in to the civil partnership.
  • The civil partnership schedule must be produced to the person performing the civil partnership before the ceremony takes place.
  • Immediately after the ceremony the schedule must be signed in black fountain pen, by both parties, by the person performing the civil partnership ceremony and by the 2 witnesses. Thereafter it must be returned to the registrar within three days so that the civil partnership can be registered.
  • If you are having a registrar conduct your civil partnership ceremony then a civil partnership schedule will not be issued, but the registrar will have it available at the ceremony for signing, the civil partnership will be registered and the civil partnership certificate will be posted.
  • A fee for the ceremony and, if applicable, for the attendance of the registrar at an agreed place is payable to the registrar at the time of giving notice.

Where can a civil partnership ceremony be held?

Located in the heart of Falkirk's town centre, the historical Falkirk Registration Office offers two ceremony rooms. The larger ceremony room can accommodate up to 34 people. The smaller ceremony room is available for a small intimate ceremony with the couple and their two witnesses.

Civil ceremonies have changed in recent years and no longer need to be held within a registrar's office.

Our team of experienced authorised registrars can perform ceremonies in a wide range of venues, from hotel function rooms to your garden, from favourite restaurants to castles.

You can choose to have your ceremony in your local community centre or on a boat at the Falkirk Wheel. If we have not previously solemnised a ceremony at your chosen venue, we will make arrangements to carry out a visit before your ceremony.

Photo of the registration room

Falkirk Registration Office

Converting a civil partnership to a marriage

If you do decide to change your civil partnership to marriage, there are two ways you can do this:

  1. By administration
  2. By ceremony

By the administrative route

Make an appointment at the registration office. When attending your appointment, please bring:

  • Civil partnership certificate

  • Form of photographic identification for both parties, ie passport or driver's licence

The fee is £30, plus £10 for a copy of the marriage certificate.

Further information can be found on the National Records of Scotland (NRoS) website.

By ceremony

Alternatively, you can change your civil partnership to marriage by having a civil, religious or belief ceremony.

If you decide to convert your civil partnership to marriage by marrying in the usual way with a ceremony, then you will need to pay the statutory fees for the type of marriage ceremony you choose.

Changing your name after civil partnership

If you decide to change your surname after you enter a civil partnership, you do not need to complete any official forms. You can use your civil partnership certificate as evidence of your change of name.