Publication - Factsheet

Marriage and civil partnership guide

Published: 15 Nov 2021
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781800047044

A short guide on marriage and civil partnership in Scotland.

Marriage and civil partnership guide
Getting married or entering a civil partnership in Scotland

Getting married or entering a civil partnership in Scotland

This section of the guide will explain

  • eligibility
  • the process for getting married or entering a civil partnership
  • different types of marriage solemnisation and civil partnership registration
  • what it can cost to marry or enter a civil partnership

Eligibility

A couple can only get married or enter a civil partnership if they both meet eligibility criteria.

  • These criteria are the same for marriage and for civil partnership:
  • The couple must both be aged 16 or over
  • The relationship can be mixed sex or same sex
  • Both people must not already be married or in a civil partnership with someone else
  • The couple cannot be closely related to each other. Mygov.scot has a full list of the relations a person cannot marry or have a civil partnership with.
  • The couple must both be capable of understanding what marriage or civil partnership means
  • The couple must both be capable of consenting to marry or enter a civil partnership

The process for getting married or registering a civil partnership

The legal process for entering either type of relationship is very similar.

  • The couple must each submit a notice of intention to marry or notice of intention to enter a civil partnership to the registrar in the area where they plan to marry.

National Records of Scotland has published examples of a notice of intention to marry and a notice of intention to enter a civil partnership.

  • The couple must submit their notices at least 28 full days in advance of the date they intend to marry or enter your civil partnership.

For example, if a couple both submit their notices on 1 June, the earliest they could have their marriage or civil partnership would be 30 June. In this example, the 28 full days are 2 June to 29 June (inclusive).

This notice period allows the registrar to check the information provided by the couple. This enables the registrar to make sure everything is in order so the marriage or civil partnership can go ahead.


Contact

Email: DLECJBCLLSFPL@gov.scot