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Civil marriage and partnership venue licence

Guidance and online forms to apply for a Civil Marriage and Partnership licence or an Approval of Religious Premises licence.

Premises can be approved by local authorities to solemnise Civil marriages and form Civil partnerships. This is allowed by the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005.

The application process and guidance notes can be found below.

How to apply

To apply, please read the guidance notes and complete the form:

The licence fee covers:

  • building inspection;
  • application publication;
  • administrative costs to process the application;
  • and licence issue.

If you want a no obligation (pre-application) visit from the Registration Service Ceremonies team, please email:

To transfer or amend existing approvals please complete the appropriate form. Fees can be found at Licence fees.

Please forward the completed application to us by post or email. Email applications must include a contact phone number. This is so a member of our team can contact you to make payment.

Payment can be made by cheque (payable to CMBC) or debit/credit card.

What happens next?

  • Inspection of building. Premises are inspected by Council and Registrar Officers. This is to make sure they are suitable and comply with requirements. Further interim inspections can be carried out at any time, should an approval be granted.
  • Publication of application. Particulars of an application for approval are published on our website for local objections in the statutory 21 day period.
  • Issuing an approval. We will issue an approval in respect of the building when the statutory period has elapsed, subject to:
    • There being no unresolved objections;
    • and all other matters being settled.
  • Validity. The approval will be valid for three years from the date of issue.


Renew an approval

If the approval holder wants it to continue after three years, they must apply for a renewal. This must be no more than 12 months before the current approval expires.

Fresh fees are payable for re-inspection of the building and the issuing of a renewed approval. See: Licence fees.

Expired approval

Important note: Marriages/civil partnerships must not take place in a building where the approval has expired.

Revoke approval

We reserve the right to revoke an approval at any time, where:

  • The holder fails to comply with any condition and responsibility that applies to getting approval;
  • or the use or structure of the premises changes and any conditions and responsibilities cannot be met.

The Registrar General can direct us to do this, if they think:

  • there has been a breach of the law that relates to marriage/civil partnership proceedings or the approved premises.

Important note: Marriages/civil partnerships must not take place in a building where the approval has been revoked.

Surrender approval

The holder of the approval can surrender an approval at any time. It will be revoked as soon as it is practical to do so.

The approval holder is responsible for notifying parties that their marriage can no longer take place in their building.

Public Register of Approved Venues

Please see: Approved licences.

Religious premises

To be registered for marriage or civil partnership ceremonies, please contact the Register Office.

Complaints procedure

A complaints procedure is operated by the Council for use by the general public. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with this.

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