Click on image to return to General Register Office for Scotland - Homepage

Registering a Civil Partnership in Scotland

I want to Register a Civil Partnership in Scotland.  How do I go about it?

British Sign Language (BSL) Webclips

The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which applies throughout the UK, came into force on 5 December 2005.  The following notes will guide you through the necessary legal formalities.

There is some paperwork to be completed, and you will need to book a place, date and time.  You may find it useful to download the following documents about our requirements.

Pdf files require Acrobat Reader. Download Acrobat Reader free Get Acrobat Reader.


GROSLocate allows you to find all local registration offices in Scotland, along with contact details and directions.

The RCP1 leaflet should answer most of your questions, but please bear in mind the following points:

  • Always telephone the selected local Registrar before filling in form CP10.
  • If you want to register a Civil Partnership, the Registrar will be able to help you choose a day and time, and tell you what fees you are likely to pay.
  • It will also enable you to confirm what form of payment the Registrar can accept.
  • Both parties intending to register the Civil Partnership should provide the Registrar with a postal address and a contact telephone number (and if possible, a fax number).
  • You must post (not email) the completed forms to arrive normally 4-6 weeks before the date of the intended registration of the Civil Partnership and certainly no later than 15 days before.  You must include:
    • the questionnaire if you are submitting divorce or dissolution documents from outside the United Kingdom;
    • original or certified copies of documents provided by the issuing authority;
    • the Witness Details form (if you have chosen your witnesses);
    • the appropriate payment to the relevant local Registrar (not to the General Register Office for Scotland).  The registrar will not be able to accept forms without payment.
  • The Registrar, in certain circumstances, will ask to see your valid passport or other document to provide evidence of your nationality.

Are you subject to immigration controls?

If you are you will not be able to give notice of your intention to register a civil partnership unless:

  • you have an entry clearance granted expressly for the purpose of registering a civil partnership in the UK

    Entry clearance is the granting of permission to enter the UK by an Entry Clearance Officer in the British Embassy/High Commission in the person’s country.  It will usually be shown as a visa in the person’s passport or travel document.

  • Or you have the written permission of the Home Secretary to register a civil partnership in the UK – this will take the form of a certificate of approval, which can be obtained, from the Immigration and Nationality Department.

This will usually be issued where the person has been granted leave to enter or remain for over six months from the date on which they entered the UK and that leave is still in force.  The certificate of approval will have to be surrendered to the registrar when notice is given.

  • Or you fall within a class of persons specified by the Home Secretary.

This will be someone with settled status in the UK.

Registrars have a statutory duty to report any civil partnership they suspect has been registered for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.

For more information contact your nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission or call the Immigration and Nationality Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766, or write to Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR9 2BY for advice.

I want to register the Civil Partnership as a “surprise” for my partner.  Is this possible?

No.  By law both parties to the registration of the Civil Partnership are required to submit notice forms to the registrar of the district in which the registration of the Civil Partnership is to take place.  This means that both parties must be aware of this and independently complete and sign the declaration on form CP10 to the effect that the information given is correct.  Failure to give proper notice can result in registration of the Civil Partnership being postponed or prevented from proceeding.

Will we be able to have a ceremony in Scotland and what form will it take?

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 does not set out a legally prescribed form of ceremony to be used at the time of the registration of Civil Partnerships in Scotland.  The Registrar General sets out a suggested form of ceremony in guidance to local registrars.  So, if you would like a ceremony to form part of the registration of your Civil Partnership, then you should contact the registrar for the district in which you intend to register your Civil Partnership.  She or he will be able to explain to you what arrangements may be made locally.  She or he would also be happy to confirm in advance the form of words that might be used during the ceremony.

Because the registration of a Civil  Partnership is secular in nature, the legal formalities (and any ceremony that the registrar agrees to perform) must not contain any religious element.  However, if you would like to have a religious ceremony or blessing, then you may arrange this entirely separately to the legal formalities of registering your Civil Partnership.

I want to register a Civil Partnership abroad.  What documents will I need to provide?

You should contact the Consulate/Embassy for the relevant country for advice on what documentation will be required.

I am registering a Civil Partnership abroad and require my birth extract "authenticated".  How do I go about this?

An "authentication" can be provided by GROS for a fee. Please email our authentication of extracts section using our Contact Form. They will be glad to help and will advise you of the current fee.

Please note that an "authentication" is not acceptable to every foreign government and some ask for what is called an "apostille" to be written on the back of an extract.  This procedure is governed by international convention and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for adding the "apostille".  If you require an "apostille" please contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Tel: 020 7008 1111).

Can we register our Civil Partnership in places other than a registration office?

Section 93 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows 2 people to be registered as civil partners of each other at a registration office or at any other place which they and the local registration authority (i.e. the local Council) agree is to be the place of registration.

However, Section 93 makes it clear that the place must not be in religious premises, that is to say premises which-


are used solely or mainly for religious purposes, or


have been so used and have not subsequently been used solely or mainly for other purposes.

So, you should contact the registrar for the district where you would wish your Civil Partnership to be registered to discuss what places may be suitable.  You can download the Directory of Registrars in Scotland using the link above.

Contact Points for further information:

Please write, phone or visit us at New Register House. See our Where to find us page for our address and our Contact Us page for our telephone number.

You may email our civil partnership preliminaries section or authentication of extracts section using our contact form.


Page last updated: 5 January 2011

If you have any comments about this website please use our contact form.

© Crown Copyright 2011