After a civil partnership ceremony

What surname to use, certificate issued, ceremony rehearsals, transgender and ending a civil partnership.

What surname do I use after I have entered into a civil partnership?

A person may want to take his/her partner’s surname when they form their civil partnership. The civil partnership certificate can be used as proof of his/her new name. Many government agencies will accept this as adequate proof. However, some private companies, for example, a bank, may ask for a different standard of proof.

Will a certificate be issued after the registration of a civil partnership?

A couple will receive their civil partnership certificate after their partnership is recorded in the electronic register. They can either have a full certificate which shows all the details of the civil partnership or an extract which does not show the address(es). The cost of the certificate if ordered and paid for before or on the day of registration is £4. The certificate will be issued at a later date.

If at any stage a couple want a further copy, the charge for this is £10.00. They can apply through the registration authority where they registered their partnership. They will need to provide enough details about both civil partners for the record to be identified and, if they want a full certificate, they must also provide their address. If a couple and their witnesses wish to sign and take away a commemorative certificate on the day of the registration/ceremony this can be arranged for a fee of £4.

If we choose to have a ceremony as well as the formation is it possible to have a rehearsal before the big day?

We do offer group rehearsal evenings at the register office in Beverley. These are subject to enough people attending.

What happens if I or my partner wishes to transgender?

A member of a married couple who applies for a gender recognition certificate (GCR) cannot by issued with a full GRC certificate. Instead the Gender Recognition Panel must issue an interim GRC. Where an interim GRC has been issued and the applicant wishes  to obtain a full GRC, the applicant must take steps to end his/her marriage or civil partnership within six months of the issue of the certificate. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the issue of an interim GRC is a ground for making a marriage or civil partnership voidable. This enables them to move from marriage to civil partnership without any break between the two.

There is more information about this process on the external Gender Recognition Panel’s website.

Justice - Gender Recognition Panel (external website)

How would someone end a civil partnership?

A civil partnership will come to an end if you or your civil partner dies. If you want to end your civil partnership before one of you dies, you need to get permission from a court. There are different ways you can ask a court to end your civil partnership. You can ask the court to grant:

  • a dissolution order. Your civil partnership must have lasted for at least one year before you can apply for a dissolution order. a separation order. You don't have to wait until your civil partnership has lasted for a year before you can apply for a separation order
  • you can apply for a separation order at any time
  • an annulment. 

Can we renew our civil partnership vows at a later date?

Yes, we can provide a bespoke renewal of vows ceremony.

Can we convert our civil partnership into a marriage?

Yes, by one of two options, a simple one stage procedure consisting of the preparation and signing of a declaration at any registration office

This is option 1

There is a £45 fee payable for this option.

Option 2 is a two-stage procedure. 

A written declaration is prepared at a registration office but, signed immediately before a celebratory ceremony at a place licensed for marriages. This second stage signing of the declaration can be carried out in East Riding of Yorkshire or any other registration district. The cost to all couples when using this 2-stage procedure is £27 plus the usual fee for a celebratory ceremony at your chosen venue.

What is involved  in option 1 conversion?

  • You will need to make an appointment to attend a registration office.
  • You must bring with you documentary evidence confirming your identity such as your passport or birth certificate and photo driving licence. We also require proof of address, your civil partnership certificate and the relevant  fee, if applicable.
  • A declaration form will be completed.
  • You can chose to either speak the official declaratory words to each other or acknowledge that you have read the words and understand them
  • You will then sign the declaration in the presence of the superintendent registrar or deputy superintendent registrar.
  • The superintendent registrar or deputy will also sign the declaration.
  • The electronic registration will be completed on the next working day or as soon as possible thereafter and any required marriage certificate will be posted out to you. The £4 certificate fee must be paid at the time of your appointment.


What is involved in option 2?

  • You will need to make an appointment to prepare your declaration at a registration office of your choice at a cost of £27.
  • You must produce a passport or birth certificate and a photo driving licence.  We also require proof of address, and your civil partnership certificate.
  • The unsigned declaration is sent/received (post or e-mail) from the office where the declaration was initiated.
  • The signing of the declaration is carried out immediately after you have spoken the official declaratory words to each other or acknowledge that you have read and understood them immediately  before the commencement of a celebratory ceremony, either secular or in a religious building.
  • The ceremony can take place in any venue licensed for marriages. The cost is determined by where and what day of the week you have chosen. You may wish to sign a celebratory certificate at the end of your ceremony for an additional fee of £4. This certificate would have no legal status.
  • A ceremony may also take place in a religious building which is registered for the marriage of same sex couples. There is a  statutory £91 fee payable for the attendance of the superintendent registrar.
  • If  the ceremony is held in East Riding of Yorkshire the electronic registration  will be completed the following working day or as soon as possible thereafter and the marriage certificate will be posted out to you.  The £4 certificate fee must be paid prior to the ceremony. 
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2017