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Arranging a civil partnership

There are lots of things to think about when planning your civil partnership. To help, we have outlined everything you need to do on this page.


Our register offices will be reopening for pre-arranged appointments only from Monday 6 July.

You can give your notice of marriage/civil partnership for weddings taking place up to 30 September 2020.

To make an appointment, contact us on 03000 266 000. Please do not visit our register offices without making an appointment first.

We are busy rearranging those weddings and civil partnerships that have been postponed during lockdown. From 1 August we'll be accepting new bookings for 2020 for our register offices and licensed venues in line with current government guidance.

All naming ceremonies and non-statutory celebrations continue to be suspended until further notice. Email any queries you have to

You can still order certificates online or over the phone - see our Birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates page.

See our changes to services information or follow us on FacebookTwitter for further updates to our services.

A civil partnership is a legal relationship which can be registered by two people (of the same sex or of the opposite sex). Registering a civil partnership will give your relationship legal recognition. This will give you added legal rights, as well as responsibilities.

You and your partner can register a civil partnership if you are:

  • 16 or over
  • free to form a civil partnership (not already a civil partner or married)
  • not closely related

What you need to do

Give notice of your intention to form a civil partnership

You can give notice of your intent to form a civil partnership at Aykley Heads House register office or Bishop Auckland register office.

See our Give your notice of marriage or civil partnership page for advice on how to give notice and what documents you'll need to provide.

Plan your ceremony

We have developed a civil partnership ceremony to complement the civil partnership registration that can be held in the ceremony rooms at Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland and Aykley Heads House (Durham) Register Offices. See our Where to get married page.

A non-refundable £40 booking fee applies to all new ceremony bookings. Changes to ceremony bookings at these venues will result in another £40 booking fee becoming payable.

This fee needs to be paid to the superintendent registrar at least six weeks before the ceremony is due to take place.

Alternatively, ceremonies can also be held at any of the Licensed venues for marriages and civil partnerships.

Converting your civil partnership into a marriage

Contact us to speak to our ceremony coordination team for full details of how to convert your civil partnership into a marriage.

Contact us
Register Office - Aykley Heads House
03000 266 000
Our address is:
  • Aykley Heads
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5TS

Register Office - Bishop Auckland
03000 266 000
Our address is:
  • Cockton House
  • 35 Cockton Hill Road
  • Bishop Auckland
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL14 6HS
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