Transcription

The Registrar General's guidance for theapproval of premises as venues for civilmarriages and civil partnershipsSeventh edition (revised December2019)1

ContentsContents .21.Introduction.42.Part one – generic guidance .5Types of premises .5Other requirements before an application can be considered .6The application process.6Objections .8Granting approvals.8Expiry and renewal of approval .8Revocation .9Reviews .9Register of approved premises .9Fees .10Changes after the approval .113. Part two – secular premises (premises that are not religious premises) – civil partnershipsand marriage .12Types of premises .12The application process.12Objections .12Granting approvals.12Expiry and renewal of approval .12Revocation .12Reviews .13Register of approved premises .13Fees .134.Part three – religious premises – civil partnerships only.14Other requirements before an application can be considered .14Shared premises .15The application process.15Objections .16Granting approvals.16Expiry and renewal of approval .16Revocation .16Reviews .16Register of approved premises .16Fees .162

5.Part four – other guidance .17Guidance for those who wish to marry on approved premises .17Guidance for those who wish to register a civil partnership on approved premises .18Designation of civil partnership registrars .18Annex A .20Annex B .21Annex C .21Annex D .23Annex E .25Notes on the requirements for an approval to be granted {An authority may.27The premises must also fulfil the authority’s following requirements: .28Annex G .30Notes on the requirements before an approval can be granted {An authority .32The premises must also fulfil the following requirements set by the authority: .33Other Notes: .34Annex I .363

1.Introduction1.1This guidance is issued by the Registrar General for England and Wales in accordance withhis duties under the Marriage Act 1949 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The guidancesupplements the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005 asamended1 (“the 2005 Regulations”) to provide the public, local authorities, registration officers andfaith groups with information on the regime to approve premises for the solemnization of civilmarriages and the registration of civil partnerships.1.2The guidance focuses on the detailed processes for the approval of premises and theconditions associated with an approval. It is not intended to provide information more generally on thelegal requirements for marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales. Nor does it cover theapprovals process for the certification of places of worship or registration of the same for religiousmarriage. Further information on marriage or civil partnership can be accessed on the GOV.UKwebsite This guidance is in four parts: Part One provides generic guidance that applies to all premises that are to be approved forcivil marriages and civil partnerships. Also, religious premises to be approved for theregistration of civil partnerships, (whether of couples of the same sex, opposite sex, or both); Part Two provides additional guidance that is specific to the approval of secular premises forcivil marriages and civil partnerships; Part Three provides additional guidance that is specific to the approval of religious premisesfor civil partnerships; and Part Four provides other guidance for couples wishing to solemnize a marriage or register acivil partnership on approved premises and gives information about the designation of civilpartnership registrars.1.4The relevant legislation that provides for the approval of premises for civil marriages and civilpartnerships are listed below:Marriage Act 1949Civil Partnership Act 2004The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2011The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019Equality Act 20101The 2005 Regulations were amended in December 2011 by the Marriages and CivilPartnerships (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 2011/2661), and inDecember 2019 by the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019.4

2.Part one – generic guidanceGuidance for the approval of premises as venues for marriages under section 26(1)(bb)of the Marriage Act 1949 and for civil partnerships under section 6(3A)(a) of the CivilPartnership Act 20042.1The Regulations refer to “proceedings”, defining these as the solemnization of marriages orthe registration of civil partnerships and this guidance uses this term, where appropriate. It also refersto registration authorities and local authorities as “authorities”.Types of premises2.2The laws relating to “approved premises” are intended to allow proceedings to take placeregularly in hotels, stately homes, civic halls, similar premises and religious premises withoutcompromising the solemnity of the occasion.2.3"Premises" are defined in the 2005 Regulations as a permanently immovable structurecomprising at least a room or any boat or other vessel which is permanently moored. Any premisesoutside this definition, such as the open air, a tent, marquee or any other temporary structure andmost forms of transport, would not be eligible for approval. In addition, there are other statutoryrequirements that must be met before an approval can be granted.2.4Having regard to their primary use, situation, construction and state of repair, the premisesmust, in the opinion of the authority be a seemly and dignified venue for the proceedings, which musttake place in a room or rooms that are identifiable by description as a distinct part of those premises.The primary use of a building would render it unsuitable if that use could demean proceedings orbring them into disrepute.2.5The premises must not be any part of a register office on the plan submitted by the authorityand approved by the Registrar General under the Registration Service Act 1953. Any rooms in thesame premises as the register office that aren’t on this plan, e.g. a council chamber in the same townhall, can be approved but a room in a register office cannot be approved.2.6Premises that are religious premises (as defined by section 6A(3C) of the Civil PartnershipAct) may not be approved for civil marriages. Following amendments to the 2005 Regulations madein December 2011, religious premises can be approved for the registration of civil partnershipsbetween couples of the same sex. From 2 December 2019, applications can also be made forreligious premises to be approved for the registration of civil partnerships of opposite sex couples.Further guidance about the type of religious premises that may be approved, and necessaryconsents, is provided in paragraph 4.1 of this document.2.7When approving non-religious premises under the Marriages and Civil Partnerships(Approved Premises) Regulations 2005, it is intended that authorities approve premises forboth the registration of civil partnerships and the solemnization of civil marriages. From 2December 2019, non-religious premises that are already approved premises for marriages and civilpartnerships will automatically be approved for the registration of civil partnerships of opposite sexcouples as well as same sex couples.2.8In contrast, applications for religious premises to be approved must specify if the approvalrequired is for the registration of civil partnerships between two people of the same sex, theopposite sex or civil partnerships generally (i.e. two people whether of the same or opposite sex).The necessary consents for the approval of religious premises is required.2.9When approved by an authority it is expected that the premises are made available5

regularly for the registration of civil partnerships and the solemnization of civil marriages. Ownersor occupiers of premises will not be able to refuse to host either marriages or civil partnerships onthe grounds of sexual orientation. However, this may not apply to premises that are owned orcontr