Arranging a civil partnership

Civil Partnership (revised 2021)

A Civil partnership is a legal relationship entered by a couple, which is then registered and provides them with similar legal rights as married couples.

Civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 to legally recognise a same sex union. In Scotland from 30 June 2021 opposite sex couples can also enter into a civil partnership. 

What are the differences

  • Marriage is formed by ceremony and vows, whereas a civil partnership is formed by signing a civil partnership schedule. Although a ceremony is not required some couples will wish to have one.
  • Marriage is ended by divorce, whereas a civil partnership is ended by dissolution.
  • All couples now have a choice of how they wish to seal their relationship.

If you are already in a civil partnership and wish to take the administration route to marriage, please email and a suitable appointment will be made.

Before the appointment you will be asked to read the information on changing a civil partnership to marriage and bring a completed application form with you along with

  • Your civil partnership certificate
  • form of photo identification for both parties - normally passports.

Requirements for a civil partnership


Everyone must complete a CP10 form (PDF) and a Witness details form (PDF). You will also need original:

  • birth certificates
  • proof of address for both applicants
  • passports (if born after 01/01/1983)

If you have been married or in a civil partnership before, you must submit proof this has ended by providing original:

  • divorce decree/ dissolution of civil partnership
  • or a death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner
  • or a completed divorce questionnaire if divorce granted in a country outwith the UK.

Currently all documents are being received by email at 

Once your documents are received we will check the information and then contact you to make the appropriate payment.

Non UK nationals

If you are subject to marriage laws outwith the UK, you may also need to provide:

  • a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI). This is a document from your home country stating you are free to get married or have a civil partnership. if you have been a resident in the UK for more than two years, evidence of this will be accepted in place of a CONI.

If you are subject to immigration control you should also complete a Declaration of Immigration Status form (PDF).

Contact the UK border agency for advice on entry requirements to the UK under immigration rules for marriage and civil partnerships.

If your documents are not in English, you must provide a certified translation along with the original documents.

When and how to submit paperwork

You need to submit the paperwork 10 to 12 weeks before the date of the ceremony. However if you are subject to immigration control we recommend that you give three months notice. The minimum period is 29 clear days before the date of the ceremony.

More information on registering a civil partnership in Scotland is on the National Records of Scotland website.

Civil partnership registration

After your CP10 forms have been received, examined and lodged, you can opt to hold a Civil Partnership registration. This is simply a few words spoken by the registrar, after which the Schedule is signed by both parties and your witnesses. Finally the registrar's signature is added to complete the registration.

Civil partnership ceremony

Popular Venues

We have a list of popular venues in Midlothian . First check the availability of the venue and then confirm with the registrar's office that a celebrant will be available to perform the ceremony.

Non-approved venues

You can also have your ceremony at a venue of your choice as long as a location assessment is done beforehand. There is a fee of £61.00 for this service. The registrar will visit the venue to assess its suitability. 

Religious ceremony

If you are having a civil partnership by a religious celebrant or other belief system, contact the celebrant of your choice and then submit the paperwork as above. You will need to collect the civil partnership schedule from the registrar's office the week of your wedding.