Civil Partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005. From that date, same sex couples can lodge notice of their intention to enter into a Civil Partnership and from this will flow a range of important rights and responsibilities.

On 28 July 2020, the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2020 became law. This Act makes provision for mixed sex couples to register a civil partnership. 

From 1 June 2021, it will be possible to submit notice of intention to enter a mixed sex civil partnership in Scotland. A notice period of 28 clear days is required, which means that mixed sex civil partnerships could take place from 30 June 2021 onwards. 

While 28 clear days is the minimum notice period required, it is advisable for couples to give ten to twelve weeks’ notice of their intention to register a civil partnership, in order to allow sufficient time for the registrar to satisfy themselves that the parties are free to become partners.

Shetland Islands Council can now take bookings for Civil Partnership Registration and will provide a ceremony if the couple wish.  Civil Partnership Ceremony Fees  Please contact the local registrar for further details.

What documents should I take to the Registrar?

  • Form CP 10's, civil partnership notice forms. These can be obtained from any registration office in Scotland or can be downloaded from the National Records of Scotland website. A civil partnership notice has to be lodged with the Registrar not less than 28 clear days before the proposed date of civil partnership, and no more than three months before that date. However, when you have decided on a date and venue contact the appropriate registration Office to check availability and book you civil partnership. Please note if you are posting in your documents, call and check that they have arrived safely.
  • Birth Certificates
  • Passport
  • If you or your partner has been previously married or in a registered civil partnership you must provide documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership has been ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissloution.
  • If you are travelling from a non EEA Country and are a non EEA national: You should contact the UK Border Agency (Tel No. 0870 606 7766) for advice about entry requirements to the UK under the immigration rules for civil partnerships

If any document is written in a language other than English it should be accompanied by an authorised translation.

Documents issued by the Registrar

  • A civil partnership certificate, if requested and paid for, is issued once the civil partnership is registered.

Couples can form a civil partnership in the UK provided

  • They are not related in a forbidden degree
  • Both have attained the age of 16 years
  • Neither is married or already in a civil partnership
  • Both are capable of understanding the nature of civil partnership

Changing Existing Civil Partnership to a marriage.
If you would like to change your existing Civil Partnership to a marriage there is some paperwork to be completed, and you will need to book a place, date and time with the registrar. The following documents can be downloaded from the National Records of Scotland website.