01 December 2014

Same sex couples can now apply to have their civil partnership converted to a marriage with Northamptonshire County Council’s Registration Service.

Since 2005, more than 550 couples have formed a civil partnership in Northamptonshire and new legislation which comes into effect on 10 December allows couples to convert their existing civil partnership to a marriage in one straightforward appointment with a registrar.

Reduced fee

The usual legal fee for conversion is £45, but the Government has decided that there will be no charge for couples who registered their civil partnership before 29 March this year, provided the conversion is carried out before 9 December 2015.

Cllr Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that we can now offer a chance for same-sex couples to have their civil partnership converted to a marriage thanks to this new legislation.

“The process is incredibly easy and straightforward. The couple will meet with a member of our registration service for a short appointment and leave with a legal certificate confirming that they are married.

“A number of couples have already contacted us to make their appointment for 10 December, so we expect this to be a very popular service.”

What you need to do

Couples interested in a marriage conversion should complete a simple form on the county council website. A member of the registration team will then contact them within five days to check their details and make an appointment for their conversion.

The couple will need to bring all the relevant documents to their appointment, which will take place at Northampton’s Guildhall, at the end of which they will receive their legal certificate to prove they are married.

For couples who want a longer ceremony to celebrate their conversion in front of their friends and family, the Registration Service would be delighted to discuss the options and prices when they book their appointment. Further information on converting civil partnerships to marriages is available by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/registration.

Couples can convert their existing civil partnership to a marriage in Northamptonshire even if it was originally formed elsewhere in England and Wales.