Civil partnership in Scotland

Last updated: 23 May 2018

Who can have a civil partnership

You can have a civil partnership in Scotland if you're:

  • aged 16 or over
  • not married or in a civil partnership with someone else
  • not closely related (see below for a list of relatives you can't have a civil partnership with)
  • of the same sex
  • capable of understanding what a civil partnership means and of consenting to a civil partnership

Different types of civil partnership ceremony

There are 2 different types of civil partnership ceremony you can have in Scotland:

  • civil ceremony - can take place in a registrar office or anywhere agreed with the registrar, except religious premises
  • religious or belief ceremony - can take place anywhere by someone approved to conduct a ceremony, for example a celebrant

Check with the religious or belief body that they will allow you to have a civil partnership.

There is a different process if you want to change a civil partnership to a marriage.

How to have a civil partnership

You both need to complete a Civil Partnership Notice form (tells the local registrar you want to enter a civil partnership).

You'll be charged a fee to register your civil partnership - check with your registrar office how much this will be.

You need to return your forms and any other documents needed to the registrar at least 29 days before your civil partnership ceremony.

They can be returned to the registrar in the area you're having your civil partnership either in person or by post.

Your immigration status

You will need to complete a Declaration of Status of Immigration form if you're not from:

Religious or belief ceremonies

If you're having a religious or belief ceremony you'll also need to collect the 'civil partnership schedule'.

A civil partnership schedule is a form you sign during your ceremony.

You can collect this from 7 days before your ceremony. You or your partner will need to collect it in person.

The civil partnership schedule needs to be returned to the registrar within 3 days of the ceremony.

Once this has been handed in your civil partnership will be registered. You can then order and pay for a civil partnership certificate.

If you're having a civil ceremony the registrar will bring your civil partnership schedule to your wedding. They will also return it to the registrar's office for you.


If you have any problems with the online forms, you can get them from a registration office. You can find a list of all the registrars in Scotland on the National Records of Scotland website.

Further information

There's more information about civil partnerships in Scotland on the National Records of Scotland website.

If you're not sure what you need to do, you can contact:

National Records of Scotland
Marriage/Civil Partnership Section Room 38
New Register House
3 West Register Street


Telephone: 0131 314 4447

Find out about call charges on the GOV.UK website.