Free Civil Partnership Conversion Deadline Approaching
Civil partners in England and Wales have until December 9th 2015 to convert their partnership to marriage for free.
That’s assuming that they qualify, of course.
The civil partnership will have to have taken place before same-sex marriage became legal on March 29th 2014.
Couples whose civil partnerships took place after this (or any qualifying couples who miss the deadline) will pay a £45 fee.
How to convert a civil partnership to marriage.
Fortunately, the process isn’t complicated at all. For many couples it will be as simple as making an appointment, showing identification and signing a form.
The standard conversion is the simplest. The couple must attend a register office, show their identification, present their civil partnership certificate and sign for a marriage certificate.
You can find a list of local register offices here. Regardless of whether the conversion is free or not, the marriage certificate is £4.
The date on the new marriage certificate will be the same as the date on the original civil partnership certificate. Couples don’t start married life from zero. If your civil partnership took place on May 12th 2009, then that’ll be the date of marriage, too.
Couples can also choose to have a ceremony. This can be a good opportunity to renew vows, to celebrate equality and throw a big party. There's an appointment at a register office to sign the certificate, and then you're free to have your ceremony. This can either be led by a registrar at a register office or in a private venue.
Remember, however, that the venue must be approved for same-sex weddings. If the couple qualifies for the fee waiver, then £45 will be deducted from the total cost.
And that’s it.
Be sure to get in quick if you qualify, or you’ll have to pay the £45 fee.
If you're looking for a gay friendly wedding venue or service provider, then be sure to check our directory.
If you’re in Scotland, then your fee-waiver period finishes on December 16th 2015.