Frequently Asked Questions

I am already married outside of the United Kingdom. Do I need to register here?

Marriages contracted abroad do not need to be registered in the UK. If you are legally married abroad, that marriage is also valid here, just as a marriage contracted here is valid abroad.

If you are a British citizen and have married abroad in a non-Commonwealth country, you may wish to register your marriage with the British Consulate in whose area of interest you were married. This is not a legal requirement, but is advantageous as a record of the marriage is then kept by the Registrar General for England and Wales and subsequent copies of the marriage can be obtained through him. You will need to telephone the British Consulate concerned to find out their procedures.

It is possible – but not advisable - for a couple married outside the UK to be married again to each other under English law. Please seek legal advice first as it may have implications on legitimacy and inheritance issues.