Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd July 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether local authorities plan to (a) provide extensions to notice of marriages that have expired and (b) waive fees for replacement applications for expired notices as a result of covid-19.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

We understand the frustration couples who have had to postpone their wedding or civil partnership must be feeling.

The requirement to solemnize a marriage within twelve months of giving notice to marry is set out in primary legislation, which does not provide for extending this period. It would require primary legislation to change this. We are exploring what changes might be possible in relation to the law at this time.

The fees charged by local authorities for giving notice can be reduced, waived or refunded on compassionate grounds or in cases of hardship. It is for each local authority to determine when this can be applied.

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