If you are planning on getting married outside of the UK you may be requested to provide a certificate of no impediment. This certificate is requested as evidence that you are allowed to marry. It is common practice and quite simple to acquire.
The certificate of no impediment is issued in the UK by the local register office (registry office). The registrar will place a notice in the office of your intended marriage. If no objections are received the certificate of no impediment will be issued after approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The fee is typically in the region of £30 to £40.
Contact your local register office
Once you have located the closest register office you can contact them to arrange an appointment and request this certificate. As part of the process you will may be asked to provide various supporting documents as evidence of your nationality, address and current marital status. It is advisable to clarify what the document requirements of the register office are when booking your appointment.
Once the certificate has been issued the apostille can be attached so that the document will be accepted when presented overseas in an official capacity.
The certificate is often referred to as a certificate of non-impediment but this is the same document.
Contact the British embassy if based overseas
If you are a UK national residing overseas and you intend to marry in a third country the process is slightly different. In this case you should contact the British embassy in the country you intend to marry to request the Certificate of No Impediment. In most cases, the British embassy should be able to issue the document upon request however this is not always possible. In the event that it is not possible we recommend contacting the local authorities in the country you intend to marry to check if a suitable alternative is available.
Getting married in a Commonwealth Country
We often hear from clients who intend to get married in a country that is a member of the Commonwealth. In the UK, it is not possible for a Certificate of No Impediment to be issued for marriages in commonwealth countries.
In cases where it is not feasible, or potentially impossible, to obtain a certificate of no impediment there are alternative options available.
A typical equivalent document to the Certificate of No Impediment is a Statutory Declaration that confirms you are currently free to marry. This declaration should be made in the presence of a practicing solicitor or notary public and legalised accordingly.
Before proceeding with this it is strongly recommended to contact the local authorities in the country you intend to marry to check if this document would be sufficient for their needs.