Since the commencement of Part 6 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 in November 2007, anyone notifying a Registrar of their intention to get married in Ireland must give 3 months' notification in person to the Registrar. This applies to all marriages, whether solemnised by a Registrar or according to religious or secular rites and ceremonies, unless you intend marrying your civil partner and your civil partnership was registered in Ireland. The Registrar does not have to be the Registrar for the district where you live or where you intend getting married.
You need to make an appointment with the Registrar in order to give the notification. In order to ensure the notification is given at least 3 months before the date you intend getting married on, it is advisable to arrange the appointment well in advance.
A couple in a civil partnership who wish to marry should contact the Registrar who will guide them through the process.
If you plan to get married by civil ceremony and a different Registrar will be solemnising the marriage, you must also contact the Registrar's Office for the district you intend getting married in.
A couple getting married are required to give notification in person of their intention to marry to a Registrar at least 3 months before the intended date of the marriage. The requirement to give a 3-month notice does not apply to civil partners whose civil partnership was registered in Ireland – see 'Civil partners' below.
The notification can be given to any Registrar. When you make the appointment with the Registrar you will be informed what information and documents you need to bring with you.
As well as bringing original or certified copies of the documents, you also need to bring photocopies of the documents. In the case of a passport, a good quality, colour photocopy or a passport-sized photo is required.
If a document is not written in English or Irish, a certified English translation from an independent, verifiable, translation company must be provided.
Generally, you and your intended spouse will each be required to bring the following:
You will also have to provide information about the intended marriage such as:
You should download and complete the Data Capture Form (pdf), and bring it with you.
You will also have to pay a notification fee.
If you, your intended spouse, the witnesses or the solemniser has a limited knowledge of English, the services of an interpreter is required. The interpreter must be from an independent, verifiable translation company and be present for both the notification and the marriage.
When you meet the Registrar you will be required to sign, in the Registrar's presence, a declaration that you know of no lawful impediment to your proposed marriage.
The Registrar will issue an acknowlegement to both of you and the proposed solemniser of the marriage confirming the date of receipt of notification. This does not give you permission to marry.
Under the Civil Registration Act 2004 (as amended by the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014), the Registrar has the right to investigate and decide whether an intended marriage would be a marriage of convenience for immigration purposes.
If all the information required has been supplied and there is no impediment to the marriage, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (see below).
You can find more information on notification requirements on the Health Service Executive (HSE) website.
If your civil partnership ceremony took place in the State and you now wish to marry your civil partner, you must, by appointment, attend the Registrar at least 5 days (or as determined by the Registrar) before the intended date of the ceremony to sign a declaration in their presence that there is no impediment to the marriage. You pay a reduced fee.
If your civil partnership ceremony took place abroad you will be required to give the Registrar 3 months’ notice of your intention to marry and complete the standard preliminaries for a valid marriage.
If either of you are living abroad or are unable to attend a Registration Office due to serious illness, you should contact a Registrar to get permission to make your 3-month notification by post. If permission is granted, the Registrar will send you a form which you must complete and return.
You will still have to make arrangements to meet the Registrar at least 5 days before you get married in order to make the declaration. This is required before a Marriage Registration Form can be issued.
In certain special circumstances, for example, in the case of very serious illness, you may be able to get a Court Exemption Order allowing the marriage to proceed without the 3-month notification. You should contact either the Circuit Family Court or the High Court in the area in which either of you lives for details on how to proceed.
This is an informal procedure. You may apply in person (without hiring a solicitor). There is no court charge for an application for a Court Exemption Order. However, if you hire a solicitor to represent you, you will have to pay them. The court will require you to show:
If you are granted a Court Exemption Order, you still have to make arrangements to meet the Registrar at least 5 days before you get married in order to make the declaration. This is required before a Marriage Registration Form can be issued.
A Marriage Registration Form (MRF) is like a marriage licence. It gives authorisation for a couple to marry and you require one in order to get married in Ireland. Providing there is no impediment to the marriage, the Registrar will issue you with an MRF. If you bring all the documentation and information required to the meeting with the Registrar, the Registrar may be able to issue the MRF immediately.
If the marriage does not take place within 6 months of the date of marriage given on the MRF, a new MRF will be required if you still intend to marry. You will be required to repeat the notification process.
The standard notification fee is €200. There is a reduced notification fee of €50 for same-sex couples who are already in a civil partnership that is registered in Ireland and now wish to marry.
Three months' notification can be given to any Registrar but must be given in person. Civil partners who do not have to give 3 month's notification must attend the Registrar at least 5 days (or as determined by the Registrar) before the intended date of the ceremony.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.