It’s unusual to require a Common Licence but this page explains the basic information you’ll need if you’ve been advised that you need one.
You may need a Common Licence if:-
- One or both of you are British but live abroad.
- One or both of you live in the UK but your home is not in England or Wales.
- Your home address is likely to change during the time when banns would normally be read out.
- Your wedding date is too soon to allow enough time for banns to be read.
Here are some key facts about Common Licences:-
- A Common Licence replaces the need for banns.
- If you already have a legally-recognised connection to the church where you’re getting married, a Common Licence application is usually straightforward and the vicar will guide you on this.
- If you don’t have one of the connections with your marrying church, and don’t have time before your wedding to create one, applying for a Special Licence or Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate may be suggested, depending on your circumstances.
- The granting of a Common Licence is at the discretion of the church legal official to whom the application is made, so is not necessarily a guaranteed route to marrying in a particular church.
- Part of the Common Licence application process requires you to swear an oath in person (in England) before a legal official. Couples who live abroad need to bear this in mind when planning a wedding in England.
- Common Licences can only be granted for a marriage to take place in a particular church and are only valid for three months.
- The fee for a Common Licence is around £200.
NB If one or both of you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area, you will each need a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to be able to marry. The only exception to this is if you have been granted a Special Licence by the Archbishop of Canterbury.