Do I need a Special Marriage Licence?

Special Licences are a dispensation given by the Archbishop under powers he and his predecessors have exercised since 1533. They are not issued automatically.

If you have a genuine connection with a particular church or chapel but you are unable to satisfy the legal requirement to marry there, you may apply to the Faculty Office for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Marriage Licence.

For all other circumstances, you should contact the Faculty Office or 0207 222 5381 for advice before commencing an application for a Special Licence as you will be charged the application fee but a Licence may not be granted.

Please DO NOT use the online application form to request an emergency marriage in a hospital, hospice or at home where one of the parties to the marriage (or a close relative or one of the parties – a parent, sibling, or child) is very seriously ill and may not recover.  Rather, the intended officiating minister should contact the Faculty Office Emergency Marriage Line on 07718 394974 for advice and guidance.