Marriages In Jersey
This article should be read in conjunction with our articles on minimum age and parental consent and prohibited marriages. If you have been married before, you may also find our article on second marriages helpful.
Although not part of the United Kingdom, Jersey is a British Crown dependency and is part of the British Isles. The British sovereign is head of state. Jersey has been included in our wedding guide due to its close links and proximity to the United Kingdom.
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and lies just 14 miles off the north-west coast of France and about 90 miles south of mainland England in the English Channel. This small, beautiful island measuring just nine miles long and five miles wide is a popular holiday venue and is well known for its pleasant climate. The Island enjoys more sunshine hours than any other part of the British Isles. Jersey has its own legislative assembly known as the States of Jersey, which has the general responsibility of running the Island’s affairs, subject to the prerogative powers of the British Crown.
To encourage visitors, Jersey recently relaxed its residency requirements for couples wishing to get married by civil ceremony in the Island. Subject to following the necessary procedures, you only have to be resident on the Island for a minimum of three days before the date of your marriage.
You can get married in Jersey by either a religious ceremony or by a civil ceremony. In order to marry by civil ceremony or in a non-Church of England church a licence must be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar.
CIVIL AND NON-CHURCH OF ENGLAND MARRIAGES
If you wish to marry in the Island’s register office or in a non-Church of England church, you can proceed in either of the following ways:
- Giving Notice in Person One or both of you should call in person at the Office of the Superintendent Registrar and give formal notice of your intention to marry. You must, at that time, produce the original copies of the documents required as detailed in the section documents to be produced below. Your names will then be displayed on the notice board outside the register office for a minimum period of seven clear days, after which a licence will be issued. Your marriage may then take place no sooner than the day following the day on which your licence was issued. The notice will be valid for a period of three months and your marriage must take place within that time.
- Giving Notice by Post You may also apply to the Superintendent Registrar for an application form by telephone or post. Upon completion of the form, you can then make a formal application by post. Your completed application form must then be returned to the Superintendent Registrar during the three months preceding the date of the marriage but must arrive at the office of the Superintendent Registrar no later than 10 days before the date of your marriage. With the form you will need to enclose the required documents detailed in section documents to be produced below and the appropriate fees.
Upon receipt of your application form and fees the Superintendent Registrar will post your names on the notice board outside the register office, where they must remain for a minimum period of seven clear days. Your original documents will be returned to you by registered mail. You should then arrive in the Island not less than three days before the date of the marriage in order to complete the necessary formalities.
Register Office Location
Jersey has just one register office, which is locate in the States’ Offices, 10 Royal Square, St. Helier. The register office is available for civil marriages for non-residents between the hours of 11am to 1pm, Mondays to Friday. Saturdays are reserved for residents of the Island. The register office is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Your ceremony will need to be witnessed by two people of at least 18 years of age. They will both be required to sign the marriage register. If you are travelling alone to Jersey and require witnesses to be provided, let the Superintendent Registrar know when you give notice. He should be able to arrange for two staff to witness your marriage.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND MARRIAGES
If you wish to get married in a church of the Church of England in Jersey, no reference to the civil superintendent registrar is needed. All arrangements are made by the vicar or parish priest of the church in which your ceremony is to take place. After your marriage has taken place, the vicar will notify the registrar of your marriage. The procedures for getting married in a church of the Church of England are fully explained in our article on the legal requirements of Church of England marriages.
DOCUMENTS TO BE PRODUCED
In order to give notice of your marriage, you must provide copies of your full birth certificates as well as documentary proof of your freedom to marry if either of you have been previously married. If you are a widow, you must produce your marriage certificate as well as your late husband’s death certificate. If you are a widower, you need only produce your late wife’s death certificate. If you have been divorced, you must produce a court sealed or certified copy of your decree absolute or final decree. If any of your documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by officially certified translations in English.
If you are a non-resident of the Island, you are strongly advised to check with the Superintendent Registrar that your documents are satisfactory before you make your journey to the Island. You could, for example, fax your documents for scrutiny by the superintendent registrar.
IF YOU ARE NOT A BRITISH CITIZEN
If you are not a British citizen, there may be laws in your own country which, if not observed, might render your marriage in Jersey null and void. Therefore, the advice of your own consul or consular agent should be sought. In addition, you may well require the issue of an emigration entry clearance prior to travelling from abroad. You are therefore advised to make contact with the Chief Inspector of Immigration, Albert Pier Road, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, JE2 3NE, British Isles, well in advance of seeking entry so that your case may be examined.
For further information and advice about getting married in Jersey, please telephone the Office of the Superintendent Registrar on +44 (0) 1534 441335. Alternatively, you can write to the Office of the Superintendent Registrar, States’ Offices, 10 Royal Square, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4WA, Channel Islands.
If you still have any unanswered questions about the legal requirements of getting married in Jersey, please post your question on our Wedding Forum.