Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Bill (HC Bill 124)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about the registration of marriages.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Power for Secretary of State to make regulations about marriage registration

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision in relation to the
registration of marriages in England and Wales.

(2) The power in subsection (1) includes power to amend, repeal or revoke any
5provision made by or under any Act of Parliament passed before this Act or in
the same Session.

(3) The regulations may, in particular, amend the Marriage Act 1949—

(a) to provide that a Part 3 marriage may be solemnized on the authority
of a single document (a “marriage schedule”) issued by the
10superintendent registrar for the district in which the marriage is to be
solemnized (instead of on the authority of two certificates of a
superintendent registrar);

(b) to provide that a member of the clergy who is to solemnize a marriage
authorised by ecclesiastical preliminaries must, before doing so, issue a
15document to enable the marriage to be registered (a “marriage
document”) or ensure that a marriage document is issued;

(c) to make provision in relation to the signing of a marriage schedule or
marriage document following the solemnization of the marriage;

(d) to make provision in relation to the delivery of a signed marriage
20schedule or signed marriage document to a registrar;

(e) to require the Registrar General to maintain a register of marriages in England
and Wales (“the marriage register”);

(f) to make provision in relation to the entering in the marriage register of
the particulars set out in a signed marriage schedule or signed marriage
25document;

(g) to make other provision in relation to the registration of marriages.

Registration of Marriage (No. 2) BillPage 2

(4) Where provision made by virtue of subsection (3)(d) gives power to a registrar
to require a person to attend personally at the office of a superintendent
registrar for the purpose of delivering a signed marriage schedule or signed
marriage document, the regulations may provide that a person who fails to
5comply with such a requirement—

(a) commits an offence, and

(b) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the
standard scale.

2 Power for Registrar General to make regulations

(1) 10Regulations under section 1 may give the Registrar General power to make
regulations—

(a) prescribing the form or content of a marriage schedule, marriage
document or any other document specified in regulations under section
1;

(b) 15making provision in relation to corrections to or the re-issue of a
marriage schedule or marriage document before the marriage is
solemnized;

(c) making provision in relation to the keeping of a signed marriage
schedule or signed marriage document after the particulars set out in it
20have been entered in the marriage register;

(d) making provision in relation to corrections to entries in the marriage
register or a pre-commencement marriage register book;

(e) making provision in relation to the keeping of pre-commencement
marriage register books;

(f) 25making provision in relation to the keeping in a church or chapel of
records of marriages solemnized according to the rites of the Church of
England in the church or chapel.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), provision in relation to the keeping of a
book, document or other record includes, in particular, provision about—

(a) 30who is to be responsible for keeping the book, document or other
record and how it is to be stored;

(b) the circumstances in which the book, document or other record must or
may be annotated;

(c) the circumstances in which the book, document or other record must or
35may be sent to the Registrar General or a superintendent registrar.

(3) Provision made by virtue of subsection (1)

(a) must require regulations made by the Registrar General to be made
with the approval of the Secretary of State by statutory instrument, and

(b) may give the Registrar General power to make different provision for
40different cases.

3 Consequential provision

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision in consequence of
regulations under section 1.

(2) The power in subsection (1) includes power to amend, repeal or revoke any
45provision made by or under primary legislation passed before this Act or in the
same Session.

Registration of Marriage (No. 2) BillPage 3

4 Supplementary provision about regulations

(1) Regulations under section 1 or 3 must be made by statutory instrument.

(2) Regulations under section 1 or 3 may make—

(a) different provision for different cases;

(b) 5provision generally or for specific cases;

(c) provision subject to exceptions;

(d) supplementary, transitional, transitory or saving provision.

(3) A statutory instrument that contains (with or without other provision)
regulations under section 1 or 3 that amend or repeal any provision of primary
10legislation may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(4) Any other statutory instrument containing regulations under section 1 or 3 is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
Parliament.

5 15Interpretation

In this Act—

  • “ecclesiastical preliminaries” means the methods of authorisation
    described in section 5(1)(a), (b) or (c) of the Marriage Act 1949;

  • “marriage document”, “marriage register” and “marriage schedule” have
    20the meanings given by section 1;

  • “member of the clergy” means a clerk in Holy Orders of the Church of
    England or a clerk in Holy Orders of the Church in Wales;

  • “Part 3 marriage” means a marriage falling within section 26(1), 26A(1) or
    26B(2), (4) or (6) of the Marriage Act 1949;

  • 25“pre-commencement marriage register book” means any marriage
    register book in which the particulars of a marriage have been entered
    under that Act;

  • “primary legislation” means—

    (a)

    an Act of Parliament;

    (b)

    30an Act of the Scottish Parliament;

    (c)

    an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales;

    (d)

    Northern Ireland legislation;

    (e)

    a Measure of the Church Assembly or of the General Synod of
    the Church of England;

  • 35“registrar” means a registrar of marriages;

  • “Registrar General” means the Registrar General for England and Wales;

  • “superintendent registrar” means a superintendent registrar of births,
    deaths and marriages.

6 Commencement, extent and short title

(1) 40Sections 1 to 5 come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by
regulations made by statutory instrument appoint.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may—

(a) appoint different days for different purposes;

(b) make transitional, transitory or saving provision.

Registration of Marriage (No. 2) BillPage 4

(3) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(4) Sections 1 and 2 extend to England and Wales only.

(5) Sections 3 to 5 and this section extend to England and Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland.

(6) 5This Act may be cited as the Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Act 2018.