Singles certificate from the UK

I have been trying to find out where to get one of these from the UK. I have tried the UK Births Marriages and Deaths site (which no longer seems to be there) but to no avail.

Has anyone managed to get one and how did you get it?

It’s impossible, There’s no such thing. Why do you need did ? Did you get married ? And where ?


You need to go to your family solicitor or notary public in the UK and sign a statement to the effect that you are not married (FYI, its called a [color=red]certificate of non-impediment[/color]). This must be notarized by the solicitor. The document must then be sent to the Taiwan Representative Office (or whatever they’re calling it these days) in Dublin Street, London, along with a fee (10 quid about six years ago, it may have gone up since then). They will need to verify the document with their stamp in order to make it acceptable to the authorities here.
You can also get a parent to do this for you by proxy, in which case, he or she will need to include a stamped envelope addressed to you in Taiwan when he/she sends the document to the Taiwan London office.

No I didn’t get married but I plan to. Apparently I need a ‘singles cert’ to prove I haven’t been married before so that I can get married here.

That’s why I married in the UK, I just have to get my marriage certificate translated, I didn’t have to prove I was single before I married.
Are there exceptions for the UK now ?

Sandman, thanks for the info. I will check this out with my folks back home.

Fluffy, I have been seriously thinking about going back to the UK and doing the deed there. From what I have read on this forum and other sources, I have wondered why people go to the trouble here. Ta!

I’m running up against all of this mafan now.

Is there anyone from the U.K. who has produced a sworn and notarized statement to the effect that they’re not married and has had this accepted here in Taiwan? If so, did you manage to get it without making the trip back to the U.K.? And very importantly, how was it worded?

Having explored this business and decided that it was all but impossible to comply with this absurd anti-foreigner requirement set by those mental midgets in the Ministry of the Interior, my fiance and I had agreed that we’d forget about formally registering our marriage and just go through some sort of legally binding procedure, with witnesses, to satisfy her family. But now her parents are saying that they want us to do whatever is necessary to register the marriage before we get spliced!!! We’ll almost certainly have to postpone the damn thing (originally set for December 7th), and I’m far from sure that I’ll ever be able to meet that ridiculous requirement for the mythical certificate of non-impediment in any event. But I’ll have to do my best, so if any of you Forumosans can give the nod to my questions and provide that magic formula of wording, that’ll be a very helpful start and much appreciated.

  1. Me.
  2. Got it through proxy via my old man (see my post above for the procedure.
  3. I’ll post the exact wording tomorrow once I’ve dug it out of my files (but if you simply ask for a Certificate of Non-impediment the solicitor should know what it is – its a standard form letter AFAIK – and how to word it for proxy purposes).

Again, I did this several years ago, so the rules might well have been changed since then.

[quote=“sandman”]I’ll post the exact wording tomorrow once I’ve dug it out of my files (but if you simply ask for a Certificate of Non-impediment the solicitor should know what it is – its a standard form letter AFAIK – and how to word it for proxy purposes).

Again, I did this several years ago, so the rules might well have been changed since then.[/quote]

Thanks, Sandman. That’ll be very helpful.

My sister is a solicitor in England, and I conferred with her about this, but she had no idea what the wording should be and asked me to write it for her. So if I copy the wording of yours and get her to do the necessary, at least I’ll have something to try to persuade the people here to accept. I can’t get a parent to act as proxy for me, as both of them have already passed away, but I’ll have another sister (the family matriarch) do it instead, and hope that might be acceptable.

I’m also going to try to get a document from the General Register Office, as mentioned in another thread, which I can try to use if the Certificate of Non-impediment proves unacceptable.

In case both of these are rejected, we’re now also exploring the possibility of flying off to Guam to get married.

Omni, I don’t think there’s any particular requirement that the proxy must be a parent. The information I was given at the time (by the then-head of the BTCO) was that the proxy could be a minister, priest, doctor, … or elder sister, I would imagine (that last one was mine, not his) anyone, that is, who’s prepared to vouch for you and is close family or is an “upstanding member of the community” and knows you or your family.
I’ll post the exact wording on mine tomorrow.

You don’t need to persuade the people here – its the Taiwan office in London that have to authenticate it. All they do is verify that the embossed notary seal on the document is real and that the issuing solicitor/notary is bona fide.
You might want to remember that the document is only valid for three months from the date of issue.

Thanks again, Sandman. It’s all beginning to sound quite promising
– though of course I’d never take anything for granted with Taiwanese bureaucracy.

Here is a copy of the exact text on my proxy certificate of non-impediment. This was accepted by the Taiwan authorities in 1997.

Name & address of PROXY

At (name of town) on the 20th day of February Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Seven in the presence of (Name, title & address of solicitor).

COMPEARED (Name & address of PROXY), who being solemnly sworn and interrogated depones as follows:-

  1. I am (name & address of PROXY).

  2. I am the father of (name & address in Taiwan of APPLICANT). The said (name of APPLICANT) is the holder of United Kingdom Passport Number (APPLICANT’S passport number).

  3. I do solemnly swear that my son the said (name of APPLICANT) is not now married, nor has he ever been married.


Signatures of PROXY and SOLICITOR[/quote]

The document bears a large shiny red many-pointed embossed solicitor’s seal.

The back of the document bears three stamps affixed by the Taiwan Rep. office in London.
The first is the official Rep. Office stamp.
Next to it is an oblong stamp which says in Chinese: “This verifies that the signatures are true. It does not verify that the content is true.”
Next to that is a larger square stamp which bears the case number of the application and in English and Chinese: "Attested on this day at Taipei Representative Office in the UK that the signature(s) / seal(s) of (solicitor’s name) in this document is authentic. By authorization, (signature of rep. office official).

You or your sister will have to call the rep. office to find out how much they charge for this service. Your sister will also need to enclose a pre-stamped envelope addressed to you in Taiwan. The document gets sent directly to you once it has been authorized.

Hope this helps.

Very helpful indeed, Sandman. Thanks a lot.

I can see that it was sworn in Scotland, as the language differs in several places from what would be used in England. But it’s an excellent precedent, and my sister will easily be able to make the necessary adjustments to produce the finished article.

Getting married in April. Also a bit confused by all this. Omni, did you give the proxy letter a try? Did they accept it?
I guess we are supposed to produce the documents when we first apply at the court house, right? How long before the actual day are we supposed to apply?

[quote=“glaikit”]Getting married in April. Also a bit confused by all this. Omni, did you give the proxy letter a try? Did they accept it?
I guess we are supposed to produce the documents when we first apply at the court house, right? How long before the actual day are we supposed to apply?[/quote]

I arranged to get both the sworn affidavit of a proxy and a search from the General Register Office. However, neither had arrived in time for us to get married in court on December 7th as originally planned (we would have needed to present the “certificate” to the court when making the appointment at least three days before then), so we scrapped going to court and instead signed a standard local contract of marriage witnessed by two members of her family, which is apparently sufficient to make the marriage valid and binding under Taiwanese law, and was enough to satisfy her parents after we’d explained about the difficulties with the documentation from England. So we believe ourselves to be already married, and have just returned from our honeymoon in Bali. As soon as we receive the papers from England, we’ll take them and the “marriage contract” to the household registry, and attempt to get the marriage registered. I hope there won’t be any problems, as there damn well oughtn’t to be – but one never can tell. I’ll let you know the outcome in due course.

The situation is, of course, absurd, and I have complained about it volubly to various close connections in high places in the government. The difficulties of my situation and my extreme dissatisfaction have been reported to people in the Ministry of the Interior, so I hope that might help nudge them toward amending the rules to make them more reasonable. There is no reason at all why we shouldn’t be able to simply swear the requisite affidavit in a local attorney’s office, and the rules certainly need to be changed accordingly.

Good luck with the wedding preparations, and do please keep us informed of your progress.

You guys may like to check with the office where you’re getting married exactly what they need - there’s a fair chance that all you need is a certificate from the General Register Office that they’ve done a search.

I got married in January, and all I needed was the GRO document. Of course, don’t forget that it’s got to be legalised by first the F&CO then the Taiwan trade office in UK. I suggest phoning the GRO as they’re quite helpful - in particular, if you pay more you can get it done in a couple of days, and they will forward the doc to the F&CO for you, and ask them to forward it to the Taiwan office. 10 minutes on the phone, a credit card bill and a 2+ week wait was all it took!

A couple of other things to note:
My wife was still on her parents household register in PingTung, but we didn’t have any problem getting married in Hsindien.
We faxed through to the court official all our documents on the Monday, he okayed them, we got married on the Friday.

Note that we actually got married at the court - as opposed to getting married beforehand and simply registering the marriage later. The process may be subtly different doing it like that.

I have my decree absolute or final decree or whatever it’s called of divorce from London. Since before the date of divorce I have been in Taiwan nearly all the time. Would the authorities in Taiwan (or other places where I might get married - Hong Kong is under consideration) accept this instead of any other kind of proof of not being married e.g. mother’s sworn statement etc? * The decree bears the stamp of a court in London - does it still have to be stamped by the Taiwan representative office in London?

Thanks in advance for your learned advice.

*How about my ex-wife’s sworn statment that she isn’t married to me any more and neither is anyone else?

Can’t you go to the British representative office in Taipei and simply sign an affidavit saying you’re not married, which is then notarized by the office? Americans can do that here at the AIT.

Seems Brits have to jump through more hoops to get married here than Americans do.

I m divorced and all my paperwork is in storage in Vietnam including the divorce certificate. Everything has been in storage for over a year and am now thinking about the possibility of getting married before I leave Taiwan…i.e.before I get my stuff out of storage.

If we do not plan to stay in Taiwan presumably we can just get married anywhere right? Other than Vegas does anyone know of places that will not require the divorce certificate in order to marry us?