Civil partnerships are to be registered online in a pilot scheme in Brighton and three other areas.

Couples registering a civil partnership (or gay marriage as it has popularly become known) will be piloting an online registration procedure in the seaside resort together with Bath, Liverpool and Swansea over the next few weeks.

Civil partnerships become legal in England and Wales on the 5th December of this year.

The trial will test the robustness of the government’s new Registration Online system that will eventually replace the paper and pen process that has been used by local authorities for births, deaths and marriages since 1837.

400 couples on the waiting list for a civil partnership have been involved in the trial with Brighton and Hove’s superintendent registrar Linda Holm. She told BBC Southern Counties that the tests “threw up some things in the system that needed to be looked at. But basically it is something we’ll just get used to. It is paving the way for a modern registration service.”