HOW TO GET A MARRIAGE LICENCE & CERTIFICATE.
To get a marriage licence, you will need to:
bring 2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification must include your photo.
Examples of government-issued identification:
government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
record of immigrant landing
Canadian Citizenship Card
valid driver’s licence
valid Ontario Photo Card
pay a fee (fees vary and depend on the municipality)
Please check the municipality’s website to ensure you have all of the information required to purchase a marriage licence.
A marriage licence is valid for 90 days from the date it was issued. Marriage licences are valid anywhere in Ontario.
Getting a Marriage certificate.
A marriage certificate is the legal record of a marriage. It lists the date and place of the marriage, and names of the people who were married.
You need this document to:
show legal proof you are married
apply for certain social benefits
settle an estate
change a last name
Before you can get a marriage certificate, a marriage needs to be registered.
After performing your marriage, we register your marriage by sending a complete and signed marriage licence to the provincial ministry, but this is NOT a marriage certificate. Please wait six to eight weeks from your marriage date to apply for your certificate.
More information on ordering your marriage certificate is available online.
HAVE YOU BEEN DIVORCED?
Divorced in Canada
You will need to bring official proof of the divorce with you when you apply for a marriage licence. This can be the original or a court-certified copy of one of three documents:
the final decree
the final judgment
a certificate of divorce
Divorced outside of Canada
IMPORTANT: If you have been divorced outside of Canada, you will not be granted a license until a Canadian lawyer verifies your documents. No way around this, folks.
A Canadian lawyer MUST do the footwork, send things off to Thunder Bay (Registrar General) and then you may apply for a licence. Paperwork needs to be received a few months in advance of the wedding, but in some cases a faster turnaround can be achieved. Once your documents have been approved there is a 90-day window to have your wedding.
The official government voice mail 1-800-461-2156 will tell you to expect it to take FOUR WEEKS to be processed once they receive your paperwork. Please make sure that the attorney gives you a breakdown of what you can expect for your money! Anyone charging more than $300 and not sending the paperwork for you is a red flag, and should be avoided.
If you were divorced out of Canada, more information on requirements is available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/getting-married
You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to marry in Canada. There are no residency or citizenship requirements, nor are there any special requirements for same-sex couples.
Will my Canadian wedding be recognized in my home country?
Canadian weddings are recognized world-wide. In the case of same-gender couples, if your country recognizes same-sex weddings, your license from Ontario is recognized.