GETTING MARRIED IN ONTARIO

WHAT LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED?

Marriage is one of the most important events in the lives of many people. Doing so in Ontario, requires legal documentation and compliance with Ontario laws. Additionally, the rules are different for those getting married for the first time and those who have been divorced.

  

If you were divorced in Ontario you will need to bring the following to Service Ontario when applying for your marriage licence:

  • Your completed and signed marriage licence application
  • A Statement of Sole Responsibility (for each person who is divorced). This needs to be signed by both people who are getting married in addition to a witness)
  • A Legal Opinion letter from an Ontario Lawyer. This will be addressed to both people who plan to get married and give reasons why the divorce should be recognized in Ontario
  • An original or court-certified copy of the Divorce Decree (or annulment)

Additional details are available at the Service Ontario website (https://www.ontario.ca/page/getting-married  

   

WHO CAN LEGALLY GET MARRIED IN ONTARIO?

Any person who is at least 18 years of age may marry. No person under 16 years of age may marry. Any person who is 16 or 17 years of age may marry with the written consent of his/her legal guardian (consent not required if previously married and divorced). 

You may get married in Ontario if you are from another province or country as long as you meet Ontario's marriage requirements.

If you were previously married and divorced in Canada, you must have a court-certified divorce decree in the form of either a final decree, a final judgment, or a certificate of divorce.

If you became divorced in another country, you must obtain authorization from ServiceOntario -- the government agency which administers health cards, birth certificates, and marriage licenses -- before applying for a marriage license. You’ll need to fill out a marriage license application form and a statement of sole responsibility. You will also have to obtain a legal opinion letter from an Ontario lawyer stating why the divorce should be recognized in Ontario, and a court-certified divorce decree or annulment. Call 1-800-461-2156 for further information.

You do not have to be a resident of Canada to marry in Canada.     

MARRIAGE LICENCE vs. PUBLICATION OF BANNS

Before you get married in Ontario, you need either:

· A marriage licence OR

· a banns form that you get from a church when you publicly announce your commitment during a divine service (a church publishes this declaration, called “the publication of banns”)

Banns cannot be published if you or your spouse has been married before. You will need to get a marriage licence.

GETTING AN ONTARIO MARRIAGE LICENCE

To get a marriage licence, you will need to:

  • fill out a marriage licence application form (available on line at ServiceOntario website)
  • bring the completed application to your local city hall, town hall or municipal office
  • show original identification with your current legal name, date of birth and signature – both people getting married will need to provide valid identification (at least one ‘birth’ identification; e.g. passport, birth certificate, etc)
  • pay a fee (fees vary and depend on the municipality).


How long does it take to get a marriage licence?

In person, an application can be picked up, filled and a licence given on the same day.

A marriage licence is valid for 3 months from the date it was issued.


There is no waiting period in Ontario between obtaining a license and actually marrying.

IDENTIFICATION NEEDED TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENCE

Two pieces of valid identification for each applicant are required (photocopies are not acceptable). 

The first type of identification must be one of the following: 

o        Birth certificate (along with any change of name certificates) 

o        Current passport 

o        Records of immigrant landing or Canadian citizenship card, along with photo identification.  (Certificates of Naturalization are NOT accepted.) 

The second type of identification must be one of the following: 

o        Driver's License 

o        Photo Health Card 

WE HAVE A MARRIAGE LICENCE, NOW WHAT?

Officiant Laura needs to have the marriage licence BEFORE the wedding day.  The licence will be validated on the wedding day when the witnesses, the couple and Officiant Laura sign it.

After the ceremony, Officiant Laura will register your wedding. You will receive a Record of Solemnization.

8 weeks after your wedding you may apply for an official Ontario Certificate.