A marriage license Ontario is necessary if you wish to get legally married in Ontario. A marriage license is a license that a couple must obtain before getting married. It is either issued by a religious organization or state authority, permitting a couple to marry. It is a legal requirement before the wedding ceremony.
On your wedding day, you must give your marriage license to the person performing the marriage. If your documents are in order, it is not a tough grind to obtain a marriage license in Ontario.
A marriage license is not the same as a marriage certificate. You have to get a marriage license before your wedding; on the other hand, a marriage certificate can only be obtained once you are married.
Let us go through the process on how to get a marriage license in Ontario
Apply for a marriage license Ontario
First of all, to apply for a marriage license Ontario, you will have to fill out the Marriage License Application Form along with your partner. You must fill in the information about when and where you plan to get married. You have to make sure that the form is duly filled and signed by both of you.
You can submit your marriage license application form to any city hall, town hall, or municipal office in Ontario. You can even apply at any local office.
After submitting your application form, you will have to schedule an appointment online or call the township municipal office at 519-848-3620 to issue a marriage license. Keep in mind that this appointment is only for a marriage license and not for the marriage ceremony.
Keep a note of the following things:
- The name on the application must match the name on the appointment booking.
- You can book only one appointment per person.
- Only one applicant can come in for the purchase of a marriage license. The appointment must be made in the name of the applicant attending.
- Only applicants with appointments are allowed in the building; you will not be attended without an appointment.
- You must arrive on time for your scheduled appointment; if you are even 10 minutes late for your appointment, you will have to reschedule.
- If all your documents are in order, the marriage license will be issued on the same day.
Minimum age required to obtain a marriage license Ontario
The minimum age to get married in Ontario is 16 years, but if you are 16 or 17 years old, you will require written consent from both parents or legal guardians to get married. The parents even have to be present at the issuance of a marriage license.
Accepted Identification Documents
You will have to check with your city hall or municipal office what certain documents you need to show and which documents they will accept.
Usually, each person applying for the marriage license must provide two pieces of acceptable government-issued identification from the list below:
- Original Birth Certificate
- Driver’s Licence (with the photograph)
- Ontario Photo Card (Purple photo ID card)
- Photo Identity Card from any country (issued within past 10 years)
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
- Candian Government Refugee Travel Document (with the photograph)
- Conditional Release Identification Card
- United States Green Card (with the photograph)
- Native Status Card
- Record of Immigration Landing (with the photograph)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residency
- Permanent Residency Card
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- Identity Card
- Nexus Card
- Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC)
- Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)
Not Accepted Identification
- Any health card or Social Insurance Number (SIN) card is not accepted.
- Electronic documents, photocopies, scanned or expired ID will not be accepted.
- Identification must be legal and valid.
- Identification must be original (photocopies, scanned images, or pictures on the electronic devices are not accepted).
- Your first and last names must match the IDs that you are providing.
- Your ID can be of any country if it is government-issued.
- If your ID is not in English, you will require a written certified translation from a certified translator.
- Any expired identification will not be accepted.
What to carry to your appointment
You must carry the following documents to your appointment:
- You have to make sure your application form is filled correctly and signed by both parties (electronic signatures will not be accepted).
- Appointment permit (Print it when you book online).
- Two pieces of legal and original IDs for each person (scanned, photocopied, or electronic documents will not be accepted). Your ID should not be expired.
- If remarrying after divorce, then divorce documentation is required.
- If you cannot speak or understand English, you can bring an interpreter, but they will be required to submit their identification.
What to look forward to on your appointment
Due to the pandemic COVID-19, there are specific guidelines that you have to follow when coming for the appointment:
- It is compulsory to wear masks to enter the building.
- Practise physical distancing at all times. Physical distancing markings are placed for the protection and safety of the applicant and the staff.
- If you and your partner have a fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, any other COVID-19 symptoms, have traveled outside of Canada, or have come in contact with any person with COVID-19, please do not come for your appointment. You may contact the township office at 519-848-3620 to reschedule.
- It won’t take more than 30 minutes for the application process, and on the same day, the license will be issued.
- If you arrive late or without proper documents, you will have to reschedule, so come on time.
Please note that this is only due to the pandemic situation, during normal times instructions might be different.
Marriage license fee
You are required to pay an amount to get a marriage license. The fees depend on the city, town, or municipality. The cost of a marriage license is $160 (HST does not apply). The amount can be paid via Debit, Visa, Master Card, American Express, or certified cheque. Cash payment is not accepted. The marriage license fee is non-refundable.
For different conditions, different instructions are applicable:
If you are remarrying after a divorce
If you got divorced in Canada
If you got divorced in Canada, you have to submit official proof of your divorce when applying for a marriage license. It can be an original or a court-certified copy of one of the following documents:
1. Certificate of divorce
2. Final decree
3. Final judgment
All the documents will be returned to you. You can collect a certified copy of either of the above divorce documents from the court office that granted the divorce.
If you got divorced outside of Canada
If you get divorced in any other country, you will be required for some more documents by the Ontario government to prove that you are no longer married.
You will have to submit the following documents to ServiceOntario:
- A marriage license application form, completed and signed by both applicants
- A statement of the sole responsibility for each divorce has to be signed by both the individuals who are planning to get married and a witness.
- An original or court-certified copy of the divorce decree or annulment. If the decree is in a language other than English or French, you will be needed to provide a translated copy together with an affidavit sworn by the translator.
- A legal opinion letter from an Ontario lawyer addressed both the applicants, stating why the divorce or annulment should be accepted in Ontario.
The Office of Registrar General for the province of Ontario will need to validate these documents, and it might take up to 4 weeks for the validation.
Once you receive your Foreign Divorce Authorization from the office of the Registrar General, you can now apply for the marriage license. You will receive your Completed Foreign Divorce Authorizations by courier. So it is important to write your entire mailing address on the marriage license application form.
You can mail these forms directly to:
PO Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6L8
You can contact the Registrar General Marriage Office for further information at 1-800-461-2156 (toll-free) or ServiceOntario.
What has to be done if you have an expired marriage license
The Ontario government has decided to extend the validity of the marriage licenses for now:
Dates Issued Valid Until
December 1, 2019, to July 24, 2020 July 24, 2022
July 25, 2020 to September 30, 2020 3 months from the date issued (not extended)
October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 February 10, 2023
January 1, 2021 to June 4, 2021 June 4, 2023
Basic Information About Marriage License
- To get legally married in Ontario, a marriage license is required ( or the publications of banns from church).
- The minimum age required to get married in Ontario is 16 years. If you are under 18 years of age, you will need the written consent of your parents or legal guardians. Either your parents or legal guardians must also be present at the time when you submit the marriage license application.
- Whether you are marrying the first time or marrying again, you have to submit the marriage license application.
- The requirements are the same for everyone, and there are no gender, residency, citizenship, or medical requirements when applying for a marriage license.
- Once you get your marriage license issued, your license’s validity period is 3 months. You have to conduct a wedding ceremony in the next 90 days.
- The marriage license fee will vary depending on the city hall, township, or municipality.
- If your marriage license is lost, stolen, or damaged, there will be no refund.
You can visit ServiceOntario for more information about getting married in Ontario.
Also, check this article on the 11 best places to live in Ontario.
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