Ontario Marriage Legalities

You must be married by an officiant who is licensed in your province. To verify, click here:

https://www.ontario.ca/data/registered-religious-officials  

Use the “CSV” link for an alphabetic list, by location. For example, I’m in Ajax, so that’s where I appear on the list.

Getting a Marriage License

You must have a marriage license. To get a marriage licence, you will need  2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification must include your photo. Examples of government-issued identification include:

  • government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
  • valid passport
  • record of immigrant landing
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • valid driver’s licence
  • valid Ontario Photo Card

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.

For more information, or to download a Marriage License Application Form: https://www.ontario.ca/page/getting-married#section-3

If you were 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

If you were divorced outside of Canada, you will need to provide certain documents to prove that you are no longer married. The government needs to validate these documents. This process can take up to 4 weeks. You will need to send the following documents to ServiceOntario:

  • marriage licence application form: completed and signed
  • statement of sole responsibility: for each divorce (signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness)
  • legal opinion letter: from an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both people who plan to get married, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario
  • divorce decree or annulment: an original or court-certified copy in English or French. If the decree is in another language, you will need to include a translated copy and an affidavit sworn by a certified translator

The Marriage Certificate

The 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. Please note that a Record of Solemnization of Marriage is not the same thing as a marriage certificate. Before you can get a marriage certificate, the marriage needs to be registered. I will do this by sending a complete and signed marriage licence to ServiceOntario. You need this document to:

  • show legal proof you are married
  • apply for certain social benefits
  • settle an estate
  • change a last name

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT I SIMPLY REGISTER YOUR MARRIAGE WITH THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. APPLYING FOR THE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.