Ontario Marriage Licence - General Requirements FAQ

Q Who can perform a valid marriage ceremony in Ontario?
A Any minister or member of the clergy registered under the Marriage Act, or a judge, or a justice of the peace.

Q When and where can I get a Marriage Licence?
A The clerk of most cities, townships, towns or villages in Ontario may issue marriage licences. Check municipal blue pages in an Ontario phone directory.

(NOTE: Our offices are located near City Hall, City Clerk's Office in Niagara Falls, Ontario.)

Q How long / where is the marriage licence valid?
A Valid anywhere in Ontario for a period of 3 months after the date of issue. No waiting time is required.

Q How much does a Marriage Licence cost?
A Cost is subject to change by each Municipality. Currently $100-$125 (CDN).

Q How old must I be to get a Marriage Licence?
A Both parties must be age 18 or more to marry without consent.

Applicants who are 16 or 17 must have the consent in writing of both parents on the required form, signed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths OR a Court in Canada may dispense with parental consent in certain limited circumstances.

No person under age 16 may marry in Ontario.

Q What requirements are there for medical certificates, blood tests, citizenship or waiting periods in Ontario?
A There are no such requirements at this time.

Q Are there any gender-specific requirements in Ontario?
A There are no such requirements at this time. Same sex marriages are permitted.

Q Do both parties have to be present to purchase the licence?
A No, only one party must attend in person to purchase the licence, BUT that person must have the application completed and signed by both parties, and the required identification and other documents for both parties.

Q What documentation do we need to bring to get the licence?
A Each party needs two pieces of original identification; One piece of ID must be one of the following (plus any change of name certificate):

  • Birth Certificate
  • Current passport
  • Record of Immigrant Landing
  • Canadian Citizenship papers
  • Adoption papers

The second piece of ID must be a photo identification. ALSO, if a widow / widower, bring proof of death of previous spouse(s).

Q What additional documentation is required if either party has been married before and obtained a divorce / annulment IN CANADA?
A Bring to the licence issuer, an original or Court-certified copy of final divorce decree, final judgment or divorce certificate.

(NOTE: a "Court-certified copy" means a copy certified by the proper Court officer in the jurisdiction where the divorce / annulment was granted, bearing the ORIGINAL stamp or seal by that Court officer. A PHOTOCOPY OF A CERTIFIED COPY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.)

Q What special requirements are there if either party has been married before and obtained a divorce / annulment in a jurisdiction OUTSIDE CANADA?
A An additional step is required here. An "Authorization to Issue a Marriage Licence" must be obtained in advance from a central government office, after receiving a written legal opinion from an Ontario lawyer who has received and reviewed the foreign divorce documents and supporting forms. It usually takes about three weeks after submitting the needed forms, to obtain the authorization.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about special requirements to obtain an Ontario Marriage Licence.

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