Get the government documents you need if you plan to get married in Ontario and learn what you need to do if you are a marriage officiant.
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Who can get married (age minimum)
You need to be at least 16 years old to get married in Ontario.
If you are under 18 years old, you will need written consent from all of your parents or legal guardians. All parents or legal guardians must complete the Consent of Parents or Guardians to Marriage Form when they go to obtain the marriage licence from the municipality.
The consent form is available where you get a marriage licence.
What you need before you marry
Before you get married, you need a valid Ontario marriage licence. A marriage licence is valid for three months from the date it was issued. Learn more about getting a marriage licence.
In some limited and specific circumstances, the publication of banns may be used as an alternative to a marriage licence. Contact your marriage officiant for more details.
Note: You and your spouse, witnesses and the person who performed the marriage will need to sign the licence or banns immediately after the ceremony.
How to get a marriage licence
You may be able to purchase a marriage licence from your local or surrounding municipality. Please check the municipality’s website to see if they provide this service.
To get a marriage licence, you will need to:
- complete a marriage licence application
- provide 2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification for each person getting married must include their 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 or Certificate
- valid driver’s licence
- valid Ontario Photo Card
- provide supporting documentation (for example: proof of divorce) (if applicable)
- have at least one of you attend in-person to pick up the licence
- pay a fee (fees vary and depend on the municipality)
Apply for a marriage licence
ServiceOntario is now offering a new pilot service to apply for marriage licence application online at select municipalities.
You can choose from one of the following municipalities to apply for your licence online before picking it up in-person:
- City of Cornwall
- City of Kenora
- Town of Cobourg
- City of Kingston
- Town of Ingersoll
- Township of Uxbridge
- City of Timmins
- City of Sault Ste Marie
- Municipality of Chatham-Kent
- Town of Caledon
- City of Brockville
If you apply for a marriage licence online, you may need to travel a far distance to pick up your licence, depending on the municipality you select.
You can also get your marriage licence by applying directly at other municipalities across the province. Check a local or surrounding municipality’s website to see if they provide this service.
You must provide personal information about the individuals getting married and their parents, including their place(s) of residence.
If you are planning to remarry
If you are planning on remarrying in Ontario, there are a few additional documents you must provide in addition to the ones listed above.
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
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
Note: Completed Foreign Divorce Authorizations are sent to applicants by courier. It is important that your full mailing address including suite/unit/apartment and buzzer number is included on the marriage licence application form, or the courier package cannot be delivered and will be returned to ServiceOntario.
Please mail these documents directly to:
PO Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6L8
You can also request to have a sample legal opinion letter sent to your lawyer using:
For more information, call:
Toll-free: 1-800-461-2156if you’re outside of Toronto but within North America 416-325-8305if you’re within the Greater Toronto Area or outside of North America TTY: 416-325-3408
Eligibility for a reduced marriage licence fee
You may be eligible to have the $75 provincial marriage licence fee waived if each of you are registered, or are entitled to be registered, under Canada’s Indian Act and both reside in Ontario on reserve or Crown lands. Municipal administrative fees may still apply.
One of you must swear or affirm that you both meet the eligibility requirements by:
- completing the Affidavit to Waive Provincial Fee for a Marriage Licence form
- submitting it to your selected municipality online or in-person when you pick up the licence
The form must be sworn or affirmed in-person before a commissioner for taking affidavits (for example municipal staff).
How to get a marriage certificate after marriage
A marriage certificate is a legal record of a marriage. It lists the date and place of the marriage, and names of the people who were married.
You may need this document to:
- show legal proof you are married
- apply for certain social benefits
- settle an estate
- change a last name
- assume a last name after marriage
Before you can get a marriage certificate, your marriage needs to be registered. The officiant who performed the marriage will send your completed and signed marriage licence to ServiceOntario so the marriage can be registered.
You can order a marriage certificate about 6-8 weeks after this happens.
Note: A Record of Solemnization of Marriage may be provided by your marriage officiant immediately following the marriage ceremony. This is a souvenir of the marriage and is not the same thing as a marriage certificate.
How to change your last name after marriage
If you choose to change your last name (surname) when you get married, you don’t have to legally change it.
You have the option to assume your spouse’s last name after marriage. It does not change the name on your Ontario birth registration (and birth certificate). You should change all your identification documents to reflect the new last name.
If you choose to legally change your last name, you can do so through ServiceOntario.
Who can perform a marriage in Ontario
You can only perform a marriage in Ontario if you are authorized under Ontario’s Marriage Act as a marriage officiant.
There are two categories of marriage officiants in Ontario:
- registered marriage officiants
- civil marriage officiants
Registered marriage officiants
The following persons registered with the Office of the Registrar General as a marriage officiant under the Marriage Act can perform a marriage in Ontario:
- a person duly recognized by their religious body as entitled to perform religious marriages in Ontario, or
- a person who belongs to, and is duly recognized as entitled to perform marriages by a band, First Nation, Métis or Inuit organization or community or Indigenous entity located in whole or in part in Ontario.
Civil marriage officiants
The following can perform civil marriages in Ontario:
- a municipal clerk and/or their delegate authorized to perform civil marriages in Ontario
- a judge
- an Ontario associate judge
- an Ontario justice of the peace
Contact a local city hall, town hall or municipal office to find out if they provide civil marriage services.
Guide for marriage officiants
It is your responsibility as a registered or civil marriage officiant to ensure marriages are performed according to the requirements under Ontario’s Marriage Act and other applicable laws.
Use the Marriage Officiant’s Guide to Performing Marriage Ceremonies in Ontario to help make sure you are prepared and aware of your responsibilities, including:
- what to do before, during, and immediately after the marriage ceremony
- your information management and record-keeping responsibilities
- the laws you must adhere to