How to obtain a copy of your Canadian Marriage Certificate

You’ve finally taken the plunge: you’ve decided to get married. Congratulations! Before the big day, make sure you know all the conditions and steps required for your marriage to be valid in Canada.

To get married in Canada, you must:

  • Find an officiant
  • Apply for a marriage licence before the ceremony
  • Get married in a religious or civil ceremony
  • Register the marriage at the provincial or territorial registry office

– What is the difference between a Marriage Licence and a Marriage Certificate?

It is important not to confuse the marriage licence with the marriage certificate. A marriage licence is only a document authorizing a couple to get married, and it may be issued either by a religious person or a province or territory authority. The fee for a licence is $125.00, and it’s only valid for 3 months.

A marriage certificate is an official document proving two people are married. This document is required to carry out some other proceedings, as we explain below.

The Marriage Licence in Canada

– What is a Marriage Licence for?

The marriage licence is a document that the bride and groom must obtain before their wedding ceremony. It serves as an official confirmation that the bride and groom meet all the terms of the law, and that they can legally get married.

The marriage license includes:

  • The names of the bride and groom
  • Their home addresses at that time
  • The place where the ceremony is scheduled to take place
  • The name of the officiant

– How can I apply for a Marriage Licence?

This will differ from province to province and territory to territory. In some provinces and territories, you can get a marriage licence from a person or business authorized to issue this document.

In other provinces and territories, the marriage licence can be obtained at the City Hall, at its municipal equivalent, or at a government Service Center.

Obtaining a Canadian Marriage Certificate

– What is a Marriage Certificate for?

The marriage certificate is the official proof that the marriage took place. It is also called a “memorandum” or “declaration” of marriage.

It can be useful for many administrative procedures such as: a change of names, the recognition of a child, a divorce procedure, or for genealogical research.

– How can I get a Marriage Certificate?

Contact information for the provincial registry offices can be found at this link.

These offices process applications for birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, certificates of celibacy and even for name changes.

How to get a copy of your marriage certificate

A certified copy is a photocopy of a document that contains a statement made by a professional affirming that they have seen the original document, that the information on the copy matches the original, and the photocopy has not been altered in anyway.

You can obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from:

  • doctors
  • lawyers
  • dentists
  • ministers
  • police officers
  • postmasters
  • teachers

When you have found the professional to certify your documents, he or she will not be authorized to only make a copy of the document and sign it. The professional who is certifying the document must also write the statement: “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”.

Then, they must include:

  • the name of the original document
  • the date of the certification
  • his or her name
  • his or her official position or title
  • his or her signature

Administrative Procedures in other countries:

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