Legal Requirements

The preceding legal information is provided as a guideline reference only. To be married in Ontario, couples must obtain a marriage license from any Municipal Office Clerk. A marriage application form must be completed and signed by both parties to the marriage. The form must be submitted in person, by either or both the bride and groom, along with the appropriate documents for both applicants including:

  • A current passport (which includes a photo) or an original birth certificate;
  • One piece of photo identification, like a driver's license or health card.

There are no residency requirements, pre-marital blood tests or medical certificates needed. A license is valid for use anywhere in Ontario within three months after the date of issue. Licence fees vary community to community so check with your city Hall; expect the license to run in the $100 - $150 range.

Officiants

For non denominational, interfaith, spiritual, and humanistic ceremonies, legal celebrants include a minister or member of the clergy registered under the Marriage Act. Local court offices and municipal offices may provide the names of judges or justices of the peace who perform non–denominational ceremonies. Two witnesses over the age of 18 are required. You can print off a copy of an application for a wedding certificate (or a wedding licence) at: www.cbs.gov.on.ca/mcbs/english/4U4V5Z.htm

If a previous marriage was dissolved or annulled in a jurisdiction other than Canada, authorization must be obtained from the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations before a marriage license can be issued. To obtain this authorization, applicants must apply to the Office of the Registrar General, P.O. Box 4600, 189 Red River Road, Thunder Bay ON P7B 6L8, Attn: M.A.M or call 1-800-461-2156, 416-325-8305 or 416-325-8305.

Note: Government law states that you cannot obtain a registered wedding certificate from the Government until 12 weeks after your wedding ceremony. So when you buy your wedding licence make sure you also ask for the application form to obtain a wedding certificate. Make sure you also ask them to explain how and when you can apply. Usually 90 Days after the ceremony.

If there is an 'urgency' to obtain a registered copy of your licence and you can provide reason for your request, the Government may skip the normal waiting period and issue a certified copy in a few days. Just ask for a FORM #7 release form before the date of your ceremony. Then following the legal ceremony the attending Officiant will give you the licence when you present the signed release form. You may then go directly to the Office Of the Register General Of Ontario.