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Ontario Marriage License Application
Regardless of the Province or Country in which you might actually live, each couple wishing to be married in Ontario or have an Ontario-registered marriage must complete a Marriage License Application to purchase the Marriage License. Both of you will need to complete the information and only one needs to take it in person to an Ontario Marriage License issuer; namely a municipal office.
In Ottawa, there are four City Hall locations which issue licenses: downtown, Kanata, Centrepointe and Orleans. Fess for the license vary by municipality as do the service levels for doing so. Contact your City/Municipality Clerk's Office for the location of the Marriage License Issuer nearest you for details and any further requirements.
You will need to bring with you two identification documents, such as a birth certificate (along with any change of name certificates), current passport, Record of Immigrant Landing or Canadian citizenship card, along with photo identification, for both of the marriage couple. See below for more details.
As the Marriage License has a limited shelf life of 90 days, it should be acquired only during the 90 day period prior to the expected date of your wedding. We prefer to receive it when we conduct the planning meeting with the couple as it then saves about 25 minutes of administrative work from having to be done at your ceremony. And, unlike some couples, we actually remember to bring the document to the wedding ceremony!
Please note that each municipality sets its own rate for marriage license fees so it pays to shop around. We advise all of our clients as to where you can save up to $68 of the $168.10 fee presently charged by the City of Ottawa. See below for selected rates.
For couples where either has been divorced in Canada, please remember that you will need your original court certified divorce documents before a license can be issued. If either of you has been divorced in a foreign country then you will also need an Ontario lawyer to examine your divorce documents and issue an opinion letter to the Registrar General before before the license can be issued. See the link below for the official policy and requirements. The fees charged by lawyers for this service varies widely. We can advise you of an Ottawa lawyer who will do this for about $300.
Other than the Marriage License, the only other thing that you need to have to complete your marriage is a wedding officiant and two witnesses. Nothing else is required legally. All of the additional expenses you incur are self-inflicted! And since virtually all couples will voluntarily choose to make significant optional expenditures for photos, video, music, etc, it really makes sense to engage an officiant who can help you and these other service providers maximize the opportunities that your ceremony can present to your families and guests in making it unique and memorable.
In short, you don't have to be a Queen's graduate to realize that shopping around for the lowest-priced officiant for your ceremony is really a classic case of penny wise - pound foolish. You deserve the best. Treat everyone, including yourselves, to an exceptional experience. Contact us (Lynne and Keith) at 613-831-7555.
For specific information, visit any of these government sites:
Purchasing a Wedding License:
The legal name is the one registered at birth or the one changed legally through adoption, court order/Change of Name Certificate or marriage.
The identification accepted is:
* not accepted by City of Ottawa
Ontario Health Cards and Social Insurance Number (SIN) Cards are not acceptable forms of identification to obtain a marriage licence.
Please note: It is important that you bring identification that states your name in full. The marriage licence will only state what is written on your identification.