A licence to marry may be obtained from the Issuer of Marriage Licenses at the Customer Service Unit, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie (905-871-1600). At least one party to the proposed marriage must apply in person; however, the application must be signed by both applicants.
The Issuer will require proof of identification of both parties (if only one party is applying he/she must bring proof of identification for the other party). Two pieces of valid identification for each applicant are required (photocopies are not acceptable).
An original Birth Certificate (along with any change of name certificates), current passport, Record of Immigrant Landing or Canadian citizenship card, along with photo identification to prove your current legal name and age.
There are no requirements respecting residency, pre-marital blood tests or medical certificates. A marriage licence is valid for use anywhere in Ontario. The licence expires 3 months after the date of issue. A Marriage Licence fee is $130.00.
Marriage Licence Application - Click Here
Who may Marry?
Any person who is at least 18 years of age may marry. The Ontario Court of Appeal issued a decision on June 10, 2003 that ruled that same-sex couples have the right to be legally married. No person under 16 years of age may marry. Any person who is 16 or 17 years of age (other than a widow, widower or divorced person) may marry with the written consent of his/her legal guardian. A special consent form is available for this purpose from the Customer Service Unit.
If consent is required, and it is not forthcoming, or is refused, an application may be made to a judge to dispense with consent.
Annulment or Divorce
A person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled will require:
(a) If the marriage was dissolved or annulled in Canada, the original or court certified copy of the final decree, judgement or certificate of divorce dissolving or annulling the marriage, or
(b) If the marriage was dissolved or annulled outside of Canada, the authorization of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. (This requirement is explained in more detail below), or
(c) Where the earlier marriage of one of the parties was terminated by the presumed death of a spouse, a court order declaring the presumed death of the spouse must be obtained. An Issuer of Marriage Licenses can provide more information upon request.
An applicant whose former marriage was dissolved or annulled in a jurisdiction other than Canada must obtain authorization from the Minister of Consumer and Business Services before a marriage licence may be issued. To obtain this authorization, the applicants or a lawyer, must submit the following to:
The Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8
- A completed marriage licence application signed by both applicants.
- A copy of the decree of divorce or annulment (certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction the divorce/annulment was granted) or sealed by the court. If the decree is in a language other than English or French, include a certified translation.
- A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both applicants. Blank affidavits are available from the local Issuer of Marriage Licenses.
- A legal opinion of an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both applicants, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in the Province of Ontario.
A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of a licence or the publication of banns.
Publication of banns
A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of the publication of banns where both parties to the proposed marriage worship regularly in Canada.
No one may marry under the authority of the publication of banns if there was a previous marriage (dissolved or annulled). Further information concerning marriage under the authority of the publication of banns may be obtained from a member of the clergy.
Who may perform a marriage ceremony?
A marriage ceremony in Ontario may be performed by:
- A municipal clerk or designate.
- A member of the clergy registered under the Marriage Act.
- A judge or justice of the peace.