To get married in Ontario, there are certain requirements you and your partner must meet, as well as several legal documents you will be required to provide. In this article, we will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to get married in Ontario.
Requirements for marriage in Ontario
The Ontario marriage laws require you and your partner to meet certain requirements to be approved for a marriage. These include:
Types of marriage ceremonies in Ontario
Ontario, Canada, accepts two types of wedding ceremonies as legal. The first is the religious ceremony where a recognized priest or pastor conducts the process. The second is a civil marriage where a civil servant such as a judge officiates your wedding at the city hall.
The marriage license
In Ontario, the two accepted marriage forms are: the marriage license and the marriage banns. Marriage banns are available to couples opting for a religious ceremony and don’t have divorces or annulments on their records. On the other hand, the marriage license is also available to couples who have been previously divorced. For steps on how to get your marriage license in Ontario, you will begin by going to a municipality with your valid ID.
You will also be expected to pay a fee, one that varies based on your municipality. Most municipalities have different methods, so it’s advisable to visit their website for more details on their processes.
Keep in mind that marriage licenses are valid for three months. If you don’t marry within the timeframe, you will have to replace the license.
The marriage certificate
A marriage license and marriage certificate often are mixed up, but both are very different and just as important. While the marriage license is the authorized document that permits a marriage to take place, the marriage certificate is the recorded proof that you and your partner are legally wed. The marriage certificate bears the time and location of your wedding, as well as your names.
To get a certificate in Ontario, your marriage must first be registered by the officiant. He or she will deliver your legal license to ServiceOntario, where the registration will be carried out.
After your wedding, your marriage certificate might be required to change your last name, to provide proof that you are married, and to fill out certain official forms.
Legal officiants for marriage in Ontario
For your marriage in Ontario to be legal, there are two types of officiants authorized to conduct the process: a civil marriage officiant and a registered marriage officiant. A civil marriage officiant can be a judge or a municipal clerk. The registered marriage officiant can be a pastor or a recognized leader of a religious body, or a person granted authority from the accepted marriage bodies.