Any person who is at least 18 years of age may marry. No person under
16 years of age may marry. Any person who is 16 or 17 years of age
(other than a widowed or divorced person) may marry with the written
consent of his/her parents or legal guardians. A special consent form
is available for this purpose from your local Municipal Office.
If any person whose consent is required is unavailable or refuses to
consent, an application may be made to a judge to dispense with consent.
A person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled will
a) If the marriage was dissolved or annulled in Canada, the original or
court-certified copy of the final decree, judgment
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 Minister of Government 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 death of
the spouse must be obtained. An issuer of Marriage Licences can provide
more information upon request.
A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of a licence or the
publication of banns.
1) Marriage Licence
A licence to marry may be obtained from the issuer of Marriage
Licences at your local Municipal Clerk's Office. At least one party to
the proposed marriage must apply in person. However, the application must
be signed by both applicants.
The issuer may require proof of age of either party (if only one
party is applying, he/she must bring proof of age of the other party).
All minors must submit proof of 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.
There is a fee charged for a marriage licence.
2) 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 at their own church 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
minister or a member of the clergy.
A marriage ceremony in Ontario may be performed by:
a) a minister or member of the clergy registered under the
b) a judge or justice of the peace.
Local court offices and municipal offices may provide the names of judges
or justices of the peace who perform civil marriage ceremonies.
A civil ceremony by a judge or justice of the peace may only be
conducted under the authority of a marriage licence. The date and time
of the ceremony must be arranged by the applicant. The applicants must
also arrange for 2 witnesses to be present at the ceremony. There is
an additional fee for civil ceremonies.
An applicant whose former marriage was dissolved or annulled in a jurisdiction other than Canada must obtain authorization from the Minister of Government Services before a marriage licence may be issued. To obtain this authorization, the applicants or a lawyer representing them, must submit the following to:
Office of the Registrar General
189 Red River Road
PO Box 3000
Thunder Bay ON P7B 5W0
1) A completed marriage licence application signed by both applicants.
2) An original or court certified copy of the divorce decree or annulment
(certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction the
divorce/annulment was granted). If the decree is in a language other
than English or French, include a translated copy together with an
affidavit sworn by the translator.
3) A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both
applicants. Blank statements are available from the local issuer of
4) 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 sample legal opinion letter can be obtained from
the Office of the Registrar General by calling 1 807 343-7492 or toll
free in Ontario at 1 800 461-2156. A sample letter will be faxed to your
lawyer upon the lawyers request.
11031E (2009/07) © Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2009
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