Marriage License and Certificate Information
Applications for a marriage certificate or a marriage license are also available by accessing the website below or contacting the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford N3P 1N2 – 519-759-4150.
The marriage license is valid any where in Ontario for three months from the date of purchase. If the license expires, it will not be valid and you will have to purchase another license
Click for Online Services for Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates
- How do I change my documents to my spouse's surname after marriage?
- Assuming a Spouse’s or Partner’s name:
Once you are married you can assume your spouse’s surname without completing a legal name change. Assuming a name is not a legal name change, so it does not change your birth certificate. Most people will assume a name instead of undergoing a legal name change.
Once you are married you may apply to change all your identification [health card, driver’s license, passport, banking information, etc.] with your marriage certificate. You may assume your spouse’s/partner’s last name [surname] or a combination of your last name and your spouse’s/partner’s last name [hyphenated surname].
The benefit of not completing a legal name change is that it does not change the name on your birth certificate. If you wish to use your legal name again, you simply revert back by presenting your birth certificate as proof of your legal name.
Electing to change your name to a Spouse’s or Partner’s name
You may choose to legally change your last name [surname] as a result of marriage or a common-law relationship by filling out an Election to Change Surname form.
Please be aware that if you elect to legally change your name and were born in Ontario, you last name as it appears on your birth certificate will change. Your birth certificate will show your new name and your previous last name. If you wish to revert back to your previous name at any time, you will need to contact the Office of the Registrar General to complete another name change.
Further details on changing your name is available by accessing Service Ontario: [ http://www.serviceontario.ca ]
- Are blood tests required to be married in Ontario?
- Blood tests are not required in order to be married in Ontario.
- How much does the marriage licence cost?
- The marriage license fee is $140.00, cash, debit, Visa or Master Card. Cheques are not accepted.
- What is required if I have been married before - Divorced in Canada?
- The original or Court certified copy of the Certificate of Divorce or Decree Absolute is required to be produced at the time of the license is issued.
A copy of the divorce document can be obtained from the Court where the divorce was finalized. There will be a fee applied by the Court in order to issue and certify the divorce document.
- Who may perform the marriage ceremony?
- If you are getting married in Ontario, you may have a religious marriage or a civil marriage.
A religious marriage is performed by a religious official of a recognized religious organization who has received authorization from the Office of the Registrar General to perform marriages in Ontario under the Marriage Act.
The City Clerk’s Department, as a courtesy, has compiled a listing of local ministers who will perform marriage ceremonies outside of the church and is available upon request. The City Clerk’s Office may be contacted at 519-759-4150.
A civil marriage can be performed by an Ontario judge, justice of the peace or municipal clerk under the authority of a marriage license. 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 will be an additional fee for a civil marriage ceremony.
Please note that marriages are not performed by the City Clerk for the City of Brantford.
- Do both the applicants have to be present to purchase the licence?
- It is not necessary for both the applicants to attend together in order to purchase the marriage license. One party may obtain the license providing that the completed application, the identification and any documention required are provided for both applicants. Both applicants must sign and date the application form before an application form can be processed.
- Do I need a marriage licence if I am having the Banns read in Church?
- You do not need to purchase a marriage license if you are having the banns read in a church and the banns are being registered with the Ontario Government. Please check with your Minister or Priest to see if the banns are available to be read for your marriage ceremony in place of purchasing a marriage license.
Note: Banns shall not be published where either parties to the intended marriage had a previous marriage which has been dissolved or annulled.
- Who may marry?
- 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 the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford N3P 1N2.
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.
For further information on consent, you may contact the City Clerk’s Office at 519-759-4150.
- Where and when can I get a marriage licence?
- Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Marriage licenses are issued Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30PM.
- What happens to older marriage recorders?
- The Office of the Registrar General maintains marriage records in Ontario during the past 80 years. Records are then forwarded to the Archives of Ontario for microfilming and public accessibility. To obtain a marriage certificate for an event prior to 1925, you should refer to the Archives of Ontario at:
[ http://www.archives.gov.on.ca ]
The Archives currently holds marriage records from 1801 to 1925. Please note that there are gaps in pre-1869 marriage records.
- How can I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate? Who is entitled to apply?
- Immediately after the marriage ceremony, you will receive a Record of Solemnization of Marriage from the person who performed the ceremony. This document includes the couple’s names, the date of the marriage, the names of the witnesses and whether the marriage was performed under the authority of a license or the publication of banns. This is NOT a marriage certificate or legal record.
The person who performed the marriage must forward the completed and signed marriage license to the Office of the Registrar for registration. Registration can take up to 10 weeks from the date of the marriage. The marriage must be registered before you apply for a marriage certificate.
To request a copy of your marriage certificate from the Ontario Government, you can apply on-line at www.serviceontario.ca or by submitting a paper application form. Application forms are available at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford N3P 1N2 – 519-759-4150.
Who can apply for a marriage certificate?
There are restrictions on who may apply for a marriage certificate. The following individuals are eligible to apply for the certificate:
The parties to the marriage,
Children of the marriage,
Parents of the parties to the marriage,
Legally authorized representatives – proof of authority will be required,
Who may apply if one or both parties to the marriage are deceased?
Surviving party or Next of Kin.
Next of Kin being:
- Parents of either party
- Children of the marriage
- Siblings of either party
- Extended Next of Kin
Extended Next of Kin include aunt, uncle, first cousin, grandchild, grandfather, grandmother, nephew and niece.
Authorized representative may also apply.
Further information is available at [ http://www.serviceontario.ca ]
- My fiance and I are getting married. How do we get a marriage license?
- A marriage license can purchased from the Clerks department at City Hall for $140.00
- What is required if I have been married before - Divorced outside of Canada?
- If there has been a previous marriage which ended in a divorce outside of Canada, the following procedure must be followed.
i) An applicant whose former marriage was dissolved or annulled outside of Canada must obtain authorization from the Office of the Registrar General before a marriage license can be issued.
ii) To obtain this authorization, the applicants or a lawyer representing them must submit the following to:
The Office of the Registrar General
PO Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
- A completed marriage license application signed by both applicants
- A copy of the decree or divorce annulment (certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction the divorce or annulment was granted) 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 form signed by both applicants. The Statement is available from the City Clerk’s Office
- 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 suggested format for a lawyer’s opinion letter is available at the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford.
It is recommended that you contact the City Clerk’s Office for further clarification on these regulations - Office number: 519-759-4150
- What does it cost to obtain a copy of a marriage certifcate from the Ontario Government?
- Marriage certificate - (7” x 8/25”) $15.00 -
Certified Copy - (8.5” x 14”) $22.00 -
Confirmation letter (five year search) - $15.00 -
Delayed registration - $22.00 -
Amendment to original registration - $22.00 -
There is an additional $30.00 surcharge for each document requested for Emergency Service and Premium OnLine Service. Proof of urgency is required for the Emergency Service.
You are requested to check regularly the ServiceOntario site for the most up-to-date information on applicable fees. Please note that fees are subject to change.
[ http://www.serviceontario.ca ]
- Are blood tests required to be married in Ontario?
- Blood tests are not required in order to be married in Ontario.
- What documents do I need to bring with me?
- The application must be signed by both parties and presented with two pieces of original valid identification for both parties.
Copies will not be accepted. If any of your identification is in a language other than English or French, you must present it with an official translation of the document. One piece of photo identification is required.
The identification accepted is:
Valid Driver's licence,
Canadian citizenship card,
Canadian Government refugee travel document,
Conditional release identification card,
United States green card,
Native status card,
Record of immigration landing,
Permanent Residency Card,
Citizenship card from any country,
Ontario photo card.
One party present to purchase license:
Divorce Papers to be produced:
- If either party has been previously married and divorced in Ontario, the ORIGINAL or CERTIFIED COPY of the Decree Absolute or Certificate of Divorced must be produced prior to the issuance of the license.
Widow or Widower:
- No verification is required for a widow or widower.
- Are residency or citizenship requirements applicable?
- There is no residency or citizenship requirement to be married in Ontario.
- What happens after I get married?
- After your marriage ceremony, the person who performed the marriage must forward the completed and signed marriage license to the Office of the Registrar General for registration.
Ten to twelve weeks after your marriage, you may apply to the Ontario Government for a copy of your marriage certificate. You may apply online at www.serviceontario.ca or by submitting a paper form to the Office of the Registrar General in Thunder Bay. This document will prove that the person who performed your marriage has filed the necessary papers with the Ontario Government and that the marriage has been officially registered.
When you receive your marriage license you should also receive an application to apply for a copy of your marriage certificate and a Notice to Applicants outlining general marriage information.