Life Events

Getting Married

If you are a resident of Brantford, County of Brant, or Six Nations of the Grand River, and your wedding is within the next 30 days, please review the below information to how to obtain an appointment.

Marriage Licence Appointment Process

The City of Brantford is implementing a new service provision for Marriage Licence application and issuance to better serve the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This service will be offered by appointment only and requires that documents be provided in advance for review, before an appointment is booked.

Once a team member has reviewed your submission as per the application form, you will be contacted by phone or email.

Upon confirmation of the required information, and some intake questions, you will be assigned an appointment date and time, and will be required to follow  processes that promote health and safety (social distancing) as posted at City Hall upon your arrival.  

Marriage Licence Appointment Eligibility

To be eligible for an appointment to obtain a marriage licence, the intended date of your marriage must be finalized and you must have an officiant that has agreed to perform the marriage. If your marriage service is cancelled and you are unable to reschedule, you will need to purchase a new marriage licence if the licence is not used within 90 days from the date it was issued.

Before your appointment will be scheduled, you will need to complete the following application and answer some eligibility questions by phone or email to ensure that your application can be processed. Given the COVID-19 precautions put in place to issue marriage licences in physically distanced way, it is recommended that only one applicant attend the appointment.

While all requests for an appointment will be reviewed, a request using the form below does not guarantee an appointment; you will be contacted by staff to confirm your appointment date and time once your application has been reviewed and meets the eligibility criteria (see below).

When you arrive at City Hall for your scheduled appointment, you will be required to complete COVID-19 health screening.  If you do not successfully meet the screening criteria, you will not be allowed to enter the building and your appointment will be cancelled.

If your wedding is cancelled for any reason, including as a result of COVID-19, you will need to resubmit and repay to obtain a brand new marriage licence with the new wedding date. For couples who have previously purchased a marriage licence prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, at this time no direction has been provided from the Office of the Registrar General with respect to extension of licences.

Please note if the information provided is incorrect, or any documents are missing, your appointment date/time will not proceed. We will notify you of this and you will need to resubmit your application to be reviewed. If your health status changes after submitting the form and prior to your confirmed appointment, please notify us so that we can reschedule.

If you do not attend your appointment with the required information/documents a marriage licence will not be issued to you.

At this time the city is not performing civil ceremonies during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back for updates. 

For information on who can perform religious ceremonies, visit Service Ontario.

Please be advised that staff responsible for the issuance of marriage licences cannot provide advice regarding the number of guests that are able to attend at your planned wedding. For information regarding social distancing guidelines please consult the Provincial Emergency Order.

Apply For A Marriage Licence Appointment

If all of your documentation is in its original form (not a copy), complete, and you provide acceptable identification, you should receive your marriage licence at the end of your appointment, which may take up to 30 minutes to process. No photocopies or scanned documents will be accepted at the time of your appointment.

To apply for a marriage licence appointment, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit the ServiceOntario website to download the marriage licence application form.
  2. Complete, print, sign* (with original signatures) and date the application form.
    *Both applicants must complete and sign the form.
  3. Complete the online appointment request form and upload all required documents:
    • Marriage Licence Application
    • Certificate of Divorce (if applicable)
  4. Answer intake questions as contacted by a representative of the City to begin processing your request for a marriage licence appointment.
  5. Attend your scheduled appointment at City Hall. You MUST bring the following documents in their original form (not a copy) to your appointment:
    • NOTE: To support appropriate physical distancing during appointments, it is recommended that only one applicant attend the appointment at City Hall.
    • Completed application form, with original signatures of both applicants.
    • Supporting original divorce documents (If you do not have the Certificate of Divorce, you will need to contact the court where the divorce was granted in order to obtain one. Visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General for a full list of Ontario court addresses.
    • Application fee of $140 payable by debit, MasterCard, or Visa (cash is discouraged).
    • Two pieces of original identification for each applicant (see approved list of ID in the Required Identification section).
Required Identification

Two pieces of original, current and valid identification must be presented for each applicant at the appointment. One of the acceptable pieces of government-issued ID must include a current photo and signature. Accepted pieces of ID include:

  • Passport
  • Drivers’ Licence
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Canadian Citizenship/Permanent Resident Card
  • Record of Immigrant Landing

It is very important that the first and last names match exactly on the two pieces of ID that are presented for each applicant (this includes spaces, hyphens and apostrophes). To have your middle name included on your marriage licence, it must also appear on both pieces of ID. Initials used as a first name cannot be accepted.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Under-age applicants 16 or 17 years of age, require both parents/guardian to complete Form 6 – Consent of Parent or Guardian to Marriage, which must be completed and signed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths. The applicant must bring this commissioned form to their scheduled appointment.

Previous Marriages

If you or your partner were previously married and the marriage was dissolved or annulled within Canada, the original or court-certified copy of the Decree Absolute or Certificate of Divorce must be presented with your application when applying for a marriage licence. A divorce judgment or order is not acceptable. If you do not have the Certificate of Divorce, you will need to contact the court where the divorce was granted in order to obtain one. Visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General for a full list of Ontario court addresses.

If you or your partner were previously divorced outside of Canada, authorization from the Office of the Registrar General must be obtained before a marriage licence can be issued. Please visit ServiceOntario for more information.

Out-of-Country Divorces

If you were divorced outside of Canada, you will need to provide certain documents to prove that you are no longer married. The government needs to validate these documents. This process can take up to 4 weeks.

You will need to send the following documents to ServiceOntario:

  • marriage licence application form: completed and signed
  • statement of sole responsibility: for each divorce (signed by both people who are planning to get married and a witness)
  • legal opinion letter: from an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both people who plan to get married, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario
  • divorce decree or annulment: an original or court-certified copy in English or French. If the decree is in another language, you will need to include a translated copy and an affidavit sworn by a certified translator
Note: Completed Foreign Divorce Authorizations are sent to applicants by courier. It is important that your full mailing address including suite/unit/apartment and buzzer number is included on the marriage licence application form, or the courier package cannot be delivered and returned to ServiceOntario.
Interpreter
Given the COVID-19 precautions we have put in place to issue marriage licences in a safe way, only one person is permitted to attend appointments. Interpreter services will be available to the applicant through Language if required.

Civil Marriage Ceremonies at City Hall

Brantford City Council has recently authorized the performance of Civil Ceremonies by the City Clerk and Deputy Clerks at Brantford City Hall, 100 Wellington Square. Please visit our Civil Marriage Ceremonies page for more infomation.

Who can marry legally in Ontario?
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 who's consent is required is unavailable or refuses to consent, an application may be made to a judge to dispense with consent. For further information regarding consent, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 519-759-4150.
How do I change my documents to my spouse's surname after marriage?
Assuming a spouse’s or partner’s name can be completed without 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 may simply revert back by presenting your birth certificate as proof of your legal name. You may choose to legally change your last name 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, your 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 Service Ontario to complete another name change. 
Where and when can I get a marriage licence?
Applications for a marriage license are available at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Marriage licenses are issued Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It is not necessary to book an appointment in advance. 
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 payable by cash, debit, Visa or Master Card. Cheques are not accepted. 
Do I require any other documentation 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 at the time of that a new 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 can perform a marriage ceremony?

If you are getting married in Ontario, you may have a religious or civil marriage ceremony. A religious ceremony 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. 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. An additional fee is applied to a civil marriage ceremony. Civi marriage ceremonies are now performed at City Hall by the City's Clerks Department.

Do both applicants have to be present to purchase the licence?
It is not necessary for both the applicants to be present to purchase a 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. 
Is a marriage licence required if the Banns is 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 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. Banns shall not be published where either parties to the intended marriage had a previous marriage which has been dissolved or annulled.
What documents are required to apply for a marriage license? 

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: Birth Certificate, Valid Passport, 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. However, no verification is required for a widow or widower.

How do I get a marriage certificate after the ceremony? 
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 Service Ontario 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. 
How much does a marriage certificate cost?

A 7” x 8/25” marriage certificate is $15.00. An 8.5” x 14” certified copy is $22.00. A Confirmation letter is $15.00. Delayed registration is $22.00. An amendment to original registration is $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. Fees are subject to change by Service Ontario

How do I access past marriage records? 
The Office of the Registrar General maintains records of marriages that were officiated in Ontario during the past 80 years. Records beyond 80 years old are sent to the Archives of Ontario for public accessibility. To obtain a marriage certificate for an event prior to 1925, visit Archives of Ontario for more information. 

Birth Certificates

In the province of Ontario, birth certificates are processed by Service Ontario within 15 days of applying, for a fee of $25 or within 5 days for an additional fee. 

Registering a birth in The City of Brantford

Service Ontario, in co-operation with Service Canada offer parents a fast and easy to register your child’s birth online and apply for a birth certificate and Social Insurance Number at the same time. Registering using a paper process is also an option. The signature(s) of each parent named on the statement must be on the form. Where a parent(s) opt to register a child using a paper format, the statement must be sent directly to the Office of the Registrar General, 189 Red River Road, PO Box 4600, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8. Do not mail the paper form to City Hall, Brantford. To complete the paper format a blank Statement of Live Birth may be accessed: a) By contacting the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford - 519-759-4150; or b) Online at Service Ontario. Questions about the registration process can be directed to the Office of the Registrar General at 1-800-461-2156 or 1-416-325-8305.

Obtaining a birth certificate for you or your child
Births that occur in the Province of Ontario are registered with the Office of the Registrar General, PO Box 4600, 189 Red River Road, Thunder Bay, P7B 6L8. Applications can be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office, Brantford City Hall or can be accessed online at Service Ontario. Service standards for paper applications is 6 to 8 weeks. Online applications can be processed within 15 business days.
Amending a birth certificate 
If a birth has been registered in Ontario and the parents wish to amend the information recorded on the registration, application forms must be obtained from the Office of the Registrar General, 189 Red River Road, PO Box 4600, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8. Additional information and applications for an amendment are available online at Service Ontario. Go to ‘Life Events’ and select “Name Change.” Any questions regarding the amendment process can be directed to the ORG at 1-800-461-2156 or 1-416-325-8305.
Obtaining a temporary birth letter or travel letter for a newborn
Travel letters or temporary birth letters for newborns for immediate travel purposes can be faciliated by the Office of the Registrar General at 1-800-461-2156 or 1-416-325-8305.
Obtaining a birth certificate before the normal waiting period

The Office of the Registrar General offers special service when a birth certificate must be issued immediately. Immediate Service takes 2 business days for a $30.00 surcharge plus delivery. Proof of Urgency must be provided before an application will be processed and must be applied for in person at the Toronto Office located at: ServiceOntario College Park, 777 Bay Street Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C8 Business Hours are: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Proof of Urgency may include:

  • a medical emergency
  • a letter confirming new employment
  • a letter from a consulate or embassy confirming an appointment
  • airline tickets
  • a letter confirming an appointment for an immigration hearing 
  • a wedding invitation where the applicant is the bride or groom.

Premium online service is also available guaranteeing the certificate in 5 business days including shipping time. 

 Death Certificates

In the province of Ontario, death certificates are processed by Service Ontario within 15 days of applying, for a fee of $25 or within 5 days for an additional fee. 

How do I obtain a death certificate?
A Death Certificate Application for a death occurring in Ontario can be made by applying online at Service Ontario. A paper form may also be mailed to the Office of The Registrar General, 189 Red River Road, PO Box 4600, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8. Faxed applications may also be accepted provided payment is made by Visa or MasterCard. The fax number is: 1-807-343-7459. Taxes are not applied to these documents. The waiting period for processing an application via mail is approximately 6 to 8 weeks. To obtain a paper Death Certificate Application form, visit Service Ontario and complete the following steps: Go to “Resources” located on left side bar Click on “Forms” Use “Quick Search Box” – type in “death certificate.” A pdf form will open on the next screen. Forms are also available at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 100 Wellington Square, Brantford N3T 2M3 

What are the fees to obtain a death certificate?

A 7” x 8.25” Death certificate is $15.00. An 8.5” x 14” Certified Copy is $22.00. Confirmation letter (5 year search) $15.00. Delayed registration is $22.00. Amendment to original registration is $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. Fees are subject to change by Service Ontario

Who can request a death certificate?

There are no restrictions regarding who may apply for a death certificate however there are restirctions regarding who may apply for a Certified copy of Statement of Death. The Office of the Registrar General will issue certified copies to the deceased’s next of kin, or the authorized representative of the deceased. Next of kin of the deceased includes: - his/her parents, spouse, common-law partner, children or siblings. If all next of kin are deceased, extended next of kin or their authorized representative may apply. Extended next of kin include, aunt, uncle, first cousin, grandchild, grandfather, grandmother, nephew or niece. Next of Kin Certification is required by the Office of the Registrar General to obtain a death certificate. 
How are past death records obtained?
The Office of the Registrar General maintains death records documented in Ontario from the past 70 years however, deaths prior to 1980 may not be in electronic format. When applying for a death certificate dated prior to 1980, it can take up to an extra 6 to 8 weeks for the registration to be converted into an electronic format before processing can be completed. Once stored for 70 years, records are then forwarded to the Archives of Ontario for public accessibility. Visit Archives of Ontario to obtain a death record for an event prior to 1935.