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Marriages Licences and Civil Marriage Ceremonies

Marriage Licences

Overview
  1. To be married in Ontario, a couple must first apply for a marriage licence.  A marriage licence can be obtained from any municipality in Ontario and is valid for a wedding anywhere in Ontario.
  2. A marriage licence can be issued only to the applicant and/or joint applicant.
  3. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to get married in Ontario.  If you are 16 or 17 years old, you require the written consent of both your parents or legal guardians.
  4. A marriage licence expires 90 days from the date of issue.
  5. The City of Owen Sound will soon be offering the ability to complete a marriage licence application online.
  6. Once an application is completed, at least one applicant must attend City Hall, located at 808 2nd Avenue East in Owen Sound, to have the marriage licence issued.
  7. When attending City Hall, original identification must be presented for both applicants.
  8. For more information on getting married in Ontario, visit the Service Ontario website.

 

Marriage Licence FAQs

The following are the steps to obtaining a marriage licence:

  1. Review the marriage licence requirements (see next FAQ below).
  2. Do one of the following to complete the application:
    1. Coming Soon: apply online - the application will take 25-30 minutes and both applicants must be present to provide their required information;
    2. download and print an application; or
    3. visit City Hall to obtain a paper copy of the application.
  3. Schedule an appointment to have the licence issued to you.  If you are completing an online application, you will be able to book an appointment as part of the application process.  If you are completing a paper application, please contact the Licensing & Marriage Coordinator at 519-376-1440 ext, 1268 or weddingservices@owensound.ca to book your appointment.
  4. Attend your appointment and pay the required fee.  Note: if only one applicant can attend the appointment, you must bring identification for both applicants.

To issue the licence we will require:

  1. A completed marriage licence application submitted via the online portal (coming soon) or in person at City Hall. 
  2. Two current pieces of identification for each partner (see Identification Requirements below).
  3. Original divorce documents or death documents, if applicable.

Information required to complete your marriage licence application includes:

  • The proposed date of your marriage, which must be within 3 months of the date you submit your application
  • The proposed place of marriage (city/town/reserve)
  • The names, dates of birth, provinces/territories of birth, countries of birth (as it was known at the time of the birth, even if it is not longer used), addresses and contact information for both applicants
  • The marital status of each applicant
  • Divorce certificates are required for those who have been previously married
  • Death certificates are required for those who are widowed
  • The names and countries of birth (country name as it was known when parent was born) for each applicant's parent(s)
  • Two pieces of government-issued identification, with at least one being a photo identification, for each applicant (four total)

  1. Each partner must submit two (2) pieces of government-issued identification including one with a photo.
  2. The identification must be VALID and ORIGINAL (photocopies cannot be accepted).
  3. The name on both pieces of identification must be the same.
  4. If your identification is not in English, a written translation and affidavit from a certified translator is required.

The fee for a marriage licence is $150.00.

The fee is non-refundable.

Payment can be made by cash, debit, credit or cheque made out to the City of Owen Sound.

Divorced in Canada:

You will need to provide one of the following original documents to the municipality:

  • the final decree (divorce or annulment)
  • the final judgment (divorce or annulment)
  • a certificate of divorce
Divorced outside of Canada:

If you were divorced outside of Canada, you will need to provide certain documents to prove that you are no longer married.  This process can take up to four weeks.  Refer to the Service Ontario website for required documents to obtain a Foreign Divorce Authorization.

Widowed:

You will need to provide the following original documents to the municipality:

  • Death Certificate of spouse
  • Funeral Director's Statement of Death
  • Court order declaring that your spouse has died

The couple will give the marriage licence to the person (religious official/civil wedding officiant) who is performing the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony, the person who performed the wedding will send the completed licence to the province of Ontario to register the marriage. 

Civil Marriages

The City of Owen Sound is pleased to provide civil marriage services at a location, date and time of your choice.
Our Civil Marriage Information Pamphlet contains information about the services and fees associated with civil marriages.

  1. Call the Clerk's Office at 519-376-4440 ext. 1268 or email at weddingservices@owensound.ca for further information or to book a civil marriage. City facilities may be booked by calling Service Owen Sound at 519-376-1440.
  2. Pay the required fees by debit/credit/cash/cheque payable to the City of Owen Sound prior to the day of the ceremony.

There are several ceremonies that couples may choose from or they can mix and match several different ceremonies together. Couples may also create their own unique ceremony. We can also include rose ceremonies, sand ceremonies or unity candle celebrations as a part of your ceremony.

Although couples can create a special marriage ceremony that is unique to them, the provincial government sets out certain legal requirements for marriage ceremonies.

We can perform your marriage ceremony at a location of your choice. There are many beautiful City venues to host a wedding. You can book these venues by calling Service Owen Sound at 519-376-1440.

The City has a list of trained officiants who can legally perform your marriage.

Couples who wish to have a friend or relative perform their wedding ceremony should be aware of the legal marriage ceremony requirements in Ontario. Once a couple has been legally married by a registered religious official or civil marriage officiant as set out by the province, couples can then create their own 'renewal of vows ceremony' and have it performed by a person of their choice in front of family and friends.

If you are hosting a wedding on your own property, please be aware of information as it pertains to setting up tents, specific parking restrictions, the noise by-law, and the serving of alcohol on private property for special events. 
Marriages must be held in accordance with provincial regulations regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

Every country has their own rules, requirements, and fees for getting married. Check with the Vital Statistics Office in the province or territory in Canada where you wish to get married. If you plan to get married outside of the Country, check with the Canadian representative in the country you wish to get married in. When you get married outside of Ontario, your marriage won't be registered in the province of Ontario. It will be registered in the province or country where you were married.

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