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Marriages Licences and Civil Marriage Ceremonies

Marriage Licences

  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 now offers the ability to complete a marriage licence application online.
  6. Once an application is completed, an appointment is booked by phone or online and 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 unless the identification has been uploaded online.  Where both applicants have uploaded their identification, only the applicant attending needs to bring their identification with them to the appointment. (see below for Identification Requirements)
  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. apply online;
    2. download and print an application; or
    3. visit City Hall to obtain a paper copy of the application.
      Note: the application will take 25-30 minutes to complete and both applicants must provide their required information.
  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 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 a marriage 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 applicant with at least one for each applicant having a photo (see "What are the 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.


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 date and time and location of your choice in Grey-Bruce.
Our Civil Marriage Information Pamphlet contains information about the services and fees associated with civil marriages.

Civil Marriage FAQs

  1. Call the Clerk's Office at 519-376-1440 ext. 1268 or email for further information or to book a civil marriage. 
  2. Pay the required fees by cash, debit, credit or cheque payable to the City of Owen Sound at the time of booking.

Our Marriage in Minutes program has a set ceremony while our other marriage options include several ceremonies that couples may choose from.  Additionally, the elements from each ceremony can be mixed and matched or couples may also create their own unique ceremony, which can include rose ceremonies, sand ceremonies, unity candle ceremonies or other unique celebrations.

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


We can perform your marriage ceremony at City Hall or a City venue or a location of your choice within Grey-Bruce.  Travel fees apply for weddings held off-site.

If you are hosting a wedding on private property in Owen Sound, please be aware of the following:

  1. Tents: If you are erecting a tent or other temporary structure on your property, you may require a tent permit from the Building Department.
  2. Parking: Ensure that your guests follow all posted parking signs and do not block driveways, lanes or fire hydrants. Overnight parking is not permitted between December 1 and March 31 in the City.
  3. Noise: The City's Noise By-law limits noise likely to disturb the inhabitants of the City, such as loud music and yelling.  The by-law is enforced 24 hours per day on a complaint basis.  To apply for a noise permit, review the permit section of the by-law and provide your application to the City Clerk at least 45 days in advance of the event.
  4. Alcohol: if you will be serving alcohol, please see the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website.  You may also wish to purchase Party Alcohol Liability insurance for your event through your insurance company.

Your wedding must be performed by an officiant registered with the Province of Ontario.

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 are encouraged to speak with the Licensing & Marriage Coordinator about options to involve an unregistered officiant in a legal marriage ceremony.

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 in which you wish to get married. 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.

One popular option is to have a simple ceremony in Ontario (like a Marriage in Minutes) and then have a destination celebration. In this example, the legal wedding will take place and be registered in Ontario.

  • Once the ceremony is complete, the Officiant will forward the Marriage Licence to the Office of the Registrar General to be registered.
  • The couple will be given a Record of Solemnization of Marriage.  This keepsake is not a legal record of the marriage but it does contain your marriage licence number should it ever be needed.
  • The Marriage Certificate is the legal record of the marriage and must be ordered by the couple from the Office of the Registrar General.

Contact Us:

Lee-Anne Kazarian, Licensing & Marriage Coordinator
808 2nd Avenue East
Owen Sound ON N4K 2H4
519-376-1440 ext. 1268 



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