Getting Married

Marriage Licence & Certificate Requirements

Marriage Licence Requirements

In Ontario, there are no residency or citizenship requirements or blood tests and medical certificates requirements in order to obtain a marriage licence. However, you will be required to certify information under oath. Bring an interpreter to assist you if you do not understand or are not able to read English.

Marriage licences are valid for use anywhere in Ontario for 90 days from the date of issue.

How to apply for a Marriage Licence

Follow the steps below to apply to the City of Hamilton for an Ontario Marriage Licence:

  1. Complete the online Marriage Licence Application Form prior to attending a Municipal Service Centre Location to purchase a licence.
  2. Print the completed Marriage Licence Application Form prior to clicking ‘submit’ online.
  3. Both applicants must sign and date the printed form (must be original signatures – no photocopies or scans).

How to purchase a Marriage Licence

Visit a Municipal Service Centre Location with the following:

  1. A completed and signed Marriage Licence Application Form printed from your online submission; and
  2. The licence fee $166 (HST does not apply).  You may pay by cash, money order, debit or credit card); and
  3. For both applicants, two pieces of valid government issued identification (review required identification below); and
  4. If necessary, the original court certified copy of your Canadian divorce certificate or Foreign Divorce Authorization (review prior marriages below).

Each person applying for the marriage licence must bring 2 pieces of original and current government issued identification (ID) from this list:

  • Two pieces of Identification must provide your legal name and date of birth.
  • Your first and last names must match on the two pieces of ID that are presented.
  • To have your middle name(s) included on your marriage licence it must also appear on both pieces of ID.
  • At least one piece of identification must include a current photo and signature.
  • Identification must be valid and original. We will not accept photocopies, or scanned images/documents.
  • ID on the list can be from any country, as long as it is government issued.
  • If the ID is not in English, a written translation from a certified translator is required.
  • Health Cards and S.I.N. cards will not be accepted.

Acceptable identification

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Ontario Photo ID Card (Purple photo ID card)
  • Native Status Card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Canadian Citizenship Card (only if accompanied by current government issued Photo ID)
  • Canadian Government Refugee Documents
  • Record of Immigrant Landing
  • Permanent Residency Card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residency
  • Citizenship Card from another Country (only if accompanied by current government issued Photo ID)
  • Identity Card from another Country
  • Nexus Card
  • Firearms/Possession Licence

Canadian divorce

If you were granted a divorce in Canada from a previous marriage, you must bring one of the following with your marriage licence application:

  • Original Certificate of Divorce
  • Decree Absolute, or
  • Court-certified true copy of either Document.

Please note: Ensure the Certificate is stamped or sealed, as some provinces only seal upon request.

Do not bring these documents, as they are not acceptable

  • Photocopies of documents
  • Divorce Judgement
  • Divorce Order
  • Decree Nisi issued by the Court
  • Non sealed or stamped certificates

We will return all documents.

Divorce outside of Canada

If you annulled or dissolved your previous marriage outside of Canada, you must get permission from the Office of the Registrar General before we issue you a marriage licence.

To get permission, you or your lawyer must send the following by mail:

  • A completed marriage licence application signed by both applicants.
  • One of :
    • The original Certificate of Divorce
    • the Decree Absolute
    • Court-certified copy of these documents. A court-certified copy means certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction that granted the divorce or annulment.
    • If the documents are not in English or French, include a translated copy with an affidavit sworn by the translator.
  • A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both applicants. Get a paper copy at the City Clerk's Office or online at the Registrar General of Ontario.
  • A legal opinion from an Ontario lawyer addressed to both applicants, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario.

Mail these documents to:
The Office of the Registrar General
PO Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8

Widows or widowers

Widows or widowers do not have to show a death certificate to get a marriage licence.

In accordance with the Marriage Act, people 18 years of age and above can get a marriage licence provided the completed application and additional required information is submitted.

If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you must submit a completed Consent of Parent of Guardian to Marriage Form signed by both parents or legal guardians when you apply for a marriage licence. You can also get a paper copy from the City Clerk's Office.

  • It must be an original application signed by both parties.
  • You must show the original ID or documentation for your absent partner.

Marriage Certificate Requirements

Marriage certificates are issued by the Office of the Registrar General for the province of Ontario. You can order a marriage certificate through Service Ontario approximately 8-12 weeks from the date your marriage ceremony took place.

  • The easiest and fastest way to order a marriage certificate is online through Service Ontario. 
  • To order a marriage certificate by mail simply complete the form that was included with your marriage licence or download the Request for Marriage Certificate form.

For questions regarding marriage certificates please contact Service Ontario at 416-326-1234 or 1-800-268-7095.

Older Marriage Certificates
The Office of the Registrar General has Ontario marriage records for the past 80 years. Check the Archives of Ontario or call the Vital Statistics hot line at 416-327-1593 for records older than 80 years.

Marriage and Change of Name

After the marriage ceremony, there are three options either spouse may consider in regards to retaining, assuming, or legally changing their last name.

Under this course of action, the spouse who wishes to keep their current last name needs to take no action. Ontario law does not require a spouse to change their last name upon marriage.

An assumed name is a name which a person uses or adopts. Upon marriage, a person may choose to “assume” the last name of their spouse and use it.

To have your identification revised most government organizations, credit card firms, etc. will accept a copy of the marriage certificate issued by the Office of the Registrar General as proof of the marriage.

A legal name is the name by which the person is entitled to be recognized for the purposes of Ontario law.

In this instance, a person will elect the option under the Change of Name Act, complete the appropriate forms and submit them to the Office of the Registrar General