Congratulations on taking the plunge! You are finally getting married!
We know you’re currently planning your celebration and we are truly excited about your special day. Many couples find themselves so entrenched and excited about the wedding preparations that they forget about the legalities involved.
If you’re getting married in Ontario, you can do so through civil means or the church. A civil marriage is officiated by a judge or any government authorized individual while a church wedding is presided by religious marriage officiants.
If you are going to have a church wedding or a religious service, you can get a banns form instead of a marriage licence. The church will handle the whole process so you won’t need to worry about anything else.
If you are opting for the civil route, you would need to get a marriage licence and have a licensed official to preside over your wedding.
We’ve divided the process into simple steps so that you don’t need to stress over it. The whole procedure is simple and easy as long as you’ve prepared the requirements. Ready? Read on to find out!
STEP 1: Prepare your Identification Requirements
Each of you that are applying for a marriage licence should prepare two government-issued identification. Make sure that your identification is original documents. They will not acknowledge scans, photocopies, or pictures.
You can check for acceptable identification in this link: click here.
Once you have that ready, put them aside and move on to the next step.
STEP 2: Complete marriage licenCe application
You can conveniently complete your marriage licence application online. Click here and carefully fill up the details with your partner truthfully.
After filling up the form, download, and print so the two of you can properly sign and date the document.
STEP 3: Head on to any of the 4 Administrative Locations in Toronto
After completing the first 2 steps, bring the documents and identification requirements to any of these offices:
- City of Toronto: 100 Queen Street West, Rotunda, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
- Etobicoke Civic Centre: 399 The West Mall, Main Floor, Toronto, ON M9C 2Y2
- North York Civic Centre: 5100 Yonge Street, Ground Floor, Toronto, ON M2N 5V7
- Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive, Floor 3, Toronto, ON M1P 4N7
These offices are open from Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. For a speedy transaction, make sure you have all the requirements.
A marriage licence costs $140. You can pay through cash, credit cards, or debit. These government offices also accept certified cheques or money orders that are made payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto.”
Voila! Wait 20-30 minutes and you’ll have your marriage licence ready.
STEP 4: CONTINUE YOUR WEDDING PLANNING
Your marriage licence will only be completed once the couple, the officiant, and the witnesses sign the document. So go on and continue your planning so we can move on to the last and final step – your wedding!
STEP 5: GO GET MARRIED
After the ceremony, you would need to complete the marriage licence by having the necessary people to sign the document. The officiant will register the completed marriage licence with the province of Ontario.
Your marriage certificate will be ready for processing 10-12 weeks from your wedding date and you can then proceed to change your last name or apply for certain social benefits.
Things to Remember
The person to preside over your marriage must have a valid licence to do so. You can check through the same administrative offices listed above or call 416-325-8305.
Get a marriage licence for your wedding plans in Ontario. Pursuing marriage in a church entails a publication of banns instead of a marriage licence. Having said that, you should consult your church officiant.
Appointments are not necessary before going to any of the clerk’s offices stated above. If you have the necessary documents prepared beforehand, the process is simple, fast, and efficient.
After you get your licence, you can get married anywhere in the province of Ontario. You read that right. You can choose from the vast array of different wedding locations in Toronto and the GTA!
Make sure you schedule getting your licence properly because once it’s issued, it is valid only for 90 days.
For those who got a divorce, the process involves an added step. A banns is not applicable for this case and official proof of divorce is a requirement before you get a new marriage licence.
The couple, your chosen witnesses, and the presiding officer should sign the banns or marriage licence.
We hope this helped and made your planning a tad bit easier. Good luck and may you have a wedding day to remember!