To acquire a marriage licence:
- Print, complete, and sign the Marriage License Application - Click Here
- Make an appointment with the Customer Service Unit by contacting them at 905-871-1600. You will be asked if one of the applicants is a resident of the Niagara Region or if the wedding is taking place in the municipality (due to COVID-19 we are limiting those we provide this service to). You will be asked a series of screening questions when you book the appointment related to COVID-19. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, you will be asked to delay booking your appointment and to contact Public Health. If you answer "no" to all of the questions, please proceed with booking your appointment. COVID-19 Customer Screening Questionnaire - Click Here
- Bring the completed Marriage Licence Application (with additional requirements that may be needed as outlined below under Annulment or Divorce) and two pieces of valid identification (for each partner) to your appointment at Town Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie.
- To attend the appointment you must wear a mask and bring your own pen for signing documents. You will also be asked the same series of screening questions when you attend Town Hall related to COVID-19. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you will not be allowed to enter the Town Hall and will be asked to rebook your appointment.
- Pay the license fee of $130 in-person with cash or debit. Cheques will not be accepted.
Either partner can submit the marriage application form in person but the form must include original signatures for both parties and be presented with two pieces of original valid identification for both parties. Documents in another language must be supported by a certified translation and all documents must be original. Photocopies or expired documents will not be accepted.
The first piece of identification must be any of the following:
- Government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- Valid passport
- Record of immigrant landing
- Canadian citizenship card
The second piece of identification must be in the form of government-issued photo identification, including:
- Valid driver's licence
- Valid passport
- Valid Ontario Photo Card
- Marriage licences are issued at the time of application, as long as all information is correct and appropriate identification has been provided
- Licences are valid anywhere in Ontario for a period of 90 days from date of issuance
- There are no requirements respecting residency, pre-marital blood tests or medical certificates.
Who may Marry?
Any person who is at least 18 years of age may marry. The Ontario Court of Appeal issued a decision on June 10, 2003 that ruled that same-sex couples have the right to be legally married. No person under 16 years of age may marry. Any person who is 16 or 17 years of age (other than a widow, widower or divorced person) may marry with the written consent of his/her legal guardian. A special consent form is available for this purpose from the Customer Service Unit.
If consent is required, and it is not forthcoming, or is refused, an application may be made to a judge to dispense with consent.
Annulment or Divorce
A person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled will require:
(a) If the marriage was dissolved or annulled in Canada, the original or court certified copy of the final decree, judgement or certificate of divorce dissolving or annulling the marriage, or
(b) If the marriage was dissolved or annulled outside of Canada, the authorization of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. (This requirement is explained in more detail below), or
(c) Where the earlier marriage of one of the parties was terminated by the presumed death of a spouse, a court order declaring the presumed death of the spouse must be obtained. An Issuer of Marriage Licenses can provide more information upon request.
An applicant whose former marriage was dissolved or annulled in a jurisdiction other than Canada must obtain authorization from the Minister of Consumer and Business Services before a marriage licence may be issued. To obtain this authorization, the applicants or a lawyer, must submit the following to:
The Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8
- A completed marriage licence application signed by both applicants.
- A copy of the decree of divorce or annulment (certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction the divorce/annulment was granted) or sealed by the court. If the decree is in a language other than English or French, include a certified translation.
- A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both applicants. Blank affidavits are available from the local Issuer of Marriage Licenses.
- A legal opinion of an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both applicants, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in the Province of Ontario.
A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of a licence or the publication of banns.
Publication of banns
A marriage may be solemnized under the authority of the publication of banns where both parties to the proposed marriage worship regularly in Canada.
No one may marry under the authority of the publication of banns if there was a previous marriage (dissolved or annulled). Further information concerning marriage under the authority of the publication of banns may be obtained from a member of the clergy.
Who may perform a marriage ceremony?
A marriage ceremony in Ontario may be performed by:
- A municipal clerk or designate. Note: The Town of Fort Erie Clerk or designate does not conduct ceremonies at this time.
- A member of the clergy registered under the Marriage Act.
- A judge or justice of the peace.