Marriages, deaths and oaths

Civil marriage (wedding) ceremonies

The City of Ottawa offers non-denominational marriage ceremonies at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West. Civil ceremonies are available in either English or French. The service lasts approximately 20 minutes. 

Availability and appointments 

The City of Ottawa encourages couples who prefer a specific date and time to book an appointment for their ceremony. Civil ceremonies may be booked up to three months in advance. The City tries to accommodate last-minute requests, but these ceremonies are subject to the availability of staff. Reservations must be made in-person at the City Hall Client Service Centre at 110 Laurier Ave. West, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 5 pm. Please provide your Marriage License when making your appointment. Certain dates and times throughout the year are not available for bookings, including Statutory Holidays.

Pricing options 

Prices for civil ceremonies vary depending on the time of the ceremony, as follows:

  • Option 1: $156.51 (including HST) - Mon-Fri during business hours
  • Option 2: $234.76 (including HST) - Fri evenings and Sat afternoons

Fees are subject to HST, and are in addition to the $158.40 non-refundable marriage licence fee. You can pay for your ceremony with cash, cheque, debit or credit cards.

Requirements 

Before heading down to City Hall for your ceremony, make sure you meet all of the requirements for a civil marriage:

  • A valid Province of Ontario marriage licence. Couples are requested to obtain or supply a valid Ontario Marriage License. Marriage licences may be issued the same day as the civil ceremony at Ottawa City Hall, provided all legislative requirements are met. Marriage licenses are also available from any local municipality in Ontario.
  • Two witnesses: Two witnesses (one for each partner) must be present at the ceremony, as indicated in section 25 of the Marriage Act (e-laws). The City of Ottawa does not provide witnesses. 
  • Identification: Couples must present a valid piece of government-issued photo identification for each partner. Parental consent is required for persons who are 16 or 17 years of age. 
  • Marriage after divorce: If divorced in Canada, the couple must provide the original or a court-certified copy of the certificate of divorce, final decree or final judgement at the time of booking a ceremony. Photocopies will not be accepted.
  • Language interpreter: Couples are responsible for bringing a language interpreter, if required, either for a language other than English or French, or due to physical restrictions, such as sight and hearing impairments.

Ineligibility 

City staff will not formalize the marriage of any person if:

  • One or both parties are under physical or mental duress 
  • One or both parties fail to meet the age requirements (both parties must be at least 18 years old to get married in Ontario. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may marry only with the written consent of both parents). 
  • The parties are related as grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother or sister 
  • One of both parties are currently married 
  • One or both parties are mentally ill or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs and incapable of understanding the nature of the marriage contract and the duties, obligations and responsibilities that result from marriage.

Ceremony room 

The ceremony room is located on the second floor at City Hall. The room can hold a maximum of 10 people, which includes the five individuals participating in the ceremony and a videographer or photographer.

Cancellation policy 

You can cancel your civil marriage appointement up to (or on) the day of the ceremony. All cancellations are subject to a non-refundable $50 fee. Marriage licence fees are non-refundable.

Need more information? 

For more information about marriage ceremonies contact Client Service Centre staff by e-mail or call 3-1-1. To find out how to register your marriage or obtain a marriage certificate, visit Ontario's Ministry of Government Services or call 1-800-461-2156. 

Marriage licences

The City of Ottawa offers civil marriage ceremonies at City Hall

Before you can get married in Ontario you must have a marriage licence. If you and your partner meet the criteria, visit the nearest Client Service Centre to obtain your marriage licence.

Office hours

Marriage licence application forms may be downloaded from the Ministry of Government Services Web site, or picked-up in person at any Client Service Centre.

Marriage licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at: 

  • Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Marriage licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4 pm, unless otherwise stated, at the following Client Service Centres:

  • Orléans, 255 Centrum Blvd., Orléans, ON, K1E 3V8
  • Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr., Nepean, ON K2G 5K7
  • Kanata Client Service Centre, 580 Terry Fox Drive, Kanata, ON K2L 4C2
  • Metcalfe, 8243 Victoria St., Metcalfe, ON K0A 2P0 (open Tuesdays only)
  • West Carleton, 5670 Carp Rd., Kinburn, ON K0A 2H0 (open Wednesdays only)
  • North Gower, 2155 Roger Stevens Dr., North Gower, ON KOA 2T0 (open Thursdays only)

Identification

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. Copies will not be accepted. If any of your identification is in a language other than English or French, you must present it with an official translation of the document. The first piece of identification must be any of the following:

  • a government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
  • a valid passport*;
  • a record of immigrant landing;
  • a Canadian citizenship card.

The second piece of identification must be in the form of government-issued photo identification, including:


* If a valid passport is used as the first piece of identification, the second piece of identification must be a valid driver’s licence, a valid Ontario Photo Card or a BYID age-of-majority-card.
 
The City of Ottawa does not accept health or national identity cards as a form of photo identification.

Age requirements

Identification requirements and marriage eligibility depend on your age. Please note the following:

  • If you are 21 years of age or older, proof of identity as outlined above is required.
  • If you are 18 to 21 years of age, proof of identity in the form of a birth certificate is recommended as your first piece of identification. Any of the second pieces of government-issued photo identification described above must also be presented.
  • If you are 16 or 17 years of age, proof of identity in the form of a birth certificate is the only acceptable first piece of identification. Any of the second pieces of government issued photo identification described above must also be presented. Parental consent is also required. Please contact Client Service Centre staff by e-mail or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) for further details.
  • A person under the age of 16 is not permitted to marry in the Province of Ontario.

Gender

The City of Ottawa issues marriage licences to all eligible couples. Same-sex couples have been receiving marriage licences since June 11, 2003, following the June 10, 2003 Ontario Court of Appeal decision making same-sex marriages legal in Ontario.

Validity

A marriage licence is valid for use anywhere in Ontario for three months after its issue date. If you plan to marry outside of the province or the country, be sure to verify the requirements for the appropriate jurisdiction.

Marriage after divorce

Divorced in Canada

If you were divorced in Canada, you must provide the original or a court-certified copy of your certificate of divorce, or a final decree or final judgment. Photocopies will not be accepted. A certified copy of your certificate of divorce may be obtained from the court office that granted the divorce. All documents will be returned.

Divorced Outside of Canada

An applicant whose former marriage was dissolved or annulled in a jurisdiction other than Canada must obtain authorization from the Minister of Government Services before a marriage licence may be issued. To obtain this authorization, the applicants or a lawyer representing them, must submit the following to:

Office of the Registrar General
189 Red River Road
PO Box 3000
Thunder Bay ON P7B 5W0

  1. A completed marriage licence application signed by both applicants.
  2. An original or court certified copy of the divorce decree or annulment (certified by the proper court officer in the jurisdiction the divorce/annulment was granted). If the decree if in a language other than English or French, include a translated copy together with an affidavit sworn by the translator.
  3. A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both applicants. Blank statements are available from the local issuer of Marriage Licences.
  4. A legal opinion of an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both applicants, giving reasons why the divorce or annulments should be recognized in the Province of Ontario. A sample legal opinion letter can be obtained from the office of the Registrar General by calling 1-807-343-7492 or by calling toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-461-2156. A sample letter will be faxed to your lawyer upon the lawyer’s request.

Declaration

When applying for a marriage licence, you are required to certify information under oath. If you do not understand or are not able to read English or French, please bring an interpreter to assist you.

Citizenship

There are no limitations on citizenship or residency when applying for a marriage licence in Ontario.

Health analysis

Blood tests and medical certificates are not necessary for marriage licence application in Ontario.

Licence fee

The City of Ottawa charges a $158.40 (including HST) service fee for a marriage licence, which you can pay for by cash, cheque, Interac or credit card. Marriage licence fees are non-refundable.

Need more information?

For more information about marriage licences, contact Client Service Centre staff by e-mail or call
3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). To find out how to register your marriage or obtain a marriage certificate, visit Ontario's Ministry of Government Services or call 1-800-461-2156.

Registering a death

A death registration is a permanent, legal record of death. A funeral director or family member is authorized to complete the Statement of Death. A physician or coroner present at the time of death will complete the Medical Certificate of Death, which contains details about the cause of death. The funeral director usually handles this process on behalf of the deceased person's family, ensuring that both forms are completed and submitted to the local registrar at one of the City’s seven Client Service Centres

Both the Statement of Death and the Medical Certificate of Death are necessary to obtain a burial permit. Once registered, a Burial Permit and Acknowledgement of Death Registration form will be issued. Burial permits can be obtained at any City Client Service Centres during regular business hours.

The fee to register a death in the City of Ottawa is $44.50. All death registration fees will be billed monthly, with no opportunity to pay directly.

After-hours

All burial permits are handled through the Client Service Centres during regular weekday office hours However, where the immediate issuance of a burial permit is required due to an emergency, religious beliefs or other similar reasons, death registrations and burial permits may be obtained after-hours through the 3-1-1 Contact Centre located at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, whenever the Client Service Centres are closed. You will need to check-in with building security at the first floor Information Desk, and security personnel will escort you to the appropriate area. All death registration fees will be billed monthly, with no opportunity to pay directly after-hours.

Special circumstances

  • If a death occurred in Ontario but the burial or disposition of remains is to take place outside the province, you must still obtain an Ontario burial permit.
  • If a death occurred outside Ontario but the burial or disposition of remains is to take place within Ontario, you must obtain a permit from the appropriate jurisdiction for burial, transit or removal. 

Commissioner of Oaths

Commissioners of Oaths’ services are offered at the City of Ottawa’s Client Service Centres. These endorsements include but are not limited to oaths, affirmations and affidavits. Since the nature of documents varies greatly, it is strongly recommended that you contact the City of Ottawa prior to your visit to confirm that your attestation can be commissioned by one of our staff members.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the City of Ottawa’s Commissioners of Oaths cannot notarize documents or certify true copies. A list of notary public or lawyers can be found in your local phone directory

What is an Oath?

An oath is a solemn declaration of one’s words by which a person signifies that he/she is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully.  The oath is used to encourage if not to ensure that the truth be spoken.  

What is an Affirmation?

An affirmation is a solemn declaration that serves the same purpose as an oath if an oath is objectionable to the person on religious or ethical grounds.

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a document containing statements that are verified by the swearing of an oath or by an affirmation. Affidavits are generally used for the purpose of establishing legal rights and may be required to attest to a certain fact or set of facts.

There are four parts to an affidavit.

  1. Identification of the person giving the affidavit (deponent or affiant). 
  2. Body of the affidavit, which provides the evidence or the statement of facts
  3. The signature of the deponent
  4. Jurat – including the signature of the Commissioner taking the affidavit.  The Jurat is the certificate of the Commissioner before whom the document was sworn.  It sets out the location of where the oath was administered and the date of the oath.  By signing the jurat, the commissioner is certifying that he or she has administered the oath to the deponent.  If Exhibits are attached to the Affidavit then the Commissioner must also sign the Exhibits certifying them to be part of the affidavit. 

Documentation

Once you are certain the City of Ottawa can commission your document, you must visit a Client Service Centre in person. The request for the Commissioner of Oaths service must be made by the same individual taking the oath and signing the document. You must present one original piece of photo identification in the form of government-issued photo identification (i.e. a valid driver's licence, a valid passport or a BYID age-of-majority card). If your identification is in a language other than English or French, an official translation of the document may be required.

*The City of Ottawa does not accept health cards as a form of photo identification.

The following is small listing of forms a Commissioner of Oaths can sign:

  • Delayed birth registration forms;
  • Application to amend birth registration;
  • Declaration affirming parentage;
  • Election to change of name of child under the age of 12;
  • Statutory declaration by an applicant to correct an error in registration;
  • Legal name change application;
  • Blank statutory declaration;
  • City of Ottawa planning applications;
  • Insurance claims;
  • Common law status affidavits;
  • Vehicle ownership transfers;
  • Special invitations to family members overseas;
  • Passport applications (in lieu of guarantor);
  • Pension purpose attestations of recipient being alive and confirming their residency;
  • Residency document;
  • Lost passport;
  • Single status certificate;
  • Consent letter for traveling with a child commonly referred to as a travel document;
  • Federal government permanent residency card applications (this is the only application for which the City of Ottawa reserves the right to produce a true copy as required);
  • Municipal Information Form (MIF) for liquor license;
  • Affidavit waiving vaccinations based on religious grounds.

The following is a listing of documents a Commissioner of Oaths cannot sign:

  • Any affidavit related to divorces, separations or estates;
  • Documents that need to be certified or if true copies need to be authored;
  • Forms which call upon a Commissioner of Oath, yet also request certified true copies of other documents as attachments. Because the Commissioner cannot certify attachments, they cannot sign the affixed application (as listed above, the only exception is that of a federal government permanent residency application);
  • Affidavits of true affidavits required for an applicant of a marriage license. These must be signed by a notary public.

Fees

The City of Ottawa charges $13.90 for each document to be sworn. This fee is payable by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.

Contact us

For more information, contact Client Service Centre staff by calling 3-1-1.