Update on Issuing Marriage Licences and Providing Marriage Services

The Ontario Registrar General (ORG) has sent a recent memo with important updates for Ontario Marriage License Issuers to be aware of.

Extended Validity Periods
Amendments made to the Marriage Act extend licences issued between: the first day, three months prior to the declared emergency and the first day on which there is not a period of emergency.

The province-wide emergency declared on February 11, 2022 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act ended at 5:00pm on February 23, 2022. As such the first day following the end of the emergency is February 24, 2022.

The following are the extended validity periods:

  • Licenses issued between December 1, 2019 and July 24, 2020 are still valid and can be used until July 24, 2022;
  • Licenses issued between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 are still valid and can be used until February 10, 2023;
  • Licences issued between January 1, 2021 and June 4, 2021 are still valid can be used until June 4, 2023;
  • Licences issued between November 1, 2021 and February 24, 2022 are still valid and can be used until February 24, 2024.

The validity period for marriage licences issued between July 25, 2020 and September 30, 2020 and June 5, 2021 and October 31, 2021 have not been extended.

Please note that the validity period for foreign divorce authorizations issued by the Office of the Registrar General has also been extended for the same duration as the extended marriage licence validity periods noted above.

Replacement Licences
Replacement licences are only necessary in the rare instances where couples may have lost or destroyed their unused marriage licence or critical information is no longer accurate. Otherwise, licenses issued in the timeframes listed about are still valid and can be used without being replaced.

Municipalities can continue to refer couples to ServiceOntario.ca/GettingMarried for further details.

Virtual Marriages
As a reminder for municipalities who offer civil marriage services, couples cannot be married virtually. The Marriage Act requires every Ontario marriage to be solemnized in the presence of the parties to the marriage, at least two witnesses, and the marriage officiant.

Memo to License Issuers – Marriage Licence Expiry (PDF)
Marriage Licence Replacement Process (PDF)
Replacement Licence Tracking Sheet (XLSX)